No uncooked knowledge, no science: one other potential supply of the reproducibility disaster

From Molecular Mind, Biomedical Central

Molecular Mind quantity 13, Article quantity: 24 (2020) Cite this text


A reproducibility disaster is a state of affairs the place many scientific research can’t be reproduced. Inappropriate practices of science, corresponding to HARKing, p-hacking, and selective reporting of constructive outcomes, have been instructed as causes of irreproducibility. On this editorial, I suggest lack of uncooked knowledge or knowledge fabrication is one other potential explanation for irreproducibility.

As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Mind, I’ve dealt with 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial choices categorized as “Revise earlier than evaluate,” requesting that the authors present uncooked knowledge. Surprisingly, amongst these 41 manuscripts, 21 have been withdrawn with out offering uncooked knowledge, indicating that requiring uncooked knowledge drove away greater than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts due to inadequate uncooked knowledge. Thus, greater than 97% of the 41 manuscripts didn’t current the uncooked knowledge supporting their outcomes when requested by an editor, suggesting a chance that the uncooked knowledge didn’t exist from the start, not less than in some parts of those instances.

Contemplating that any scientific examine must be based mostly on uncooked knowledge, and that knowledge space for storing ought to now not be a problem, journals, in precept, ought to attempt to have their authors publicize uncooked knowledge in a public database or journal website upon the publication of the paper to extend reproducibility of the printed outcomes and to extend public belief in science.


The reproducibility or replicability disaster is a severe subject during which many scientific research are tough to breed or replicate. It’s reported that, within the subject of most cancers analysis, solely about 20–25% [1] or 11% [2] of printed research may very well be validated or reproduced, and that solely about 36% have been reproduced within the subject of psychology [3]. Inappropriate practices of science, corresponding to HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Outcomes are Identified) [4], p-hacking [5], selective reporting of constructive outcomes and poor analysis design [6,7,8], have been proposed to be a explanation for such irreproducibility. Right here, I argue lack of uncooked knowledge is one other severe potential explanation for irreproducibility, by exhibiting the outcomes of analyses on the manuscripts that I’ve dealt with over the past 2 years for Molecular Mind. The evaluation reveals that many researchers didn’t present the uncooked knowledge, suggesting that uncooked knowledge might not exist in some instances and that the shortage of information might represent a non-negligible a part of the causes of the reproducibility disaster [9]. On this editorial, I argue that making uncooked knowledge overtly obtainable isn’t solely necessary for reuse and knowledge mining but in addition for merely confirming that the outcomes introduced within the paper are really based mostly on precise knowledge. With such idea, the info sharing coverage of Molecular Mind has been modified and I introduce this replace.

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Uncooked knowledge not often comes out

As Editor-in-Chief of the journal, I’ve dealt with 180 manuscripts since early 2017 to September 2019 and have made 41 editorial choices categorized as ‘Revise earlier than evaluate’, with feedback asking the authors to offer uncooked knowledge (Fig. 1; See Further file 2: Desk S1 for particulars).

Fig. 1


Flowchart of the manuscripts dealt with by Tsuyoshi Miyakawa in Molecular Mind from December 2017 to September 2019

Full paper/article right here.

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