How can researchers help tackle the reproducibility crisis? - F1000

How can researchers help tackle the reproducibility crisis?

4 mins


Reproducibility refers to obtaining consistent results using the same data and code as the original study. This not only strengthens trust in the validity of published results, but also enables researchers to reuse and build upon the work of others. With 52% of researchers stating there is a reproducibility crisis, it’s vital that publishers and authors find ways to tackle this.  

Why is reproducibility important?

Guaranteeing that research is reproducible is paramount to fostering trust in science.  

Both authors and the wider research community can benefit from making their research reproducible.  

First and foremost, publishing openly and reproducibly helps reduce research waste by allowing others to build upon existing research. Plus, reproducibility empowers scholars to drive science forward using the foundations laid by the original studies.  

Moreover, a transparent approach to publishing research allows editors and peer reviewers to evaluate an article more comprehensively. This, in turn, can lead to more rapid publication and indexation of a research output.   

Beyond these practical reasons for focusing on reproducibility, papers published in a transparent manner see greater usage and influence than those behind a paywall. For instance, at Taylor & Francis, articles published open access between 2015-2019 typically received 32% more citations and over 6 times as many downloads than pay-to-read articles.  

Who is responsible for reproducibility?

Scholarly publishers and researchers alike can have an important role in making research more reproducible.   

F1000 operates a mandatory open data policy and endorses the FAIR Data Principles. Authors must make all underlying research data openly available so that the wider research community can reuse it.  

Readers have full access to an article and its methods and can fully analyze and reuse the data and code. This gives them the best opportunity to reproduce results and build upon original findings.  

Reproducibility is also embedded within our open peer review process. Peer reviewers answer a number of standardized questions, including whether the methods, results, and source data ensure full reproducibility. Plus, reviewers can address the issue of reproducibility in their peer review reports.  

Your role in reproducibility

So, what is a key step you can take to avoid contributing to the existing reproducibility crisis?  

We believe that all valid research deserves publication irrespective of the perceived level of interest or novelty including null and negative results, and replication studies. For this reason, we encourage you to utilize the wide range of non-traditional and emerging article types available on F1000 publishing venues. 

Data Notes: sharing data in discoverable and reproducible ways   

Data Notes are brief descriptions of scientific datasets that promote the potential reuse of research data. This article type explains how and why the data was created but does not include any analyses or conclusions. Instead, Data Notes champion the best working practices associated with the data.   

A key benefit of this article type is that they provide the opportunity for data creators to receive credit for the data they have generated. Plus, Data Notes can foster new collaborations across different disciplines, which might not be possible with a traditional Research Article.   

Dig deeper into Data Notes by taking a look at this real-life example.

Method Articles: increasing opportunities for replication and reproducibility  

Method Articles describe a new experimental or computational method, test, or procedure. Providing comprehensive and sufficient methodological details facilitates reuse and reproducibility from other researchers.  

This article demonstrates the value of reproducible methods shared openly within the research community. As stated by one of the peer reviewers of this Method Article, ‘’I very much hope that others are able to build on this development, and use some of the techniques shown to make novel microscopy instruments accessible, as well as reproducible.’’  

Software Tool Articles: supporting research across disciplines   

A Software Tool Article explains the rationale behind the development of a tool and includes details of the code used for its creation. This article type advises readers on the best practices of the tool, including example input and output sets, how to interpret results, and tips on maximizing its potential.   

Check out this Software Article Tool example to see how this article type works in practice.  

At F1000, we want to ensure that all published research is of the highest standard and fully reproducible. That’s why we offer a diverse range of article types, prioritizing transparent reporting and deposition of underlying data, and incorporating reproducibility into our peer review process. To dig deeper into how our article types can benefit your research check out our the guidelines for your chosen publishing venue or contact our editorial team for support.  

Greater reproducibility offers numerous benefits for the research community.

Uncover how you can help improve reproducibility in research.