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When the publishing trend is to put forth a novel discovery, we often forget about its reproducibility. This has become a major concern for the science community. Unless the published research provides insight into how the results were obtained, we cannot rule out the fact that the result may be statistically insignificant or incorrect. Research is reproducible when others or your future self can replicate the process and obtain similar results for the same or different data.
Unlike the traditional publishing route, open access (OA) enables scientists to publish relevant data and research in the preprint format. Traditional publications have page limits that cannot accommodate the addition of relevant information. Study protocols, software, data sets, tools, and methodology used to underpin the results need to be open. Open data archiving will further the research and can also increase the impact of the published article. Registered reports encourage the publishing of null results, given that there are sound principles and research techniques. Besides this, OA also helps the article get increased visibility, thus increasing the chances of it being reproduced.
Benefits of Reproducible Research
When an article proves a hypothesis, the underlying understanding is that the hypothesis stands true for all such samples/data. When it is open, it undergoes the scrutiny of the authors’ peers in the field. Open, reproducible research data will not allow authors to form a hypothesis after arriving at the results, which would be p-hacking. This will stand as testament to the article’s reliability and reproducibility.
Researchers desire significant results to publish in high-profile journals. As a result, almost all published research findings are confirmatory works. We must not forget that null results also have significance even though they do not gain much attention. When research is reliable, it is easier to do further studies and experiments instead of replicating the research until the known result is achieved. It saves time and funds that can then be diverted to other projects.
How to Produce Reproducible Research?
Use open source tools make your work available for those who do not have the privilege to purchase licenses. Organize and name your files and directories correctly so that others can use them with ease. Ensure your data adheres to FAIR principles: findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Keep raw data separate with version control so that original data remains unaffected. Documenting through notes, comments, and audio recordings is greatly appreciated. Finally, publish via OA to make it available to everyone.
It is evident that only with the initiative of funders, journals, and publishers can open reproducible research gain the recognition it deserves. Researchers must consider making their work reproducible as a part of their research and not something they think of later. OA provides a platform that supports reproducible research.
Amnet offers technabled end-to-end publishing services, especially for OA workflows, that help you create and distribute quality content seamlessly. Reach us at https://enableoa.amnet.com/.