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Big news in peer review?: Reproducibility project!

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In “Is Psychology About to Come Undone?” (Chronicle of Higher Education blog, April 17, 2012), Tom Bartlett explains,

If you’re a psychologist, the news has to make you a little nervous—particularly if you’re a psychologist who published an article in 2008 in any of these three journals: Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, or the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Because, if you did, someone is going to check your work. A group of researchers have already begun what they’ve dubbed the Reproducibility Project, which aims to replicate every study from those three journals for that one year. The project is part of Open Science Framework, a group interested in scientific values, and its stated mission is to “estimate the reproducibility of a sample of studies from the scientific literature.” This is a more polite way of saying “We want to see how much of what gets published turns out to be bunk.”

Is Darwinism threatened? Not most of it. Most of it is undemonstrable speculation about unreproducible events. On the other hand, anything that depends on claims made about present day changes in life forms over time could potentially be restudied. Like the Galapagos finch speciation that turned out not to be.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allan at Brains on Purpose

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