Meta-research: Evaluation and Improvement of Research Methods and Practices

PLoS Biol. 2015 Oct 2;13(10):e1002264. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002264. eCollection 2015 Oct.


As the scientific enterprise has grown in size and diversity, we need empirical evidence on the research process to test and apply interventions that make it more efficient and its results more reliable. Meta-research is an evolving scientific discipline that aims to evaluate and improve research practices. It includes thematic areas of methods, reporting, reproducibility, evaluation, and incentives (how to do, report, verify, correct, and reward science). Much work is already done in this growing field, but efforts to-date are fragmented. We provide a map of ongoing efforts and discuss plans for connecting the multiple meta-research efforts across science worldwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / education
  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Empirical Research
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work. METRICS is funded by a grant by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.