Singapore Meeting on Research Integrity
Reproducibility: Research integrity but much, much more

22 October 2018
Matrix, Biopolis
Sponsored and organised by A*STAR, NUS and NTU




Opening Address


Welcome addresses by:
Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman A*STAR,
Professor Subra Suresh, President NTU
Professor Tan Eng Chye, President NUS


Session 1: Introduction: Reflections on Data Reproducibility


Professor Sir David Lane, Chief Scientist A*STAR


Session 2: Research integrity, lab leadership and the ‘health’ of research groups


Sir Philip Campbell, Editor in Chief, Springer Nature, London, UK
Followed by discussion moderated by Prof Barry Halliwell

Pressures on principal investigators and the members of their research groups have never been greater. Funders and institutions do too little to support them and mitigate the problems that arise, including irreproducibility. I will discuss ways in which journals, institutions and funders could improve matters.



Coffee and Networking


Session 3: What can research institutions do to foster replicability?


Professor Lex Bouter, Co-Chair 5th and 6th World Conferences on Research Integrity and former Rector, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Followed by discussion moderated by Mr Tony Mayer

What is good for science is not always good for the career of scientists. There is a strong preference for positive and spectacular results. Questionable research practices like selective reporting and p-hacking are wonderful tools to get spurious positive results. Usage of these tools hampers the replicability of research. Measures that can help to improve replicability are preregistration, the usage of registered reports, open and post-publication peer review, and first posting manuscripts as preprint. Increasing replicability is a responsibility of all stakeholders: researchers, funding agencies and scientific journals. The presentation will especially focus on the role of research institutions.



Session 4: An industry perspective


Dr Anthony Partridge, Principal Scientist, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Singapore   
Followed by discussion moderated by Prof Sir David Lane

The primary goal of the Pharmaceutical industry is to develop novel therapies to save and improve lives. Central to this mission is the ability to create robust and reproducible data internally but also to evaluate the reproducibility of external data. Indeed, the consequences of following false positives detract from our ability to apply our finite resources to the most promising therapeutic programs. In my talk I will focus on vignettes which focus on strategies highlighting causes and solutions to experimental reproducibility - from both internal and external data sets.


Buffet Lunch


Session 5: Imagery reproducibility:What goes wrong and what goes right?


Ms Jana Christopher, Image-Integrity (Heidelberg) and FEBS Press (Cambridge, UK)
Dr Holger Lorenz, Head of Imaging Facility, Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg (ZMBH), Germany
Followed by discussion moderated by Prof Philip Moore

This session will discuss the importance of imagery reproducibility as one of the key cornerstone to support research integrity, in particular perspectives on the issues and guidelines from journals and scholarly publications in handling this critical aspect. Also, principles on the best practices and techniques in the use of imagery software will be covered.



Session 6: Parallel Sessions


A: Data Reproducibility and Open Research in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Exploration Theatrette

B: Data reproducibility: What are we doing in Singapore, and what should journals be doing?

Breakthrough/Discovery Theatrettes

C: The SHAPES (Science, Health and Policy-relevant Ethics in Singapore) Initiative

Creation Theatrette


Asst Prof Miguel Escobar Varela
Dept of English Language and Literature,  NUS

Assoc Prof Catherine Wan Ching
Associate Chair (Research),
School of Social Sciences, NTU

Dr Aek Palakorn Achananuparp
Research Scientist,
Living Analytics Research Centre, SMU

Prof Lex Bouter
Professor of Methodology and Integrity
Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands

The Humanities and Social Sciences covers a very large span of disciplines; from fields (e.g. sociology) whose methodologies are closer to those in the natural sciences, to fields whose methodologies are more interpretive and relational (e.g. philosophy and the visual and performing arts). Is reproducibility and replicability applicable in all these endeavours? There is currently a lively debate on the Web and in scholarly communications about such matters and the speakers in this session will approach this debate from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Slides_Miguel Escobar Varela

Slides_Catherine Wan

Slides_Aek Palakorn Achananuparp

Chair: Mr Tony Mayer
Research Integrity Advisor, President’s Office, NTU

Prof Barry Halliwell
Chairman, BMRC, A*STAR

Prof Tim White
Associate Vice President (Infrastructure and Programmes), and Research Director for Engineering and Physical Sciences, President's Office, NTU

Prof Philip Moore
Chief Research Compliance Officer, Chief Research Integrity Officer, NUS

Prof Yeo Kiat Seng
Associate Provost (Research & International Relationship), SUTD

Sir Philip Campbell
Editor in Chief, Springer Nature, London, UK

Ms Lyndsey Dixon
Regional Editorial Journals Director
Taylor & Francis

Ms Martine Docking
Vice President, Global Corporate Sales

Mr Alexander van Servellen
Senior Consultant, Research Intelligence

This session will start with four very brief statements by representatives from the major local research institutions on the actions taken to promote reproducibility within their respective institutions.This will be followed by a discussion on the role of journals in the promotion of reproducibility in research. Is there a role for the publication of replication studies or negative results? How should the impact of such papers be assessed? Should the journals demand greater access to supporting data? How can credit be accorded to researchers who provide well archived, searchable and open data? What are the risks and benefits of such approaches?

Slides_Barry Halliwell

Slides_Tim White

Slides_Philip Moore

Slides_Lyndsey Dixon

Dr Vicki Xafis
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE), NUS

Dr Owen Schaefer
Research Assistant Professor
Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE), NUS

Mr Markus Labude
Research Associate
Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE), NUS

Data Reproducibility: “I want to do the right thing but…”

This session aims to highlight the main ethical and professional values at play in research integrity and how they apply to reproducibility. An examination of case studies will provide attendees with the opportunity to reflect on the trade-offs between different values (e.g. privacy and scientific integrity) and to explain how to balance the need for reproducibility against other considerations. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and for consideration of key issues at play.



Tea and Networking


Session 7: Concluding Session


Chairmen: Mr Suresh Sachi, Prof Barry Halliwell, Mr Tony Mayer, Prof Philip Moore