TS Picks: February 11, 2016

Reproducibility edition

Feb 11, 2016
Tracy Vence

WIKIMEDIA, NHGRI/MAGGIE BARTLETT

Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:
 

  • Janine Clayton of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health “thinks the problems that women experience when they take medications could stem from how biomedical research is conducted at the earliest stages—in animals,” according to NPR’s Shots. In May 2014, Clayton, along with NIH Director Francis Collins, announced a new policy, in which grant applicants must include in their proposals plans to include both male and female tissues and models when competing for preclinical research funding.
     
  • Correction, erratum, retraction? “Researchers want a better system for fixing bad science,” according to The Verge, which cited a perspective piece published in Nature last week (February 3). In it, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham lamented six problems related to fixing issues in the literature that they say stand in the way of robust, reproducible research in their fields (obesity, nutrition, and energetics). “Robust science needs robust corrections,” the authors wrote. “It is time to make the process less onerous.”
     
  • Reporting on the launch of F1000 Research’s Preclinical Reproducibility and Robustness initiative, The Economist last week (February 6) dug into science’s reproducibility problem. “If this institute flourishes—and even more so if it is emulated—it may even become possible to make a career out of being a buster of others’ questionable efforts: a forensic scientist of science, as it were. That is by no means certain, and there will probably be few Nobel prizes in it. But mopping up messes is an honourable activity.”