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New Center for Open Science designed to increase research transparency
Date:3/4/2013

Scientific research aims to create knowledge about how the world works. Knowledge accumulates when scientists conduct studies and share their findings with others. Sharing allows other scientists to identify flaws or to extend the findings to get more knowledge.

However, a large portion of scientific research is never shared at all, said Brian Nosek, an associate professor of psychology in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, who is co-founder of the new Center for Open Science, which opens today in Charlottesville.

Funded by a $5.25 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the aim of the center is to improve how science in all fields is conducted and communicated, and is the first of its kind.

Center members will build tools to improve the scientific process and promote accurate, transparent findings in scientific research. It also will provide scientists with incentives to conduct original research and to replicate previous studies to verify their accuracy.

"Learning new things is hard, and a single study is not enough to establish new knowledge," Nosek said. "Important new findings are challenged, replicated and reinterpreted by many independent scientists to confirm their validity. Without openness, science simply cannot operate."

Nosek founded the center with Jeffrey Spies, a U.Va. graduate student, who said, "The Center for Open Science will encourage openness, accessibility and reproducibility across all phases of the research work flow."

Leading researchers who study scientific practices are recognizing the center's importance. John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine, said, "Improving scientific openness and reproducibility is one of the most pressing issues of this generation of science. I applaud this new initiative and hope that all my colleagues will do their part to make science more accurate and transparent."

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Contact: Fariss Samarrai
fls4f@virginia.edu
434-924-3778
University of Virginia
Source:Eurekalert

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