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What is the Initiative?
The Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative is a multicentric initiative to estimate the reproducibility of Brazilian biomedical science. Funded by Instituto Serrapilheira, our goal is to reproduce a sample of 60 experiments of Brazilian articles, using 3 different techniques: cell viability assay by MTT, quantitative PCR - RT-PCR and elevated plus-maze.
Why the focus on Brazilian articles?
Because knowing how reproducible the research that the country has produced is fundamental for the improvement of our science. As this type of survey is not usually carried out by funding agencies, we believe that the scientific community itself must face this task as a collective challenge.
What types of experiments were evaluated?
The selected experiments use specific models and methods that we have identified to be replicable in several laboratories across the country. These methods were selected from a broad survey of the techniques most commonly used in publications by Brazilian authors (see details of the survey in this article ).
How were experiments for replication selected?
We started from a random sample of articles using the techniques to be studied, selecting individual experiments from 60 articles. To reduce possible biases, the original articles of the experiments will only be revealed at the end of the studies.
How will replications be carried out?
Each experiment will be reproduced in 3 different laboratories, with a pre-registered protocol and as close as possible to the original study. Bias control measures such as randomization of samples, blinding of experimenters and statistical power calculations will be used to ensure the accuracy of replications.
How will it be defined whether an experiment has been successfully replicated?
As with other initiatives of this type, we will use several different measures. One is to consider an experiment successfully replicated when its effect size is within the 95% prediction range defined by the effect sizes obtained in the three replicates performed. Our review plan can be found here .
If an experiment is not replicated, does that mean the original result was wrong?
No. A number of factors can lead to non-replication of results, including uncontrollable factors related to the conditions in each laboratory. That said, using replications at multiple centers will allow us to estimate the variation between laboratories for each technique, and assess whether the original effect appears to be within the expected range.
What will be done with the data?
In addition to estimating the reproducibility of experiments in specific areas of Brazilian science, we will use the generated database to see if there are variables in the original studies that can predict the successful replication of the experiments, in order to assess what kind of factors can increase reproducibility of a find.
Is the goal of the study to evaluate individual articles or researchers?
No. On the contrary, we do not include more than one experiment per article and/or researcher, which is insufficient to judge individual merits. Our goal is to estimate the reproducibility of Brazilian science more broadly and propose solutions to improve it.
How can I participate?
The teams for the initial experiments have already been defined. Keep an eye out here on the website and on our social networks to find out about new opportunities to participate in the effort to replicate the experiments.
What do replicator labs gain from this?
All participating laboratories will be included as participants (ie co-authors) in the Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative, which will sign the intellectual production derived from the project in a consortium format. In addition, the costs of the replication experiments are financed by a grant that the Initiative received from the Serrapilheira Institute.
What does Brazilian science gain from this?
At the end of the study, we will have carried out the first systematic study of scientific reproducibility at a national level that we know of. Regardless of the results, the generation of these data will allow us to reflect on our individual and collective practices, helping to place Brazil at the forefront of the development of a more reliable science worldwide.
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