The objective of this study was to evaluate the nature and extent of reproducible and transparent research practices in neurology publications. Methods The NLM catalog was used to identify MEDLINE-indexed neurology journals. A PubMed search of these journals was conducted to retrieve publications over a 5-year period from 2014 to 2018. A random sample of publications was extracted. Two authors conducted data extraction in a blinded, duplicate fashion using a pilot-tested Google form. This form prompted data extractors to determine whether publications provided access to items such as study materials, raw data, analysis scripts, and protocols. In addition, we determined if the publication was included in a replication study or systematic review, was preregistered, had a conflict of interest declaration, specified funding sources, and was open access. Results Our search identified 223,932 publications meeting the inclusion criteria, from which 400 were randomly sampled. Only 389 articles were accessible, yielding 271 publications with empirical data for analysis. Our results indicate that 9.4% provided access to materials, 9.2% provided access to raw data, 0.7% provided access to the analysis scripts, 0.7% linked the protocol, and 3.7% were preregistered. A third of sampled publications lacked funding or conflict of interest statements. No publications from our sample were included in replication studies, but a fifth were cited in a systematic review or meta-analysis. Conclusions Currently, published neurology research does not consistently provide information needed for reproducibility. The implications of poor research reporting can both affect patient care and increase research waste. Collaborative intervention by authors, peer reviewers, journals, and funding sources is needed to mitigate this problem.
Background: Reproducible research is a foundational component for scientific advancements, yet little is known regarding the extent of reproducible research within the dermatology literature. Objective: This study aimed to determine the quality and transparency of the literature in dermatology journals by evaluating for the presence of 8 indicators of reproducible and transparent research practices. Methods: By implementing a cross-sectional study design, we conducted an advanced search of publications in dermatology journals from the National Library of Medicine catalog. Our search included articles published between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018. After generating a list of eligible dermatology publications, we then searched for full text PDF versions by using Open Access Button, Google Scholar, and PubMed. Publications were analyzed for 8 indicators of reproducibility and transparency—availability of materials, data, analysis scripts, protocol, preregistration, conflict of interest statement, funding statement, and open access—using a pilot-tested Google Form. Results: After exclusion, 127 studies with empirical data were included in our analysis. Certain indicators were more poorly reported than others. We found that most publications (113, 88.9%) did not provide unmodified, raw data used to make computations, 124 (97.6%) failed to make the complete protocol available, and 126 (99.2%) did not include step-by-step analysis scripts. Conclusions: Our sample of studies published in dermatology journals do not appear to include sufficient detail to be accurately and successfully reproduced in their entirety. Solutions to increase the quality, reproducibility, and transparency of dermatology research are warranted. More robust reporting of key methodological details, open data sharing, and stricter standards journals impose on authors regarding disclosure of study materials might help to better the climate of reproducible research in dermatology. [JMIR Dermatol 2019;2(1):e16078]