The future is open – improving the utility of preclinical research
Keynote presentation for Dealing with Data 2018. There is a problem in preclinical research which results in published research not translating into successful clinical trials. The reasons for this may include the "perverse incentives" which researchers face to produce positive results at the expense of possibly more useful neutral or negative ones, and the drive to reduce the number of animals used in research resulting in underpowered studies. Whatever the cause of this translational failure institutions, funders, and researchers at all levels need to take steps to address their biases and improve the validity and usefulness of preclinical research. Adopting the tools of Open Science (open methods, registered reports, and published data), is one way to increase the rigour of research. Being more open to publishing results where the quality of the research is high but the results are neutral or negative is also useful in ensuring that other researchers get the full picture.
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