A change in culture is needed to combat the reproducibility crisis in science, argues Indiana University School of Medicine's Aaron Carroll at the New York Times. Only between 11 percent and 25 percent of results can be reproduced, according to some studies Carroll cites.
He traces the root of the reproducibility issue to pressure that's placed on researchers to report positive results. Such results are looked favorably upon by tenure committees, funding sources, and journal and news media editors, he says. "They are driven to conduct experiments in such a way as to make it more likely to achieve positive results," Carroll argues. "They sometimes measure many outcomes and report only the ones that showed bigger results."
However, Carroll adds that there efforts underway that aim to increase reproducibility in science. For instance, the US National Institutes of Health has been funding educational modules for scientists about reproducibility — including YouTube videos Carroll developed on experimental design and other topics — and the Center for Open Science and others have been encouraging the pre-registration of studies to make research more transparent.
"But true success will require a change in the culture of science," he adds.