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Check Your Work

Recent studies that have tried to replicate previously published work — studies that have not always been successful— underscore the need to more widely share scientific data, the Wall Street Journal says.

The journal Science recently published an effort by psychologists to replicate the findings of a hundred classic psychology studies, though they were only about to reproduce the findings of about 40 percent of the studies. Additionally, a re-analysis of a 2001 study of antidepressants in children published last month in BMJ found the original analysis to be flawed.

Brian Nosek, a co-author on the Science paper and the executive director of the Center for Open Science, tells WSJ that with a peer-reviewed publication, "I'm making the presumption that it's an accurate report of what actually occurs in the world."

But openly shared data would allow others in the field to more easily check the work, the Journal notes. 

Bangor University's David Healy, one of the authors on the BMJ re-analysis, adds that "[y]ou shouldn't be in the position where you need to trust me."