Recent years have seen perceptions of a “reproducibility crisis” grow in various disciplines. Scientists see poor levels of research reproducibility as a severe threat to scientific self-correction, the efficiency of the scientific processes, and societal trust in research results. A major Horizon Europe-funded project will study these issues with the aim of improving reproducibility across diverse scientific contexts: TIER2. The aim of the project is to enhance Trust, Integrity, and Efficiency in Research, through next-level Reproducibility (TIER2).
TIER2’s interdisciplinary, expert project team will use co-creative methods to work with social, life and computer scientists, research funders, and publishers to further understand and address the causes of poor reproducibility. The project will develop and test new tools, connect initiatives, engage communities, and test novel interventions to increase reuse and quality of research results.
TIER2 officially launched in January 2023 and will run until December 2025, with total funding of 2 million Euros provided by the EU’s Horizon Europe program and UK Research & Innovation.
TIER2 will study reproducibility across diverse contexts within three broad research areas and two cross-disciplinary stakeholder groups. The areas are social, life, and computer sciences; meanwhile, the cross-disciplinary stakeholder groups are research publishers and funders. Reaching these contexts will allow the project team to systematically investigate the causes and implications of the lack of reproducibility across the research spectrum. Together with curated co-creation communities of these groups, the project will design, implement, and assess systematic interventions – addressing critical levers of change (tools, skills, communities, incentives, and policies) in the process.
The project will start by thoroughly examining how the meanings and implications of reproducibility vary across research fields due to epistemic diversity (significant and systematic differences in concepts, problems, research objects, methodologies, and kinds of judgment). Next, TIER2 has the goal to build state-of-the-art evidence base, footed on the extent and efficacy of existing reproducibility interventions, practices, and an inventory of relevant tools, identifying critical gaps in current knowledge. TIER2 will use (co-creation) scenario-planning, backcasting, and user-centered design techniques to select, prioritize, design, adapt and implement new tools to enhance reproducibility across contexts. Alignment activities will ensure tools are EOSC-interoperable, while capacity-building actions with communities will facilitate awareness, skills, and community uptake. Finally, a systematic assessment of the efficacy of interventions across contexts will enable a synthesis of knowledge regarding reproducibility gains and savings. This assessment will inform a final roadmap for future reproducibility, including policy recommendations – co-created by stakeholders.
Through these activities, TIER2 aims to significantly boost knowledge on reproducibility, create tools, engage communities, and implement interventions and policies across different contexts. This will improve the reuse of resources and the quality of research results in the European research landscape and beyond – and increasing trust, integrity, and efficiency.
For more information, read the full project proposal, recently published via the Open Science journal RIO.
International partner consortium
The interdisciplinary TIER2 consortium comprises ten members from universities and research centers across Europe. They share a long history of successful cooperation and have extensive experience in completed EU projects, especially in the fields of Open Science, Research Integrity, and Science Policy.
TIER2 brings together a range of expertise in a consortium funded by the EU's Horizon Europe program. These include experts in open science, research integrity, AI, data analytics, policy research, science infrastructures, stakeholder engagement, and core knowledge in social, life, and computational sciences. In addition to the Know Center, the expert consortium consists of Athena Research Center (GR), Amsterdam University Medical Center (NL), Aarhus University (DK), Pensoft Publishing (BG), GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (DE), OpenAIRE (EU), Charité - University of Medicine Berlin (DE), Oxford University (UK), and Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center (GR).
Start of the TIER2 project
TIER2 will hold its official kick-off meeting on the 1st and 2nd of February 2023. The event will take place in Amsterdam.