A large effort to reproduce high-impact cancer research has scaled down the number of studies it plans to replicate from 50 to 18, Science reported yesterday (July 31).
The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology (RP:CP) was launched by the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange, a biotechnology company, in 2013. The project’s initial aim was to replicate experiments from 50 high-profile cancer papers published between 2010 and 2012. Starting in 2015, however, organizers began to pare down the number of papers due to budgetary and resource constraints.
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“I wish we could have done more,” Tim Errington, a biologist who runs RP:CP from the Center for Open Science, tells Science. “There is an element of not truly understanding how challenging it is until you do a project like this.”
Hurdles to replicating experiments included a lack of detailed protocols and easily obtainable reagents. “Communication...
To date, RP:CP has published 10 of the 18 replication studies in eLife. Two of the studies failed to replicate and two were inconclusive; project members were able to reproduce at least parts of the experiments from the remaining six. According to Science, the original findings from many of the 50 papers RP:CP planned to replicate have already been confirmed by other independent groups.
RP:CP also decided to discontinue 11 ongoing replication efforts, but plans to publish the findings from those incomplete studies.