Reproducibility2020 is a challenge and action plan for the bio-medical research community to significantly improve the quality of pre-clinical biological research by year 2020.
Reproducibility has emerged as a major concern that contributes to delays and increased costs of discovery and development of treatments and cures. The bio-medical research community has begun to coalesce around practical and actionable solutions. Through Reproducibility2020, GBSI will devote its resources to affect change where its programs can make the greatest difference, work with partners to advance the broader agenda to improve the quality of scientific discovery in pre-clinical biological research settings, and keep stakeholders informed about movement and progress.
The $28 Billion Problem
Irreproducible pre-clinical research is a global, expensive, and increasingly well-recognized problem. Conservatively, 50% of published pre-clinical research is irreproducible, with an estimated annual cost of $28B in the United States alone. Lack of reproducibility typically results from cumulative errors or flaws in one or more of the following areas: reagents and reference materials, study design, laboratory protocols, and data analysis and reporting.
The Reproducibility2020 Challenge
GBSI challenges all bio-medical research community stakeholders to join with us to ensure that solutions are in place to improve reproducibility by the year 2020.
The Action Plan
1) Reagent validation—improved validation and standardization of biological reagents by changing the expectations and practices of researchers, funders, and journals:
Make cell line authentication the norm through increased funder and journal requirements and greater adherence by researchers, particularly in academic institutions.
Establish community-accepted antibody validation standards and an independent proficiency assessment, and promote a user rating service for antibodies.
Establish an open online registry for sharing biospecimen procurement SOPs and links to related published research.
2) Shared Protocols and Data—expanded access to detailed protocols and data to advance best practices among researchers:
Promote innovative tools, systems, and dashboards to increase access to shared high quality data and protocols.
3) Improved Training—increased skills and proficiencies through high quality training:
Develop free, online, interactive trainings that focus on experimental design and reagent validation for PIs, faculty, and other researchers.
Knowing that advances in bio-medical technology will continue to change the research landscape, GBSI will examine other scientific and policy issues contributing to irreproducibility. As other paths and opportunities emerge to improve reproducibility, GBSI will incorporate those steps into the action plan.
GBSI will measure progress through annual surveys and other metrics, and will spotlight change-makers moved to action. GBSI will issue an annual report on the status of the bio-medical community’s progress toward addressing the Reproducibility2020 priorities.