A year-old Palo Alto, California, company, Science Exchange*, announced on Tuesday its “Reproducibility Initiative,” aimed at improving the trustworthiness of published papers. Scientists who want to validate their findings will be able to apply to the initiative, which will choose a lab to redo the study and determine whether the results match. (Reuters)

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The initiative’s 10-member board of prominent scientists will match investigators with a lab qualified to test their results, said Elizabeth Iorns, Science Exchange’s co-founder and chief executive officer. The original lab would pay the second for its work. How much depends on the experiment’s complexity and the cost of study materials, but should not exceed 20 percent of the original research study’s costs. Iorns hopes government and private funding agencies will eventually fund replication to improve the integrity of scientific literature.

The two labs would jointly write a paper, to be published in the journal PLoS One, describing the outcome. Science Exchange will issue a certificate if the original result is confirmed.

*Founded in 2011, Science Exchange serves as a clearinghouse that connects researchers who want to outsource parts of experiments, from DNA sequencing ($2.50 per sample) to bioinformatics ($50 per hour). It is funded largely by venture capitalists and angel investors.

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