We are pleased to announce a one-day symposium on Improving Reproducible Research Practices in Schools of Public Health. This symposium will be held at the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut on April 16th, 2018, and is organized by the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health and the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).
Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing concern in the scientific community about the reliability and reproducibility of research. Numerous reports suggest that many experimental findings across various biomedical fields lack reproducibility. Questionable research practices, failure to adhere to rigorous scientific methods, and the pressure of academics to publish or perish are all likely to contribute to the growing reproducibility crisis. Although many scientific investigators are able to self-regulate and self-monitor their research, the responsibility for research findings ultimately rests with both the investigator and their host institution.
As the movement to facilitate and demand reproducibility in the scientific community continues to expand, it is important to start a discussion about the role that schools of public health and medicine can play when it comes to supporting, teaching, and promoting open science and reproducible research practices. In particular, there are numerous important questions that should be discussed. These include:
- What policies can institutions adopt that promote the dissemination of statistical plans (protocols) and raw data?
- Are there certain performance metrics that can be used to evaluate students and faculty, that recognizes and rewards reproducible research practices?
- How can institutions ensure a high level of statistical literacy and numeracy for all investigators and teams performing biomedical research?
- Are there uniform policies regarding the expectation for research quality that research laboratories across all institutions can adopt?
- How should graduate students learn about transparency and reproducibility?
This one day symposium will bring together key stakeholders in science, including experts from schools of public health and medicine, and will be an ideal platform for discussing ways to promote reproducibility and transparency. The ultimate goal is to develop action steps that can be taken to train the next generation of public health and biomedical graduate students.