What is it about?

Replication is an important but misunderstood activity in science. Replicable findings are an important part of developing predictions and theories about how the world works. Replication is a way to confront our current ideas about how the world works with new evidence.

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Why is it important?

The misunderstanding of replication as a boring, rote activity of science has led to it being devalued by researchers. As a consequence, replications are performed and reported infrequently. The absence of replication is costly because there is insufficient attention to verification of new discoveries, potentially leading to false confidence in the existence of findings, exaggeration of their potential influence, and lack of attention to the validity of their explanation.


Science differs than other ways of knowing about the world because it seeks opportunities to confront and challenge existing ideas and beliefs rather than just reinforce what we think we already know. When understood as a way to confront our current understanding, replication becomes one of the more exciting and generative activities of science.

Brian Nosek
Center for Open Science

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This page is a summary of: What is replication?, PLoS Biology, March 2020, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000691.
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