Policy ForumRESEARCH INTEGRITY

Fostering reproducibility in industry-academia research

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Science  25 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6353, pp. 759-761
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4906

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Summary

Many companies have proprietary resources and/or data that are indispensable for research, and academics provide the creative fuel for much early-stage research that leads to industrial innovation. It is essential to the health of the research enterprise that collaborations between industrial and university researchers flourish. This system of collaboration is under strain. Financial motivations driving product development have led to concerns that industry-sponsored research comes at the expense of transparency (1). Yet many industry researchers distrust quality control in academia (2) and question whether academics value reproducibility as much as rapid publication. Cultural differences between industry and academia can create or increase difficulties in reproducing research findings. We discuss key aspects of this problem that industry-academia collaborations must address and for which other stakeholders, from funding agencies to journals, can provide leadership and support.