Over the past decade, evidence from disciplines ranging from biology to economics has suggested that many scientific studies may not be reproducible. This has led to declarations in both the scientific and lay press that science is experiencing a “reproducibility crisis” and that this crisis has consequences for the extent to which students, faculty, and the public at large can trust research. Faculty build on these results with their own research, and students and the public use these results for everything from patient care to public policy. To build a model for how academic libraries can support reproducible research, the authors conducted a review of major guidelines from funders, publishers, and professional societies. Specific recommendations were extracted from guidelines and compared with existing academic library services and librarian expertise. The authors believe this review shows that many of the recommendations for improving reproducibility are core areas of academic librarianship, including data management, scholarly communication, and methodological support for systematic reviews and data-intensive research. By increasing our knowledge of disciplinary, journal, funder, and society perspectives on reproducibility, and reframing existing librarian expertise and services, academic librarians will be well positioned to be leaders in supporting reproducible research.
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societies, institutions, and individual researchers, have developed reproducibility guidelines and recommendations. Many of these guidelines outline measures that academic librarians are well positioned to support. This study examines a cross-section of these guidelines, specifically, the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, the American Statistical Association (ASA) guidelines, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) guidelines, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines. These guidelines were selected because of their applicability to many researchers, their broad applicability across disciplines, and the representative nature of the recommendations they contain. The measures in these guidelines will guide the discussion in the next section on how library services can support reproducible research.
In 2014, the Office for the Management and Budget (OMB) of the NSF released “A Frame-work for Ongoing and Future National Science Foundation Activities to Improve Reproducibility, Replicability, and Robustness in Funded Research.”28 While not an official set of guidelines, this framework document reviewed “the substantial amount of activity underway and anticipated at the NSF in key areas related to ensuring reproducibility, replicability, and robustness in funded research.”29 The authors of the guidelines specifically note the importance of data sharing and curation, including “methods, protocols, original data, data reductions, and analysis protocols as appropriate.”30 They also call for increased transparency; ensuring the use of robust models, instrumentation, and interpretations; and increased publication of negative findings.
American Statistical National Science National Association (ASA) Foundation Institute of (NSF) Health (NIH)
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- reproducible research
- open access
- research rigor
- reporting guidelines