The Replication Crisis in Epidemiology: Snowball, Snow Job, or Winter Solstice?

The Replication Crisis in Epidemiology: Snowball, Snow Job, or Winter Solstice? Purpose of Review Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the most recent crisis over the perceived lack of reproducibility of scientific results has outpaced the evidence of crisis. It has led to new actions and new guidelines that have been rushed to market without plans for evaluation, metrics for success, or due consideration of the potential for unintended consequences. Recent Findings The perception of the crisis is at least partly a snow job, heavily influenced by a small number of centers lavishly funded by a single foundation, with undue and unsupported attention to preregistration as a solution to the perceived crisis. At the same time, the perception of crisis provides an opportunity for introspection. Two studies’ estimates of association may differ because of undue attention on null hypothesis statistical testing, because of differences in the distribution of effect modifiers, because of differential susceptibility to threats to validity, or for other reasons. Perhaps the expectation of what reproducible epidemiology ought to look like is more misguided than the practice of epidemiology. We advocate for the idea of “replication and advancement.” Studies should not only replicate earlier work, but also improve on it in by enhancing the design or http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Epidemiology Reports Springer Journals

The Replication Crisis in Epidemiology: Snowball, Snow Job, or Winter Solstice?

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Epidemiology
eISSN
2196-2995
D.O.I.
10.1007/s40471-018-0148-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose of Review Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the most recent crisis over the perceived lack of reproducibility of scientific results has outpaced the evidence of crisis. It has led to new actions and new guidelines that have been rushed to market without plans for evaluation, metrics for success, or due consideration of the potential for unintended consequences. Recent Findings The perception of the crisis is at least partly a snow job, heavily influenced by a small number of centers lavishly funded by a single foundation, with undue and unsupported attention to preregistration as a solution to the perceived crisis. At the same time, the perception of crisis provides an opportunity for introspection. Two studies’ estimates of association may differ because of undue attention on null hypothesis statistical testing, because of differences in the distribution of effect modifiers, because of differential susceptibility to threats to validity, or for other reasons. Perhaps the expectation of what reproducible epidemiology ought to look like is more misguided than the practice of epidemiology. We advocate for the idea of “replication and advancement.” Studies should not only replicate earlier work, but also improve on it in by enhancing the design or

Journal

Current Epidemiology ReportsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 12, 2018

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