The Ethics of Repetition: Replicates vs. Repeats

Author : Kate Sleeth

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How many of us have read a paper or listened to a presentation and wondered exactly how many times an experiment had been repeated?  In an ideal world the writer or presenter will have clearly noted this detail as n= (insert number between 2- x) and it helps you have confidence in their work.  When I don’t see this information I begin to doubt what I am seeing and therefore will question it more.  Before long I am nit-picking at tiny other flaws and this is usually followed by a full dissection of the work with a machete.