On 15 January 2018, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) released an advisory report ‘Replication studies – Improving reproducibility in the empirical sciences’. Its main message is that the systematic replication of other researchers’ work should be an ordinary part of science. One of the recommendations is that journals and funding agencies should require storage of study data and methods in accessible repositories.
- Download the advisory report.
In the report, the Academy recommends that researchers, funding agencies, journals, and institutions adopt the following measures:
- Improve study methods. Researchers should conduct research more rigorously by strengthening standardisation, quality control, evidence-based guidelines and checklists, validation studies, and internal replications. Institutions should provide researchers with more training and support for rigorous study design, research practices that improve reproducibility, and the appropriate analysis and interpretation of the results of studies.
- Improve study reporting. Funding agencies and journals should require preregistration of hypothesis testing studies. Journals should issue detailed evidence-based guidelines and checklists for reporting studies and ensure compliance with them. Journals and funding agencies should require storage of study data and methods in accessible repositories.
- Create proper incentives. Journals should be more open to publishing studies with null results and incentivise researchers to report such results. Rather than reward researchers mainly for ‘high-impact’ publications, ‘innovative’ studies and inflated claims, institutions, funding agencies, and journals should also offer them incentives for conducting rigorous studies and producing reproducible research results.
- Full advisory report.
- KNAW news item about the report.
- ScienceGuide article: ‘De zilverruggen in de wetenschap moeten ook hun onderzoek repliceren‘.
- ScienceGuide article ‘KNAW wil einde aan slecht repliceerbaar onderzoek‘.