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The cancer test

Feature: Cancer reproducibility effort faces backlash

In the fall of 2013, emails arrived in the inboxes of dozens of scientists informing that their work had been chosen for scrutiny by a project aiming to replicate 50 high-impact cancer biology papers. The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, an ambitious, open-science effort to test whether key findings in top journals can be reproduced by independent labs, has stirred concerns in the community. Almost every scientist targeted by the project who spoke with Science agrees that studies in cancer biology, as in many other fields, too often turn out to be irreproducible. But few feel comfortable with this particular effort, which plans to announce its findings in coming months. Leaders of the project say it will ultimately benefit the field by gauging the extent of the reproducibility problem in cancer biology.

To read the full story, see the 26 June issue of Science.