. 2022 Aug 3;9(4):ENEURO.0017-22.2022.

doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0017-22.2022.

Print 2022 Jul-Aug.


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Randall J Ellis.




Replicability, the degree to which a previous scientific finding can be repeated in a distinct set of data, has been considered an integral component of institutionalized scientific practice since its inception several hundred years ago. In the past decade, large-scale replication studies have demonstrated that replicability is far from favorable, across multiple scientific fields. Here, I evaluate this literature and describe contributing factors including the prevalence of questionable research practices (QRPs), misunderstanding of p-values, and low statistical power. I subsequently discuss how these issues manifest specifically in preclinical neuroscience research. I conclude that these problems are multifaceted and difficult to solve, relying on the actions of early and late career researchers, funding sources, Academic publishers, and others. I assert that any viable solution to the problem of substandard replicability must include changing Academic incentives, with adoption of registered reports being the most immediately impactful and pragmatic strategy. For animal research in particular, comprehensive reporting guidelines that document potential sources of sensitivity for experimental outcomes is an essential addition.


metascience; questionable research practices; registered reports; replicability; reproducibility; statistical power.

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Questionable Research Practices, Low Statistical Power, and Other Obstacles to Replicability: Why Preclinical Neuroscience Research Would Benefit from Registered Reports