NATA


There are ongoing discussions regarding the lack of reproducibility of research. This concern, expressed globally, has been fuelled by stakeholders’ failed attempts to reproduce key research outcomes and the retraction of research papers, and is reflected in articles published in journals such as Nature, the British Medical Journal, Science and Lancet.

Whilst there are many reasons why research cannot be reproduced, the impacts of this should not be underestimated, especially in the context of the effects on the health and wellbeing of communities, and the monetary and fiscal cost.
 
Some years ago in response to stakeholder demand, NATA developed a program for the accreditation of research that is based on international (ISO) standards. Facilities accredited in the Research and Development (R&D) Program value this process as a means for:

  • Maximising the reliability and reproducibility of data;
  • Optimising the pace and efficiency of knowledge accumulation;
  • Enhancing the usability of research - evaluating what was done, enabling reuse of the methodology to assess reproducibility and incorporating the evidence into systematic reviews and analyses;
  • Enabling collaborations and team science;
  • De-risking research and innovation without curtailing creativity and the exploration of serendipitous findings; and
  • Boosting capacity to translate research into tangible outcomes.

Today’s academic environment is more competitive than ever, yet despite these recognised benefits many research organisations and groups cite the cost of setting up a ‘quality management system’ and its ongoing management as a “barrier too high” and more often than not, add the costs of best practice to the same bucket.
 
Taking a collegiate approach to presenting R&D accreditation and - more importantly - quality management systems, as a valuable and beneficial tool for maximising the robustness and efficiency of research and accelerating discovery, we sought input and advice from stakeholders, regulatory bodies, supporters of research including the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation, and facilities accredited in the R&D Program.
 
The outcome is the development of a two-day training course - Maximising robustness and reproducibility in research, which explores the practicalities of implementing a quality management system in research and the benefits of doing so.

Along the way we also hope to influence the notion of ‘good science’ to one that includes representation of the actual state of knowledge and enhancement of the ability of science to self-correct and incentivise rigorous, transparent and reproducible research practices that produce credible results.

Further details on this new course including dates and registration details, are available on our website.  Any enquiries can be directed to Jenny Pyke, NATA’s R&D Program Advisor and Accreditation Manager by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (03) 9274 8200 

 

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