Bad papers are still published. But some other things might be getting better.
Much ink has been spilled over the “replication crisis” in the last decade and a half, including here at Vox. Researchers have discovered, over and over, that lots of findings in fields like psychology, sociology, medicine, and economics don’t hold up when other researchers try to replicate them.
The replication crisis is far from being new or startling. We have known for some time that there is a crisis and we have understood the pressures that have driven researchers to cheat and to inflate their theories with fraudulent data. Yet despite this, it feels as though nothing has really been done about this deeply troubling state of affairs. We need to seriously reflect upon the forces that are driving charlatans to cheat and distort science. We have included links to 11 related items.
A recent write-up by Alvaro de Menard, a participant in the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Agency’s (DARPA) replication markets project (more on this below), makes the case for a more depressing view: The processes that lead to unreliable research findings are routine, well understood, predictable, and in principle pretty easy to avoid. And yet, he argues, we’re still not improving the quality and rigor of social science research.