“RESEARCH PARASITES”. I have made a number of posts about the movement to perform and publish more studies which attempt to replicate previous studies (for example this post describing the Reproducibility Project, which is making efforts to replicate 100 research findings in psychology). There is, however, resistance to replication studies. Indeed, there is serious opposition, led by the New England Journal of Medicine.

This article by Charles Ornstein on the RealClearHealth site describes how Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, the Journal’s editor-in-chief, and a deputy used the term “research parasites” to describe researchers who seek others’ data to analyze or replicate their studies. Drazen and his colleague wrote: “There is concern among some front-line researchers that the system will be taken over by what some researchers have characterized as ‘research parasites,'” They defined such people as those “who had nothing to do with the design and execution of the study but use another group’s data for their own ends, possibly stealing from the research productivity planned by the data gatherers, or even use the data to try to disprove what the original investigators had posited.”

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