New tool tackles reproducibility crisis in science | 2/13/2019 | Staff
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The scientific community has been struggling with the problem of data reproducibility—a key step in the process that guides how most scientists create knowledge in their field.

According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's published experiments. More than half even failed to reproduce their own investigations successfully. That begs the question: If an experiment or a simulation cannot be reproduced, was it successful in the first place?

Researchers - Institute - Molecular - Engineering - University

Researchers with the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory aim to help solve this problem with a new software platform that allows scientists to share the data of each of their publications in a searchable way. Over the last two years they developed a tool for curating, discovering and exploring reproducible scientific papers called Qresp, which is now available for public use.

"Our goal is to speed up the scientific process and reduce the time needed to share knowledge among researchers," said Giulia Galli, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering. "By making data available and searchable, we are hoping to make it easier for researchers to reproduce results."

Process - Results - Issue - Papers - Online

The process of reproducing scientific results remains a complex issue. Published papers, which are available online as PDFs, often don't include enough information about the resulting data and processes for others to reproduce the results, and data are often not made available to the scientific community.

"Many papers do not include sufficient details to be able to reproduce the data," said Marco Govoni, assistant scientist at Argonne and a visiting scientist at the University of Chicago. "And oftentimes the majority of data obtained and used in the paper are not available at all. To get that data, sometimes you need to write to the authors of the paper. It should...
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