More Trial, Less Error: An Effort to Improve Scientific Studies
So many scientific studies are making incorrect claims that a new service has sprung up to fact-check reported findings by repeating the experiments. A year-old California, company, Science Exchange, announced its “Reproducibility Initiative,” aimed at improving the trustworthiness of published papers. Scientists who want to validate their findings will be able to apply to the initiative, which will choose a lab to redo the study and determine whether the results match.
The project sprang from the growing realization that the scientific literature – from social psychology to basic cancer biology – is riddled with false findings and erroneous conclusions, raising questions about whether such studies can be trusted. Not only are erroneous studies a waste of money, often taxpayers’, but they also can cause companies to misspend time and resources as they try to invent drugs based on false discoveries.