February 23, 2017

"Concern over the reliability of the results published in scientific literature has been growing for some time."

BBC: According to a survey published in the journal Nature last summer, more than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments. By Tom Feilden

'Marcus Munafo is one of them. Now professor of biological psychology at Bristol University, he almost gave up on a career in science when, as a PhD student, he failed to reproduce a textbook study on anxiety.

'"I had a crisis of confidence. I thought maybe it's me, maybe I didn't run my study well, maybe I'm not cut out to be a scientist."

'The problem, it turned out, was not with Marcus Munafo's science, but with the way the scientific literature had been "tidied up" to present a much clearer, more robust outcome.

'"What we see in the published literature is a highly curated version of what's actually happened," he says. "The trouble is that gives you a rose-tinted view of the evidence because the results that get published tend to be the most interesting, the most exciting, novel, eye-catching, unexpected results. What I think of as high-risk, high-return results."'

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