what is replication

Reproducibility is the ability of an entire analysis of an experiment or study to be duplicated, either by the same researcher or by someone else working independently, whereas reproducing an experiment is called replicating it. Reproducibility and replicability together are among the main principles of the scientific method.

The values obtained from distinct experimental trials are said to be commensurate if they are obtained according to the same reproducible experimental description and procedure. The basic idea can be seen in Aristotle’s dictum that there is no scientific knowledge of the individual, where the word used for individual in Greek had the connotation of the idiosyncratic, or wholly isolated occurrence. Thus all knowledge, all science, necessarily involves the formation of general concepts and the invocation of their corresponding symbols in language (cf. Turner). Aristotle′s conception about the knowledge of the individual being considered unscientific is due to lack of the field of statistics in his time, so he could not appeal to statistical averaging by the individual.

A particular experimentally obtained value is said to be reproducible if there is a high degree of agreement between measurements or observations conducted on replicate specimens in different locations by different people—that is, if the experimental value is found to have a high precision. However, in science, a very well reproduced result is one that can be confirmed using as many different experimental setups as possible and as many lines of evidence as possible (consilience).