REPLICATION—the confirmation of results and conclusions from one study obtained independently in another—is considered the scientific gold standard. New tools and technologies, massive amounts of data, long-term studies, interdisciplinary approaches, and the complexity of the questions being asked are complicating replication efforts, as are increased pressures on scientists to advance their research. This special section, from the 2 December 2011 issue of Science, explores some of these challenges. Read the full introduction...

From Science


Reproducible Research in Computational Science

Although less than full replication, reproducibility can help to ensure the soundness and validity of findings in computational sciences.

Methodological Challenges in the Study of Primate Cognition

Probing primate cognitive capacities relies on creating tasks that pose ecologically valid yet novel challenges.

Replication in Field Biology: The Case of the Frog-Eating Bat

Field biology offers unique opportunities for discovery, but this comes with trade-offs in terms of true replication.

Improving Validation Practices in "Omics" Research

Six routine steps can move reliable data to clinical relevance.

The Reproducibility of Observational Estimates of Surface and Atmospheric Temperature Change

Independent verification efforts have led to greater understanding of temperature changes at the Earth's surface and in the troposphere.


Addressing Scientific Fraud

What can be done to protect science and the public from research fraud?

News Focus

Aging Genes: The Sirtuin Story Unravels

Work that pinpointed the control of aging in a handful of genes is being taken apart by some of the scientists who made early discoveries. Efforts to replicate studies are producing conflicting results.

Where Does the Time Go?

One experiment saw neutrinos traveling faster than light. If the result can't be replicated, it may never be explained away.


Science's Jennifer Couzin-Frankel brings us up to speed on the debate surrounding the role of sirtuins in aging. Listen Now (mp3)

From Science Careers

To Replicate or Not To Replicate?

Graduate students need to decide whether to spend time replicating other scientists' data.