John Walsh, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, recently co-authored an article entitled “Building Reliable Teams, a Cure for Research Pathologies?” for the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Here's an excerpt:
There is increasing concern amongst the scientific community, policymakers and the general public about the unreliability of science. This has been driven by stories of scientific fraud, high profile retractions, failures to reproduce well-known findings and other concerns about pathologies in the science system. Much of this discussion focuses on individual-level deviance and the need for social control. However, science is now primarily a team sport and the organisation of these teams can be a critical source of weakness that increases the likelihood of pathological outcomes. For several years now, we have studied scientific teams as work organisations. This research has led us to consider the structural causes of pathologies in science. In particular, we focus on the division of labour in research teams and how this can generate research pathologies, potentially leading to retracted papers and irreproducible results.