Reproducibility Initiative: Updates, Opt-Ins, and Validations

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In August 2012, we launched the Reproducibility Initiative as a partnership between PLOS, figshare, Mendeley, and Science Exchange- looking to identify and reward high quality reproducible research.

As the quality of research reported in the literature remains under intense scrutiny, with citation rates and independent publications not providing a robust measure for reproducibility, the Reproducibility Initiative has sought to provide a platform to rapidly and cost effectively screen studies, methods and reagents via independent replication of key experimental results.

We’ve spent the first 6 months of the Initiative building partnerships, funding relationships, and promoting awareness for the issue. We are now moving into the second phase of the Reproducibility Initiative, and will be splitting the program into two arms:

Our outreach over the past couple months has indicated that thousands of researchers wished to participate in the Reproducibility Initiative, but did not have the funding to pay for the validations. We have thus created an ‘Opt-In’ arm of the Reproducibility Initiative so that investigators can opt in their study for potential independent validation, should funding become available.

Already, 1,892 researchers have opted in to have their studies reproduced. We believe that opting in itself provides a valuable signal in identifying reproducible findings, and we are now approaching public, charitable, and commercial funding bodies to sponsor the validation of select studies. Any investigator can submit a publication to opt in to the Initiative in the interim, by visiting:

Our outreach also indicated that there are investigators at institutions and biotech companies who have the funding available for validation. To assist them in immediately validating their study, we created a ‘Validation Service’ arm to the Reproducibility Initiative.

The Validation Service will allow studies, protocols or reagents to be submitted for independent validation by expert scientific service providers in the Science Exchange network. Submitted experiments are blindly matched with an appropriate, verified provider who then reproduces the experiments on a fee-for-service basis.

All submissions will be kept confidential, with resultant data and findings kept private. Upon completion, all experimental results will be provided to the submitter who will have the option to publish the replicated results as an independent publication in the PLOS ONE Reproducibility Collection, and can share the data via the figshare Reproducibility Collection repository. The article-level impact metrics of these publications will be tracked via Mendeley’s real-time analytics platform, enabling the identification of the most robust techniques and measuring the impact of trusted reproducible work.

Any investigator can submit their study for immediate validation, by visiting:

We look forward to the months ahead, as the Reproducibility Initiative expands, and the first results of the validation studies start to arrive.


Elizabeth Iorns, PhD

[about_box image=””]Elizabeth Iorns is Co-Founder & CEO of Science Exchange. Elizabeth conceived the idea for Science Exchange while an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami and as CEO she drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth. She is passionate about creating a new way to foster scientific collaboration that will break down existing silos, democratize access to scientific expertise and accelerate the speed of scientific discovery. Elizabeth has a B.S. in Biomedical Science from the University of Auckland, a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and conducted postdoctoral research in Cancer Biology from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine where her research focused on identifying mechanisms of breast cancer development and progression.[/about_box]


Elizabeth Iorns

CEO and Co-Founder

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