There is important language in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. It builds on the language in the 2010 act but is more explicit about reproducibility and replication. The importance of this move to improving the quality of the body of science is significant and depending on how it is implemented will vary in impact.
SEC. 117. RESEARCH REPRODUCIBILITY AND REPLICATION.
(a) Sense Of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—
- the gold standard of good science is the ability of a researcher or research lab to reproduce a published method and finding;
- there is growing concern that some published research findings cannot be reproduced or replicated, which can negatively affect the public’s trust in science;
- there are a complex set of factors affecting reproducibility and replication; and
- the increasing interdisciplinary nature and complexity of scientific research may be a contributing factor to issues with research reproducibility and replication.