An Evaluation of Nephrology Literature for Transparency and Reproducibility Indicators: Cross-Sectional Review

Ian A. Fladie, Tomi M. Adewumi, Nam H. Vo, Daniel J. Tritz, Matt B. Vassar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Reproducibility is critical to diagnostic accuracy and treatment implementation. Concurrent with clinical reproducibility, research reproducibility establishes whether the use of identical study materials and methodologies in replication efforts permits researchers to arrive at similar results and conclusions. In this study, we address this gap by evaluating nephrology literature for common indicators of transparent and reproducible research. Methods: We searched the National Library of Medicine catalog to identify 36 MEDLINE-indexed, English-language nephrology journals. We randomly sampled 300 publications published between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018. Results: Our search yielded 28,835 publications, of which we randomly sampled 300 publications. Of the 300 publications, 152 (50.7%) were publicly available, whereas 143 (47.7%) were restricted through paywall and 5 (1.7%) were inaccessible. Of the remaining 295 publications, 123 were excluded because they lack empirical data necessary for reproducibility. Of the 172 publications with empirical data, 43 (25%) reported data availability statements and 4 (2.3%) analysis scripts. Of the 71 publications analyzed for preregistration and protocol availability, 0 (0.0%) provided links to a protocol and 8 (11.3%) were preregistered. Conclusion: Our study found that reproducible and transparent research practices are infrequently used by the nephrology research community. Greater efforts should be made by both funders and journals. In doing so, an open science culture may eventually become the norm rather than the exception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International Reports
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • data availability
  • evidence-based science
  • reproducibility
  • transparency

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