Think Tank

The “repeatability” difficulty in ecological experiment

  • XIAO Xianjing
  • School of Public Administration, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China

Received date: 2018-01-23

  Revised date: 2018-02-08

  Online published: 2018-04-04


The "repeatability" difficulty in the ecological experiment is an important issue. From the point of view of the ontology, mainly due to the natural variability, and partly due to the large scale, it is easy to use an organism system to illustrate the process, or to choose the homogeneity and balancing system to simulate the natural micro universe experiments. However, all these simplifications of the natural selection, or simplified simulations of the nature, although valid for a moment, are not always feasible. From the point of view of the epistemology, the ecology of the complexity of the subjects, the organic wholeness and historic nature make the validity of the understanding restricted, which directly affects the experimental "repeatability". Therefore, it is necessary to accurately determine the experiment site, and to clearly define the relevant concepts, to achieve the correctness(reality) of the ecology experiment and create a "repeatable" win-win situation. Methodologically, the incomplete experimental reports and the lack of relevant method-specific details are important causes of the "repeatability" difficulty of ecological experiments, thus it is necessary to improve the experimental report and the review system, to provide the original records of experimental details, to apply strict evaluation criteria. From the point of view of the axiology, academic misconducts, such as the P-hacking, the cherry-picking, and the hypothesizing after results(HARKing), etc., become important aspects of the experiment's "repeatability" difficulty and must be eradicated completely.

Cite this article

XIAO Xianjing . The “repeatability” difficulty in ecological experiment[J]. Science & Technology Review, 2018 , 36(6) : 8 -16 . DOI: 10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2018.06.001


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