Workshop on the Replication Crisis in Biomedicine

14 June 2018 - 13:30-18:00

Verena Heise (Oxford)

Robust Research – Progress, pitfalls and promise

How do we respond to the reproducibility crisis in academia? How do we respond to the people who have had enough of experts? And what does this have to do with the Cambridge Analytica scandal? In this talk I will focus on some practical solutions such as open science and good research practices that can help make our research findings more robust. While there are a number of solutions that can be implemented by individual researchers, there are wider issues, for example around incentives and skills training, that require cultural change. To this end we have started the Robust Research Initiative at the University of Oxford, which is mostly driven by early career researchers. I will give an overview of our current activities and the pitfalls and promise associated with developing robust research strategies.


Chris Chambers (Cardiff)

Registered Reports, five years on: A vaccine against bias in research and publishing

In 2013, Cortex became the first journal to offer Registered Reports, a format of preregistered empirical publication in which peer review happens prior to data collection and analysis (see The aim of Registered Reports is to overcome publication bias and various forms of researcher bias (e.g. selective reporting of statistically significant results and hindsight bias), by performing peer review in part before studies commence. Publishability is then decided by the importance of the research question and quality of the methodology, and never based on the results of hypothesis testing. In this talk I will introduce the concept of Registered Reports and provide an update on its progress at at Cortex and beyond, including its uptake by prominent journals such as Nature Human Behaviour, generalist journals including Royal Society Open Science, and emerging clinical trial formats. I will also discuss preliminary evidence of impacts on the field and emerging Registered Report funding models in which journals and funders simultaneously assess proposed protocols. Together with allied initiatives, Registered Reports are helping to reshape the incentive structure of the life and social sciences to place theory, transparency and reproducibility at the fore.

Marcus Munafò (Bristol)

Scientific Ecosystems and Research Reproducibility

There have been a number of high profile cases of academic fraud, but a more insidious threat to the integrity of science is the extent to which distortions of scientific best practice increases the likelihood that published research findings are in fact false. There is growing evidence for a range of systemic problems within science, such as flexibility in the analysis of data, selective reporting of study results, publication bias against null results, influence of vested (e.g., financial) interests, and distorted incentive structures. A number of strategies for improving the situation will be discussed.



All are welcome! If you would like to come but do not have a King’s/GKT identity card, please let me know so that I can inform security at New Hunt’s House. Email:

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