Because of budget concerns, the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology is cutting back on the number of studies it will attempt to reproduce, Nature News reports.
Science Exchange and the Center for Open Science had announced in August 2014 that they would seek to replicate the key findings from 50 high-profile preclinical cancer studies that were published between 2010 and 2012. Now, the partners say they'll try to reproduce 37 such studies.
The effort comes on the heels of growing concerns that many published scientific studies may not be reproducible. Psychology researchers, for instance, recently reported that they were able to reproduce the findings of less than half of the 100 papers they repeated. And this comes at a cost: a PLOS Biology paper has estimated that about $28 billion a year is spent on preclinical research that isn't reproducible.
The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology has a budget of $1.6 million, and had allocated between $25,000 and $35,000, on average, to reproduce each study, Nature News adds. Tim Errington, project manager at COS, says that turned out to be too low and that it'll instead take closer to $40,000 to reproduce each experiment.
Errington says the project examined the efforts that had made the least amount of progress, had the least amount of contact with the original authors, and that would require animal model studies. From this, it identified 13 replication studies to put on hold.