Reproducibility at Nature

In an editorial in tomorrow’s issue, Nature announces an initiative to increase reproducibility of research results. They state that “From next month, Nature and the Nature research journals will introduce editorial measures to address the problem by improving the consistency and quality of reporting in life-sciences articles”. The announced measures include

To ease the interpretation and improve the reliability of published results we will more systematically ensure that key methodological details are reported, and we will give more space to methods sections. We will examine statistics more closely and encourage authors to be transparent, for example by including their raw data.

[…]

To further increase transparency, we will encourage authors to provide tables of the data behind graphs and figures. This builds on our established data-deposition policy for specific experiments and large data sets. The source data will be made available directly from the figure legend, for easy access.

Commenters under the article point out that this doesn’t solve all problems, but to me these definitely sounds like many steps in the right direction. The other side of the coin, of course, is to provide the incentives to actually reproduce published studies. High-profile journals could probably also contribute here by providing appropriate space, an aspect that I missed in the announcement.

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