The issues related to reproducibility (sometimes called replication) started in the social sciences with Psychology. However, studies in an increasing number of disciplines have failed to be replicated, including the life sciences. According to a 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported in the journal Nature, 70% of them had failed to reproduce at least one other scientist's experiment (50% had failed to reproduce one of their own experiments).1 These numbers differ among disciplines of course.

Failure to replicate an experiment does not necessarily mean that the hypothesis or original findings are flawed, reasons such as mutated cell lines that could be the cause.

There is debate as to whether there is truly a reproducibility crisis which threatens scientific practice or whether the failure to replicate experiments is simply part of the scientific process.

The lack of access to the underlying data and analysis scripts is exacerbating the failures to replicate studies, without the raw data it is more difficult to replicate the experiments accurately.

Pre-registration of the experiment design reduces the chances of bias and individual interpretation during the analysis of data.

The reproducibility challenges are linked to the Open Science movement because a more responsible use of data would make studies easier to replicate. Science that cannot be replicated either from flawed experiments or lack of clarity regarding the methodology requires further research, this is seen as a waste of funding which often public money.

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