Irreproducible biomedical research is particularly concerning because flawed findings have the potential to make their way to clinical studies involving human participants. Many factors have been suggested as contributors to irreproducibility, including poor study design, analytic instability of measurement methods, sloppy data handling, inappropriate and misleading statistical analysis methods, improper reporting or interpretation of results, and on rare occasions, outright scientific misconduct. It has been suggested that greater involvement of statisticians and requirements to make data and computer code publicly available are important first steps toward addressing problems of irreproducibility. Through a series of case studies I explore the many dimensions of reproducible research, discuss how various proposed remedies for irreproducibility may or may not be effective, and identify the many parties that have a responsibility to promote and support a culture of reproducible research.
For more information on Dr. McShane, please visit her website at: http://linus.nci.nih.gov/~brb/lmcshane.htm