Four steps to better research
Scientists and funding agencies around the world are putting their heads together to identify factors that can influence the accuracy of research findings. Among them:
• How readily scientists share the data they generate. Not sharing prevents others from trying to reproduce your findings and can result in the unnecessary (and costly) duplication of research efforts.
• Whether they fully describe how they conducted their research. A thorough description is necessary to ensure that others can try to replicate published findings.
• What method is used to analyze the data. Scientists sometimes succumb to “shopping” for a statistical method of analysis that makes their findings appear more significant.
• How career accolades and grant funding are awarded in the researcher’s field. Name-dropping high-profile journals in one’s CV often carries more reputational weight than studies in lesser journals that report negative results or attempts to replicate others’ work.