One of the most important concepts in science is the idea of reproducibility. This means that if our methods are carefully recorded, and shared with others, they will be able to reproduce the work that we did, and, ideally, get similar results that yield identical conclusions about the hypothesis. It also means that scientists never base their conclusions on only one experiment. We always attempt to replicate our results, by running the same experiment, following our proposed method, at least 2-3 more times (and maybe more?) to ensure that the results we are getting are consistent, and not some kind of random fluke. Shortly, we will give you information about how to build a workflow, based on Open Science practices and principles, that sets you up to best be able to replicate your results, troubleshoot what went wrong if necessary, and also to help others understand and reproduce your work.

Understand that scientists do these things because they do not accept anything on faith. Because science is not a belief system; scientists are convinced only by evidence and data. Any idea is up for debate and everything can be criticized. It takes many years and many experiments to convince scientists that something is true or not true. For example, the idea that the continental plates are moving slowly over the surface of the Earth took decades to take root. It was debated and tested and tested again by many people before it was fully accepted as fact. This is as it should be… scientists don't much like to be wrong about the big stuff. We don't accept any explanation as "true" before every other possible explanation has been tested and rejected. It is only when we have done our best to disprove an idea, and it has stood up to everything that we've thrown at it, that we then begin to accept that maybe… just maybe… it might be true… at least for now, until new evidence is found that throws everything into doubt again.