Media coverage: First results of cancer reproducibility project released

The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology aims to assess reproducibility in cancer biology and identify what influences its success or failure in science more generally.
Inside eLife

In light of yesterday's media coverage on the first results of the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, we released early copies of the full studies, along with an Editorial and other accompanying articles. These materials have today been published in eLife and are now available to read here.

The aim of the project, which is a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange, is to assess reproducibility in cancer biology, and to identify what influences its success or failure in science more generally.

“The first five papers are part of a substantial effort to study reproducibility in cancer biology in a transparent way,” says eLife Editor-in-Chief Randy Schekman. “We aim to bolster this effort by applying eLife’s rigorous and consultative editorial process to the evaluation and peer review of the resulting papers.”

“This is an experiment. Every approach to assessing reproducibility has strengths and weaknesses. With over 20 further papers to publish, we do not yet know whether the approach taken in this project is the most effective. However, these initial papers will encourage discussion of these issues and the final analyses will highlight factors that influence reproducibility and the best ways to evaluate it,” he says.

Tim Errington from the Center for Open Science says: “These first five papers show that achieving reproducibility is hard and there is room for improvement. We can already see how variations in the availability of critical information and processes can impact how challenging it is to replicate projects and results.”

The assessment of eLife editors is that of the first five Replication Studies, two broadly supported key conclusions from the original studies, two were inconclusive due to technical problems with certain key experiments, and one failed to reproduce the findings of the original study.

Examples of media coverage featuring the first studies can be found below:​