Science by the numbers: Researchers ask, ‘How true are our findings?’

WHYY News:

Next month, the respected British Medical Journal will no longer publish the results of clinical trials unless drug companies agree to provide detailed study data. They hope to nudge other medical journals to follow suit. The journal Psychological Science is doing something similar, in a voluntary pilot program for now.

The journal’s editor Eric Eich, also a professor at the University of British Columbia, said other groups are systematically trying to reproduce past experiments to see if they can be replicated.

“Most research in psychology, or pretty well any other field, it’s all geared toward discovery,” said Eich. “People get kudos for discovering new things. It tends to be undervalued trying to replicate someone else’s findings.”

Eich is also developing educational materials for researchers, and advocating for using measures other than the p-value to test for significance when appropriate.

While academics sort out issues of transparency, disclosure and research methodology, Chen recommends a healthy skepticism for the rest of us.

Read the whole story: WHYY News

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