The German Reproducibility Network - A Strategic Community Effort to Promote Transparent Research Practices in the Scientific System

Rima-Maria Rahal, Christian Fiebach, Susann Fiedler, Felix Schönbrodt, Nikolaus Plesnila, Jutta Graf, Bernadette Fritzsch, Klaus Tochtermann, Ulrich Dirnagl

Publication: Contribution to conferenceConference poster

Abstract

Placing trust in scientific insight is an endeavor more complicated than it seems at the first glance. On the one hand, the scientific community strives for insights and explanations that hold as generalizable laws. On the other hand, science and research must deal with uncertainty, with questioning assumptions and recognizing epistemological issues. But in addition to this immanent complication, science runs the dangers of gambling away some of the trust placed in it when questionable research practices are used. Open Science as a reform movement aims to make science more transparent, increasing the quality of research, achieving reliable and reproducible scientific results, and thereby ultimately increasing trust in science. Currently, the Open Science movement is largely driven by (groups of) individual researchers organized in grassroots initiatives. We discuss some of these grassroots initiatives, as well as the impact they have had on improving research practices and driving methodological rethinking towards more transparent and robust research. We argue that fundamental change in scientific practice follows similar processes as social change. To take hold, such change processes require not only a quantitative increase in the adoption of changed practices, in this case the adoption of Open Science driven by rising numbers of grassroots initiatives. Complex change processes also benefit from action on qualitatively different levels, such as addressing institutional and system-wide changes, as well as a strengthened system of values based on principles of scientific theory. We introduce the German Reproducibility Network (GRN), a strategic community effort as a large-scale network initiative promoting these fundamental changes towards Open Science. The GRN approaches this goal as an interdisciplinary network in Germany: By more systematically establishing and developing collaborations among grassroots initiatives, research institutions, and other stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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