For research citations, no replication is no problem

An open notebook with nothing written in it.

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Over the past decade, it became apparent that a number of fields of research had some issues with replication. Published results didn’t always survive attempts at repeating experiments. The extent of the problem was a matter of debate, so a number of reproducibility projects formed to provide hard numbers. And the results were not great, with most finding that only about half of published studies could be repeated.

These reproducibility projects should have served a couple of purposes. They emphasize the importance of ensuring that results replicate to scientific funders and publishers, who are reluctant to support what could be considered repetitive research. They should encourage researchers to incorporate internal replications into their research plans. And, finally, they should be a caution against relying on research that’s already been shown to have issues with replication.

While there’s some progress on the first two purposes, the last aspect is apparently still problematic, according to two researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

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