German Research Foundation (DFG) publishes Statement on Replicability

Posted: April 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, German, Opinion | Tags: , | No Comments »

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has currently released a statement on the replicability of research results.

Interestingly (at least for me), the five-pager first starts with a broader definition of what replicable research is NOT.

Of course, replication is a very important method for testing empirical knowledge claims based on experimental and quantitative research in medicine, the natural, life, engineering, social and behavioural sciences, as well as the humanities.

But, according to DFG, there are limitations:

  • Replicability is not a universal criterion for scientific knowledge.
  • Ascertaining the replicability or non-replicability of a scientific result is itself a scientific result. As such, it is not final but subject to methodological scepticism and further investigation.
  • Non-replicability is not a universal proof by falsification.
  • Non-replicability is not a universal indicator of poor science.

Well, an unorthodox starting point for a paper on reproducible research‘ – so, at least, were my thoughts when I read the first page of the statement. Wouldn’t it be more common to first depict the important aspects of reproducible research and to suggest measures to support it, instead of rowing back at the beginning of such a statement? Read the rest of this entry »


UK Data Service launches Syntax Upload Facility

Posted: February 15th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Data Sharing, found on the net | Tags: | Comments Off on UK Data Service launches Syntax Upload Facility

The UK Data Service has just released a new service called Syntax Upload Facility. The Syntax Upload Facility enables researchers to upload and share syntax they create using UK Data Service data, building a library of syntax for other users to utilise and cite. The new Syntax Upload Facility aims to enhance researcher’s work and provide an opportunity to increase the impact of research through having syntax used and cited by others. UK Data Service also suggests how to cite these syntax-files. In addition, the syntax itself has a DOI, what promotes uniform citation standards.

The syntax created using our datasets can be uploaded by clicking Contribute your syntax/code at the bottom of the respective catalogue records. Once logged in, the syntax files can be uploaded in various formats including SPSS, Stata, SAS and R.

The Syntax Upload Facility then automatically creates a citation and a file which can be downloaded by other users. The new facility is particularly useful for researchers, students and those teaching with data. An example is available here.

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Dutch research funder grants 3 million Euros for replication studies

Posted: August 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Data Sharing, found on the net | Tags: , | Comments Off on Dutch research funder grants 3 million Euros for replication studies

350_incentive_6912846727_48f07c8899_zThe Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), one of the biggest science-funding bodies in the Netherlands, is making 3 million euros available for a Replication Studies pilot programme. In this programme, scientists will be able to repeat research that has been carried out by others. The pilot focuses on replicating studies that have a large impact on science, government policy or the public debate – namely on the area of the social sciences and health research and healthcare innovation.

The pilot programme Replication Studies focuses on two types of research: On the one hand it focusses on replications with existing data: the datasets from the original study are reanalysed. On the other hand, it focusses on reproductions (with new data): a data collection is put together, which is subjected to the same research protocol as in the original study (read more about the different definitions of reproduction and replication). Read the rest of this entry »


European Commission invests 8.5 billion EUR in research and innovation – and data sharing becomes default

Posted: July 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Data Sharing, found on the net | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

350-nazir-amin-investment-flickrYesterday, the European Commission (EC) announced an investment of 8.5 billion Euros into research and innovation in 2017.

This investment follows an update to the work programme of the 8th research framework program of the European Union (better known as “Horizon 2020”).

From the perspective of the research data management, this update incorporates some important changes: The current Open Research Data Pilot will be extended so that research data sharing by default will apply to all Horizon 2020 calls covered by the 2017 Work Programme. This means that grant beneficiaries must take measures to enable third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate research data underlying their scientific peer reviewed publications free of charge. Horizon 2020 beneficiaries are encouraged to also share datasets beyond these publications. Projects can “opt-out” of these provisions in case of conflicts with IPR, personal data protection, national security or other concerns. Read the rest of this entry »


Knowledge Exchange: New Report on Research Software Sustainability published

Posted: March 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, Report, Workshop | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Knowledge Exchange: New Report on Research Software Sustainability published

250Report_Software_Sustainabbility

Knowledge Exchange, a consortium of five national organisations within Europe tasked with developing infrastructure and services to enable the use
of digital technologies to improve higher education and research, has just a released another report on research software sustainability. The report is motivated by the importance of research software for the whole scientific process in every research discipline. The report argues:

“Without software, modern research would not be possible. Understandably, people tend to marvel at results rather than the tools used in their discovery, which means the fundamental role of software in research has been largely overlooked. But whether it is widely recognised or not, research is inexorably connected to the software that is used to generate results, and if we continue to overlook software we put at risk the reliability and reproducibility of the research itself.”

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ICPSR and Elsevier announce data linking

Posted: February 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, journals, Research Data | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

250 rawdata_danny_ayers_flickr.comAs announced a few days ago, over 400 Elsevier journals will offer direct linking options with datasets in ICPSR. ICPSR, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data – in total more than 500,000 files. It hosts 16 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.

These datasets become discoverable through corresponding research articles on ScienceDirect, a website operated by the Anglo-Dutch publisher Elsevier. This allows researchers to access underlying research data immediately while reading the research paper, and potentially reuse the data for their own research. Vice versa, research articles on ScienceDirect can also be accessed directly from within the ICPSR datasets providing additional information to place the data into context. An example is available here. Read the rest of this entry »


Contemporary, useful and subject-based: The replication network

Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net | Tags: , | Comments Off on Contemporary, useful and subject-based: The replication network

3d social network_by_stockmonkeys.com_cc_by_3.0

Today I would like to introduce the replication network (TRN) to our readers, a network whose purpose is “to encourage economists and their journals to publish replications.” This is all along in line with the purpose of our own project.

The website of the replication network serves as a channel of communication to both update scholars about the state of replications in economics and to establish a network for the sharing  of information and ideas among economists. It offers important information on the possibility to publish replication studies in economics journals and provides lists of publications dealing with the topic of replications in economic research. Also a list of published replication studies is available. Read the rest of this entry »


New working paper: “Is Economics Research Replicable?”

Posted: October 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Data Policy, found on the net | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

400_ReplicAndrew Chang and Phillip Li, two researchers working at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency/U.S. Department of the Treasury, attempt to replicate 67 papers published in 13 well-regarded economics journals (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Review, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings (P&P), Canadian Journal of Economics, Econometrica, Economic Journal, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Dynamics, Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics, and Quarterly Journal of Economics), using author-provided replication files that include both data and code.

Some journals in the sample of Chang and Li require data and code replication files, and other journals do not require such files. Aside from 6 papers that use confidential data, they obtain data and code replication files for at least 29 of 35 papers (83%) that are required to provide such files as a condition of publication, compared to 11 of 26 papers (42%) that are not required to provide data and code replication files. Read the rest of this entry »


New KE-Report: Researcher identifiers – National approaches to ORCID and ISNI implementation

Posted: September 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, Report | Tags: , | Comments Off on New KE-Report: Researcher identifiers – National approaches to ORCID and ISNI implementation

250_KE-Report_IdentifierKnowledge Exchange (KE) – a collaboration between five national organisations, DFG – the German Research Foundation, JISC , DEFF – Denmark’s Electronic Research Library, SURF – the ICT organisation for Dutch higher education and research and CSC – the IT Centre for Science in Finland- has just released a new report on research identifiers.

In June 2015, KE brought together representatives from its five member countries for a Knowledge Exchange Workshop on National approaches to ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) and ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) implementation. The aim of the workshop was to share national perspectives on ORCID and ISNI, including the challenges, solutions and lessons learned with regards to implementation of ORCID and ISNI on a national scale. Read the rest of this entry »


Wiley partners with Figshare to enable data sharing

Posted: July 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, journals | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Wiley partners with Figshare to enable data sharing
300-share-142455033_49ce50a89b_zAt the end of June, Figshare (an online digital repository where researchers can preserve and share their research outputs, including figures, datasets, images, and videos) announced a partnership with the publishing house Wiley to support authors who wish to openly share their data.
The background of this partnership can be located in a rapidly evolving issue that is shaping the future of scholarly publishing: funder mandates increasily require academics to make all of the products of their research available in a similar way that they make their papers available.
Examples cover the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US (“[The NSF] expects PIs to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of the work“) and the European Commission (“Beneficiaries [of the Horizon2020 programme, the 8th European Research Framework Programme] must also aim to deposit […] the research data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications“).

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Article: The Economics of Reproducibility in Preclinical Research

Posted: June 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, Research Data | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Article: The Economics of Reproducibility in Preclinical Research

preclinical_250_AIDSVaccine_flickrIn 2012, an estimated 114.8 billion $ in the US were spent on life sciences research. Roughly half of it is spent on preclinical research, with government sources providing the majority of funding – approximatly 38 billion US$.

Now, three researchers calculate the costs of irreproducible research in preclinical research near 28 billion $ – only for the United States alone. That is the conclusion of a study published in PLoS Biology a few days ago.

In the opinion of the study’s authors, the giant amount of 28 billion $ accumulates, because low reproducibility rates within life science research undermine cumulative knowledge production and contribute to both delays and costs of therapeutic drug development.

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“Research Data at your Fingertips”: German Priority Initiative ‘Digital Information’ publishes Position Paper

Posted: March 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, German | Tags: , | Comments Off on “Research Data at your Fingertips”: German Priority Initiative ‘Digital Information’ publishes Position Paper

6496536471_95b3f0742d_z The Priority Initiative Digital Information of the Alliance of German Science Organisations has published a position paper on research data and research data infrastructures in February.

At the beginning the four page long paper sketches a short vision on how researchers will be able to work with research data in the year 2025. A “quick and easy access to all research data” is part of this vision, also the important task to credit researchers for sharing their research data is mentioned by the authors: “The publication of research data and software enhances the academic reputation.”

The second chapter of the paper deals with the current challenges in managing research data. Especially the situation in organisational structures, different research disciplines, publicly funded information institutions and research organisations is described. Read the rest of this entry »


Biomedical Sciences: Journals unite to forster reproducible research

Posted: November 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net | Tags: , | Comments Off on Biomedical Sciences: Journals unite to forster reproducible research

300_Bill_Dickinson_Laboratory_Science_biomedical_flickr_comWhen it comes to the topic of replication, it always is a good idea to consult the webpages of the nature journal. Yesterday, for instance, the journal reported that a group of editors representing more than 30 major journals, representatives from funding agencies as well as scientific leaders discussed principles and guidelines for preclinical biomedical research in June 2014.

The gathering was convened by the US National Institutes of Health, Nature and Science.

The attendees agreed on a common set of principles and guidelines in reporting preclinical research that list proposed journal policies and author reporting requirements in order to promote transparency and reproducibility. Read the rest of this entry »


Science established “Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors” to investigate data

Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, journals, Research Data | Tags: | Comments Off on Science established “Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors” to investigate data

250_166997_web_R_K_B_by_S. Hofschlaeger_pixelio.deIn order to provide better oversight of the interpretation of observational data handed in to the journal along with manuscripts, Science established the Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors (SBoRE), which started working on 1st July, 2014.

The board consists of experts in various aspects of statistics and data analysis. Their task is to investigate manuscripts, in order to identify issues which need screening, and to suggest experts from the statistics community to examine that data. Editors, BoRE members (members of the BoREBoard of Reviewing Editors – conduct a rapid quality check of the manuscripts and propose which of them should be reviewed by technical specialists), and reviewers can decide which manuscripts need additional examination of the data analysis or statistical treatment, which will then be handed in to the SBoRE. Read the rest of this entry »


PLOS, CDL, and DataONE join forces to build incentives for data sharing

Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: found on the net, Projects | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on PLOS, CDL, and DataONE join forces to build incentives for data sharing

250_stevie spiers photography_flickr_comThe open access publisher PLOS (Public Library of Science), the University of California Curation Center at the California Digital Library, and DataONE  announced the launch of a new project to develop data-level metrics. The project, titled “Making Data Count: Developing a Data Metrics Pilot” is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US. The project will result in a suite of metrics that track and measure data use.

The need for such a data metrics pilot is obvious: Sharing data is time consuming and researchers need incentives for undertaking the extra work. Metrics for data will provide feedback on data usage, views, and impact that will help encourage researchers to share their data. This project will explore and test the metrics needed to capture activity surrounding research data. Read the rest of this entry »