Launch of German Reproducibility Network: Foster trustworthiness and transparency in scientific research
Eight key Open Science actors in Germany founded the German Reproducibility Network. This cross-disciplinary consortium is dedicated to promote reproducible and robust research on a national level. The BIH QUEST Center of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is one of the founding members. The network is open for further members and offers various ways to participate.
Research results have to be trustworthy and based on robust research. This includes transparency and openness to enable the reproducibility of research results as a key quality indicator in research, which is also in line with established principles of good scientific practice. With this background, the German Reproducibility Network (GRN) was founded in January 2021. This peer-led cross-disciplinary consortium in Germany aims to increase trustworthiness and transparency of scientific research. Therefore, the network focuses on the following activities:
● Support of researchers in educating themselves about open science practices, and founding local open science communities.
● Connecting local or topic-centered Reproducibility Initiatives to a national network, and foster connections between them.
● Advise institutions on how to embed open science practices in their work.
● Represent the open science community toward other stakeholders in the wider scientific landscape.
The German Reproducibility Network is embedded in a growing network of similar initiatives in the UK, Switzerland, Australia and Slovakia. It is open for further members and offers various ways to participate.
The founding members are the following eight Open Science actors in Germany:
● Berlin University Alliance
● BIH QUEST Center of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
● German Psychological Society
● Helmholtz AI
● Helmholtz Open Science
● LMU Open Science Center
● NOSI (Network of Open Science Initiatives)
● ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, founder of the BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), emphasizes: “A responsible, robust research environment needs an appropriate academic ecosystem which, above all, functions transparently and openly. The GRN engages in this very complex system in order to foster valuable and sustainable research across disciplines.”
About the BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research
The BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research of the Berlin Institute of Health was founded in 2017. The acronym QUEST represents its main themes Quality, Ethics, Open Science and Translation.
The QUEST Center strives to maximize the quality, reproducibility, generalizability, and validity of BIH research. Ultimately, QUEST aims to foster a change in the culture of academic biomedicine even beyond the BIH, towards greater scientific rigour, transparency, as well as academic rewards and incentives conducive to sound science. By conducting meta-research and providing education, tools and services, the QUEST Center addresses topics such as quality assurance in research, bioethics of translation, open science, rewards & incentives, as well as citizen science. The QUEST Center is directed by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, who also heads the Department of Experimental Neurology at the Charité.
About the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
The mission of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is medical translation: transferring biomedical research findings into novel approaches to personalized prediction, prevention, diagnostics and therapies and, conversely, using clinical observations to develop new research ideas. The aim is to deliver relevant medical benefits to patients and the population at large. As the translational research unit within Charité, the BIH is also committed to establishing a comprehensive translational ecosystem – one that places emphasis on a system-wide understanding of health and disease and that promotes change in the biomedical translational research culture. The BIH was founded in 2013 and is funded 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and 10 percent by the State of Berlin. The founding institutions, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), were independent, member entities within the BIH until 2020. Since 2021 the BIH has been integrated into Charité as the so-called third pillar. The MDC is now the Privileged Partner of the BIH.