It has been estimated that 85% of research is wasted, usually because it asks the wrong questions, is badly designed, not published or poorly reported. This diminishes the value of research and also represents a significant financial loss. However, many causes of this waste are simple problems that could easily be fixed, such as appropriate randomisation or blinding of a clinical trial. A first step towards increasing the value of research and reducing waste is to monitor the problems and develop solutions that aim to fix them.
Increasing value and reducing waste in biomedical research conference
28th – 30th September 2015, Edinburgh
Twitter hashtag: #researchwaste15
The biomedical research complex has been estimated to consume almost a quarter of a trillion US dollars every year. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that a high proportion of this sum is avoidably wasted. In 2014, The Lancet published a series of five reviews showing how dividends from the investment in research might be increased from the relevance and priorities of the questions being asked, to how the research is designed, conducted, and reported. 17 recommendations were addressed to five main stakeholders—funders, regulators, journals, academic institutions, and researchers. This Review provides some initial observations on the possible effects of the Series, which seems to have provoked several important discussions and is on the agendas of several key players. Some examples of individual initiatives show ways to reduce waste and increase value in biomedical research. This momentum will probably move strongly across stakeholder groups, if collaborative relationships evolve between key players; further important work is needed to increase research value. A forthcoming meeting in Edinburgh, UK, will provide an initial forum within which to foster the collaboration needed.