Journal of Statistics Education (2021-01-01)

Role of Replication Research in Biostatistics Graduate Education

  • Lynette M. Smith,
  • Fang Yu,
  • Kendra K. Schmid

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 0, no. 0
pp. 1 – 10


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Replication and reproducibility are an important component of scientific research. One reason research is not replicable is the misuse of statistical techniques. Educators can teach the importance of research replication by having students perform a replication study as part of a graduate assistantship or their coursework. In this article, we describe the components of a replication study, the process of conducting a replication study, and how to use the replication process as a teaching tool. Two biostatistics PhD students performed four full replication studies as part of their Graduate Assistantship and another 22 students performed a partial replication as their final project for a biostatistics service course. Students were queried for their feedback about their learning during the replication process. The PhD students indicated gaining a clear understanding of the importance of communicating statistical methods in publications, experience in communicating statistical techniques in writing, coding in various platforms, multiple statistical techniques that could be applied as robustness checks, and the importance of documentation. The students from the service course indicated gaining confidence in their analysis skills and a majority of the students indicated finding all aspects of the replication process enjoyable with the exception of writing the final report.