A new study published in Educational Researcher has analysed the amount of replication that takes place in education research.
Repeating a research study helps to increase confidence in its findings. It can help to address some possible criticisms of a single study, such as a bias to publish positive findings, hypothesizing after the results are known, or misuse of data or results.
Researchers looked at the entire publication history of the top 100 education journals (more than 160,000 articles). They found that only 0.13% of journal articles were replications, although that percentage is rising. In 1990 the replication rate was 1 in 2000 articles; now it is around 1 in 500.
The majority of studies (67.4%) successfully repeated the original findings. However, replications were significantly less likely to be successful when there was no overlap in the authors of the original and the repeated study. This may indicate potential bias in replicating one’s own work or, more positively, that the original researchers benefit from the experience of having done the study previously.
Source: Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences (2014), Educational Researcher, 43(6).