There is significant waste and inefficiency in the way that biomedical research is conducted. A study by Chalmers and Glasziou in 2009 estimated that 85% of the money invested in research is wasted through the inadequate production and reporting.(1)
The different types of research waste can be divided into four categories:
1. Chalmers I, Glasziou P. Avoidable waste in the production and reporting of research evidence. Lancet (London, England). 2009;374(9683):86-9.
2. Clarke M. Doing new research? Don't forget the old. PLoS medicine. 2004;1(2):e35.
Lancet Series on Reducing Research Waste
The Lancet has a series of articles from 2014 on research waste which discusses the most pressing issues along with recommendations : Research: Increasing Value, Reducing Waste.
There is also the REWARDS Alliance website which was created to support the Lancet 2014 series of articles. The website has information on news, working groups, events and the Cochrane REWARDS prize.
Cochrane - Reducing Research Waste
The Cochrane Community has released a statement on their position of research waste along with the key messages of a survey they conducted to find out how they can reduce waste and support the REWARDS Alliance.
To stimulate and promote research in this area, Cochrane has also instituted a REWARDS prize for researchers starting initiatives to reduce research waste . Click here to find out more information on the prize and how to apply.