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Position Statement: Reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research

The scientific community is working to ensure that research is carried out as efficiently and productively as possible, in part by looking at ways to improve the reproducibility of scientific findings. Results are regarded as reproducible when an independent researcher conducts an experiment under similar conditions to a previous study, and achieves commensurate results. Recent discussion of this issue both in the scientific community and in the media provides an opportunity for all those involved, including funders, researchers, publishers and research institutions, to reflect on the way we work and consider what we can do, individually and collectively, to improve the situation.  

The MRC, along with the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, held a symposium in April 2015 to explore how to improve the reproducibility and reliability of pre-clinical biomedical research in the UK. A report produced from this symposium was published in October 2015, summarising potential causes of irreproducibility and strategies for countering poor practice.

Further information

Report: Reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research: improving research practice
Joint statement: Responding to concerns about research reproducibility
MRC blog post: Reproducibility in science — where the MRC comes in
Symposium: background information