Are there any rules who can replicate what studies?

–2 votes
37 views
asked Aug 7, 2015 in Open Science by kenorb (430 points)

I don't have any specific project in mind, but are there any limits on who can pick a given study in order to replicate it?

Or it is always a good idea that reproducibility should be performed by the person who has been working in the same field of study?

If this can be done by anyone, then how we can know/believe that they did the replication process in the right way, in other words they knew what they were doing, they had necessary/required technical background and they fully understood the problem/project.

Are there any ground rules in open science?



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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Alexander Konovalov (135 points)
This has -2 score so I suggest not to migrate it. However, if you think that this thread should be migrated to Academia or another SE site because the OpenScience beta is closing, please edit the list of questions shortlisted for the migration [here](http://meta.openscience.stackexchange.com/questions/73/).

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1 Answer

+2 votes
answered Aug 11, 2015 by Michael (140 points)
 
Best answer

There are no rules, and even if there were I'm not certain this is something that you can enforce. Basically, everyone can attempt to replicate any study. For that to happen several things have to happen first:

  1. The person should have time. Replicating a study requires time and most people are busy doing their own thing. Why work on something that someone else did if it's possible to work on new things that no one ever did?
  2. The person should have the capability. Some studies are almost impossible to replicate. How do you replicate the detection of the Higgs boson? Simulate the pressure in the Earth's core? Or replicate a Mars lander? That's not easy to achieve.
  3. The person should care. This also answers your question on whether the person replicating is doing a good job. Random people don't go replicating arbitrary studies for fun. If someone is replicating something, this is because they have a good reason to, perhaps because of a problem in the original study. This commonly occurs with scientists in the same field or similar field. That means that the person likely knows what he is doing.


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