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ReiTheR goes Berlin

In mid-february our team made its way to the 3 day REWARD EQUATOR conference, which was hosted by the BIH Quest Center in Berlin, Germany.

The day before the actual conference started, we participated in a bar camp. This unique form of an “unconference“ is a or meeting, where the topics are defined by the participants themselves. Different ideas on reproducibility, peer review and open science in general were discussed in small groups in 20 minute sessions spread over the entire day. As no speakers were designated and everyone was equal, intimate discussions and close networking was possible.

After the exciting pre-conference activity, the next day the symposium started with Isabelle Boutron giving an excellent inaugural lecture about improving reporting bias and the peer review process.

The scientific program of the event consisted throughout of magnificent speakers, smaller discussions and several workshops. We had to take difficult decisions concerning the attendance of talks as many of them took place at the same time.

Since this is one of the biggest meetings in the meta-science community we listened to some amazing researchers. Starting with the talk from Vinay Prasad explaining how “not statistically significant but clinically meaningful” can be misleading for therapy-desperate patients and continued by Daniele Fanelli presenting his K theory and another way of thinking about the reproducibility crisis. Furthermore, we had the chance to get a deeper insight on the work of the founder of Retraction Watch and to learn how much time it takes to retract misleading papers. Besides, we were lucky to discuss with the initiators of the Hong Kong principles about their understanding on the right application of these recent guidelines.

But of course, there were many more exciting lectures given and many more interesting discussion led than we could fit in this tiny report.

Having an open space in the conference building was a novum for us. This room was dedicated to work on new ideas for open science or for organizing session on the fly. An

other example on showing the innovation and openness of this scientific meeting were the interactive posters at the entrance of the lecture room where attendees could answer questions by writing on its surface and add alternative problems or solutions.

Moreover, our team was excited to have had the opportunity to join the conference, as three of our posters got accepted and were presented in the exhibition halls.

Another highlight was at the end of the second day of the conference when we joined a guided tour at the German Democratic Republic museum where we learned about the past of the socialistic state and had dinner at the BIH Quest Center and had the possibility to exchange further with other researchers in our domain.

On the third and last day we listened to the magnificent talks of Jonathan Kimmelman and “Let’s-be-Frank” Miedema before we said goodbye to our newly gained researcher friends and to Berlin.

See you next time everyone, maybe in Capetown!

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