Due to the usual postdoc busy-ness, I haven’t had the energy to update this blog as much as I would like, but I thought this interview on Retraction Watch from Michèle B. Nuijten, the developer of the R-package statcheck to be fascinating. Her package essentially automates the checking of p-values given published data in papers, from converting the papers from pdf to text, and sees if the calculated p-values are correct. There was a lot of trial and error in parsing known formats for p-values, but now the package is available.
I see an potentially really interesting master’s thesis in forensic bioinformatics in using the package to assess reproducibility of results in a field. Note that the student probably wouldn’t make any friends in high places, but it would be a potentially high impact thesis.