“Beware: results may vary” - openness as a means of enhancing research quality

Posted by g.law on 9 December 2019 - 10:29am

ukrn logoBy Andrew Stewart, Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 

The question of whether research findings are reproducible (or not) arguably forms one of the core narratives that currently cuts across the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. Researchers and funders alike are becoming increasingly aware of how sub-optimal research practices can result in research findings that fail to be reproducible or replicable.

The UK Reproducibility Network was launched to address these issues and has led to the establishment of Open Science/Research Working Groups across Universities in the UK. In the North West, we have a hub of such groups and on the afternoon of 26 February 2020, the Software Sustainability Institute and the UK Reproducibility Network will co-host an event entitled “Beware: Results May Vary” at the University of Manchester to bring these groups together and focus on openness as a means of enhancing research quality. 

The event will consist of a series of talks by researchers (including SSI Fellows Rachael Ainsworth, Rob Haines, and Caroline Jay - as well as Carole Goble) from a variety of backgrounds and at different career stages exploring how we can improve the quality of the research we carry out through the adoption of open and reproducible research practices.

We’ll hear talks about the Software Sustainability Institute and the UK Reproducibility Network, as well as on how one early career researcher’s unpublished work ended up on national television, how to empower early career researchers via ReproducibiliTea journal clubs, whether the academic system effectively rewards scientific fraudsters, the role of Research Software Engineers in research, experiences with wrangling (inter)national open science policy, and a keynote talk by Professor Dorothy Bishop FRS from the University of Oxford on “Four cognitive biases that make it hard to do science well - and how to overcome them”. In case you haven’t come across it already, you may be interested in reading Dorothy’s recent piece in Nature on (ir)reproducibility in research.

After the last talk there’ll be a reception to give people the chance to meet and chat with the speakers and other attendees. The event is open to everyone, with early career researchers being particularly welcome! Places are limited so please do register via the link in the official advert.

The even will be held in the Dalton Room, University of Manchester Core Technology Facility, M13 9WU on 26 February from 2pm to 5.30pm. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: Andrew.Stewart@manchester.ac.uk

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