Research reproducibility: Academy joins the UK Reproducibility Network’s Stakeholder Engagement Group

The Academy is delighted to join the UK Reproducibility Network’s Stakeholder Engagement Group to support efforts aimed at enhancing the reliability and robustness of research.

The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) is a consortium of academic researchers and support staff who will work together to champion robust and reproducible research at institutions across the country. They will investigate the factors that contribute to robust research, and provide training and disseminate best practice to researchers up and down the country.

By joining its Stakeholder Engagement Group, the Academy will further support the work of the UKRN by looking to provide training on producing robust research in its career development events and working with stakeholders to ensure coordination of efforts across the sector.

The Academy has been a key player in raising awareness of the issue of irreproducibility in biomedical research, most notably through its joint symposium with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust in 2015.

This meeting brought together funders, journals and publishers, research institutions, industry and researchers to discuss the challenges and opportunities for improving the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, and explore how the sector could work together to make progress in this area. The meeting resulted in a commitment from the four symposium funders to review their practices to encourage more open, reliable, robust and responsible research practices.

The symposium highlighted that issues of irreproducibility are not limited to biomedical research, and that improvements will require sustained and concerted effort from stakeholders across all sectors on a global scale. This is why initiatives such as the UKRN are so important. In addition, since the meeting, the Academy has worked to raise the profile of the issue internationally, including via the EuroScience Open Forum 2016, the InterAcademy Partnership for Health, the Heads of Research Organizations, and most recently with its sister Academy in the US, the National Academy of Science.

We are pleased to be able to support the UKRN initiative to drive robust and reliable research, and look forward to working with them over the coming years to address the challenge of irreproducible research.

Professor Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol and Co-Founder of UKRN, said:

“I am delighted that the Academy of Medical Sciences has joined the UKRN’s Stakeholder Engagement Group to support our work to remedy the problem of irreproducible research. The Academy’s symposium on research reproducibility in 2015 marked a turning point in UK efforts to coordinate initiatives to ensure that UK research remains at the leading edge internationally, and was a precursor for the establishment of UKRN.

“It is vital that the research community, including researchers themselves, work together to improve the reproducibility and reliability of research. The UKRN is a grass roots initiative, which combined with contributions from funders, publishers, research institutions, industry and other organisations such as the Academy, has the potential to make a real, positive change to the robustness and reliability of research.”

For more information on our work on research reproducibility, please visit our dedicated policy project page.

For more information on our policy work, please visit our policy webpages.

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