Librarians to Partner with Scientists to Fight the Reproducibility Crisis

Eglantine Ronfard
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It’s estimated that only around 20% of published research can be reproduced by other research labs. Does that mean 80% of research is wrong? No, thankfully. What it means is that scientists are spending more of their time and resources trying to replicate research, which translates to as much as $28 billion each year in experimental trial-and-error findings.

Librarians have the skills and are positioned within their institutions to help guide their researchers. A growing number of academic and medical librarians are already stepping forward to provide assistance in reproducibility; here’s the first of five tips to help newcomers interested in taking up the fight.

Tip #2: Understand Your Researchers’ Unique Needs

Talk to your patrons about the specific challenges they’re facing. Create an informal survey to find out exactly the kind of support they’re looking for. Once you have this feedback, you can develop programs to increase research reproducibility that cater specifically to their needs. This will go a long way in creating a partnership with scientists.

Once you have built the relationship, you’ll need to provide them with resources… Some examples: at OHSU, Letisha Wyatt has designed a series of workshops for her early career scientists addressing their main areas of struggle. The Spencer Eccles Health Science Library at the University of Utah put together research grounds, conferences and workshop to ensure the dissemination of information to their community.

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