The Wall Street Journal:
A question is dividing the scientific community: Is there a value to public health in spending time and money to replicate long-completed, peer-reviewed studies?
Two recent high-profile papers that scrutinize older research have raised questions about the fundamental reliability of scientific findings.
One, a reanalysis of data from a study published in 2001 on antidepressant use in children, describes the original analysis as flawed. The new study, published in the journal BMJ, is prompting some scientists to call for the original study to be retracted.
With a peer-reviewed publication, “I’m making the presumption that it’s an accurate report of what actually occurs in the world,” says Brian Nosek, a co-author on the Science paper. He is executive director of the Center for Open Science and a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.
A leading psychology journal, Psychological Science, last year implemented an initiative. It acknowledges when authors of a paper agree to share their data, in a push to reward transparency. There has been a “marked rise” in authors’ willingness to share their data and materials since the initiative began, says Eric Eich, the just-departed editor in chief of Psychological Science, and a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.
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