Many studies claim a significant result, but the findings cannot be reproduced. This problem has garnered increased attention in recent years, with several studies providing evidence that research is often not reproducible. A 2016 Nature survey, for example, revealed that in the field of biology alone, over 70% of researchers were unable to reproduce the findings of other scientists and approximately 60% of researchers could not reproduce their own findings.3
The lack of reproducibility in scientific research creates a number of problems, including negative impacts on patient health, lower scientific output efficiency, slower scientific progress, wasted time and money, and an erosion of the public’s trust in scientific research. Though many of these problems are difficult to quantify, there have been some attempts to calculate financial losses. A 2015 meta-analysis5 of past studies regarding the cost of non-reproducible research estimated that $28 billion per year is spent on preclinical research that is not reproducible. Looking at avoidable waste in biomedical research on the whole,6,7 it is estimated that as much as 85% of expenditure may be wasted due to factors that similarly contribute to non-reproducible research such as inappropriate study design, failure to address biases adequately, non-publication of studies with disappointing results, and insufficient descriptions of interventions and methods.