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Call for Evidence

Reproducibility and research integrity

As the UK seeks to recover from the pandemic, research and innovation has the ability to drive economic growth, with UKRI estimating that every £1 spent on research and development delivers £7 in economic and social benefit. However, the integrity of research, especially medical and social science research, is at risk from what is known as the ‘reproducibility crisis’ (i.e. it being very difficult or impossible to replicate a scientific study).

As early as 2005, the issue of reproducibility was identified in Ioannidis’ paper, ‘Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,’ and since then a large number of surveys or replication studies have been conducted that show the prominence of the issue.

So far, Government policy has focused on the overall theme of ‘Research Integrity,’ including asking UKRI to establish a national research integrity committee as recommended by our predecessor Committee, but the specific issue of reproducible research has been overlooked. The Committee is therefore seeking written submissions by Thursday 30 September addressing any or all of the following topics:

● the breadth of the reproducibility crisis and what research areas it is most prevalent in;

● the issues in academia that have led to the reproducibility crisis;

● the role of the following in addressing the reproducibility crisis:

- research funders, including public funding bodies;

- research institutions and groups;

- individual researchers;

- publishers; and

- Governments and the need for a unilateral response / action.

● what policies or schemes could have a positive impact on academia’s approach to reproducible research; and

● how establishing a national committee on research integrity under UKRI could impact the reproducibility crisis.