Part of the excitement of science is when a result becomes reproductible. When the same outcomes are experienced through multiple iterations of the same test, new scientific approaches and conclusions are generated. However, this is only the case when the data is reproducible and valid, the likelihood of which can be increased with the use of automated scheduling software.
What is Reproducibility?
When a scientific study or experiment is performed using the exact same method and the same materials, and the results that are obtained in every repeat experiment are consistent with those found in the initial experiment, the results are said to be reproducible.
In order for the repeat experiments to be accurate, the researchers must use the exact same methods and equipment as the original researchers. Variables that may affect the results must also be controlled to avoid misleading data variance. Accounting for every extraneous variable in an experiment is extremely difficult, leading to a small amount of uncertainty in any data collected.
In order for an experiment to be trusted and credible, it must be reproducible. Otherwise, it is likely to be dismissed by the scientific community.
How Can Reproducibility Be Enhanced?
There are several steps that can be taken to ensure an experiment is reproducible.
1. Use of automated scheduling software to reduce human error
2. All staff involved in the experiment must follow standardized procedures
3. All measurements must be accurately taken
4. Every piece of equipment should be tested against a baseline to ensure they are calibrated correctly.
5. All data should be effectively documented
6. Measurement of uncertainty should be calculated
Methods of Validation
Multiple different scientists must validate the specific method used in the experiments. This increases the following metrics.
1. Precision – degree of scattering from several measurements
2. Accuracy – how close the measurements are to their perceived value
3. Range – the difference between the lowest and highest data points
4. Linearity – how proportional the results are to the remaining data
The use of process automation software improves the likelihood that all of these metrics are met.
The specific nature of uncertainty is a great representation of how reproducible the results are. By taking into account the precision, accuracy, and standard deviation of the results, laboratories can determine how significant the results of an experiment are.
Using automation software is one of the best ways to increase the reproducibility of an experiment. Normal repetitive and tedious tasks in the experiment are prone to human error and are performed by the automated scheduling software, reducing the risks of errors in data collection.
To learn more about automated scheduling software, contact Retisoft today.