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A Reproducibility or an identity crisis in sports and exercise?

A viewpoint on current challenges and solutions




sports and exercise science, Methods, Statistics, replicability


Seeking to understand Sport and Exercise Sciences (SES) methodological scenarios, this viewpoint discusses (a) the methodological issues affecting reproducibility in SES, and (b) the initiatives intending to face these main problems, along with epistemological considerations. Reproducibility can be affected by inadequacies such as poor reporting of methods and outcomes. Results' reliability is an evidence-based cornerstone, and how these have been published in the SES field seem to be biased. Another contributing factor to a probable reproducibility crisis is the rising trend in the prevalence of positive results in comparison to negative results. Some suspicions boosted collaborations calling for the adoption of more transparent SES research, which currently lacks transparent research practices such as code and data sharing. To improve reproducibility, the reporting of methods, interventions and outcomes must be accurate and detailed. We may need to assess epistemology to better comprehend the identity of SES, and research methods the field has been relying on. This will require a collaborative effort and creativity, and more “theory-driven” research questions. It is time to slow down and rediscover the identity of the SES by establishing field-specific quality criteria and refining the study design under the scope of our own epistemological lens.


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