• Reforms to improve reproducibility and quality must be coordinated across the research ecosystem: The view from the UKRN Local Network Leads

      Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Pennington, Charlotte R.; da Silva, Goncalo R.; Ballou, Nick; Butler, Jessica; Dienes, Zoltan; Jay, Caroline; Rossit, Stephanie; Samara, Anna; University of Chester; Aston University; Queen’s University Belfast; Queen Mary University of London; University of Aberdeen; University of Sussex; University of Manchester; University of East Anglia; University of Greenwich (BMC, 2022-02-15)
      Many disciplines are facing a “reproducibility crisis”, which has precipitated much discussion about how to improve research integrity, reproducibility, and transparency. A unified effort across all sectors, levels, and stages of the research ecosystem is needed to coordinate goals and reforms that focus on open and transparent research practices. Promoting a more positive incentive culture for all ecosystem members is also paramount. In this commentary, we - the Local Network Leads of the UK Reproducibility Network - outline our response to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry on research integrity and reproducibility. We argue that coordinated change is needed to create (1) a positive research culture, (2) a unified stance on improving research quality, (3) common foundations for open and transparent research practice, and (4) the routinisation of this practice. For each of these areas, we outline the roles that individuals, institutions, funders, publishers, and Government can play in shaping the research ecosystem. Working together, these constituent members must also partner with sectoral and coordinating organisations to produce effective and long-lasting reforms that are fit-for-purpose and future-proof. These efforts will strengthen research quality and create research capable of generating far-reaching applications with a sustained impact on society.