BDI / Ludwig Institute Seminar: Improving Openness and Reproducibility of Scientific Research

Scientific communication can be improved to increase efficiency in the accumulation of knowledge. This requires at least two changes to the present culture. One change is conceptual – embracing that progress is made more rapidly by identifying error in current theories than by finding support for current theories. Such a shift could reduce bias in design, analysis, and reporting decisions that elicit positive results and ignore negative results. The other change is practical – science will benefit by taking advantage of current technologies and a shift in incentives to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of research. This includes management of ones research and collaborations, connecting to tools (such as repositories), and discovering others research. This presentation will focus on mechanisms to improve openness, integrity, and reproducibility in research. I will discuss this in the context of the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology (, a project to assess reproducibility rates, predictors of reproducibility, and common obstacles to conducting replications in preclinical cancer biology. We have published some of the first replications from this project, which illustrates some of the challenges and opportunities in how biomedical research is conducted and communicated.