Addressing the reproducibility problem in research


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Symposium: Addressing the reproducibility problem in research: Challenges and future prospects

Organizers: Organizer: Annesha Sil & Gernot Riedel, University of Aberdeen, UK

Schedule: 11:15 - 12:15 CET Virtual Room 2

11:15-11:30     Assessing the scientific quality of online interventions for psychological well-being: Are we doing good science in times of the pandemic?
Cristina Rodríguez-Prada, Luis Morís Fernández, & Salvador Soto-Faraco, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
Miguel A. Vadillo, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain
Diaz Miguel Burgaleta, Barcelona University, Spain
This study aims to assess the methodological quality of research on online interventions in Clinical Psychology before and during the COVID-19 era due to the contextual changes associated with the pandemic. 

11:30-11:45    The EQIPD Quality System: a unique tool to improve the robustness of preclinical drug discovery research data.
Björn Gerlach. PAASP, Germany
Drug development success rate is currently low and influenced by different factors, insufficient data robustness is considered as one of them. Currently, there is no comprehensive expectation for a quality system available for the non-regulated biomedical research. The European Quality In Preclinical Data (EQIPD), an Innovative Medicine Initiative consortium, has been developing a fit-for-purpose quality system for preclinical research for the past three years. 

11:45-12:00   How to replicate behavior in the lab: lessons learned from 50 users a year. 
Lior Bikovski. The Myers Neuro-Behavioral Core Facility, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
The MNBCF deals with these challenges through calibration of methods and adjustment of conditions so they will meet every unique challenge

12:00-12:15    Can we replicate our own results? 
Richard Brown. Dalhousie University, Canada.
Results of behavioural tests of transgenic mouse models are used to infer deficits in "learning", "memory", "anxiety", etc. This presentation examines the validity and reliability of behavioural bioassays and examines the thorny question of failure to replicate: Is it a curse or a blessing?

Symposium Description: Reproducibility in research, or the lack of thereof, is proving to be a huge problem in many fields of the biomedical sciences including behavioural research, making the leap from bench to bedside extremely challenging. A Nature survey of nearly 1600 researchers in 2016 found that more than 70% of those researchers surveyed failed to reproduce another scientist’s work while more than 50% couldn’t reproduce their own work. As a result, the development of new medicines has slowed dramatically in the last 10 years, with the number of drugs in development down by nearly 70% since 2005. Furthermore, according to Freedman et al., nearly 50% of the total expenditure on preclinical research in the US proved to be on irreproducible research, which constitutes an economic burden on already diminishing funding for the sciences.

This symposium will attempt to address this extremely topical problem currently plaguing preclinical research by combining various perspectives from a diverse panel of researchers—both early career as well as established investigators studying both animal and human behaviour, many of whom are part of international consortia looking at reproducibility of research. It will delve into exploring what factors influence reproducibility, our current attempts at addressing this crisis, and what more we can do as scientists to combat this pertinent and important crisis plaguing science and research.