How Much Should Scientists Check Other Scientists’ Work?

October 6, 2015

(The Wall Street Journal) – A question is dividing the scientific community: Is there a value to public health in spending time and money to replicate long-completed, peer-reviewed studies? Two recent high-profile papers that scrutinize older research have raised questions about the fundamental reliability of scientific findings. One, a reanalysis of data from a study published in 2001 on antidepressant use in children, describes the original analysis as flawed. The new study, published in the journal BMJ, is prompting some scientists to call for the original study to be retracted.