Replicability is an important feature of scientific research. Thus, the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology was set up to provide evidence about the replicability of preclinical research in cancer biology by repeating selected experiments from high-impact papers. A total of 50 experiments from 23 papers were repeated, generating data about the replicability of a total of 158 effects.
The authors employed several methods to assess replicability: For positive effects, the median effect size in the replications was 85% smaller than the median effect size in the original experiments, and 92% of replication effect sizes were smaller than the original. Overall, combining positive and null effects, the success rate was 46% (51/112).
However, it is important to remember that a successful replication does not definitively confirm an original finding or its theoretical interpretation. Equally, a failure to replicate does not disconfirm a finding, but it does suggest that additional investigation is needed to establish its reliability.