Guest Post — Exploring the Strengths and Limitations of Replication in the Humanities: Two Case Studies
peter.suber's bookmarks 2022-12-01
"In the past few years, a variety of articles have examined why attempts to replicate studies in biomedical, natural and social sciences often are without success. These debates on the so-called ‘replication crisis’ led Rik Peels and Lex Bouter in 2018 to ask the question: What about replication in the humanities? Scholars in the humanities go about their research in other ways than those in the sciences, because of the difference in the sources, data and methods they work with, the type of questions they try to answer and the purposes they aim to serve. But two of the things that both domains have in common, is that they aspire to acquire knowledge that is not largely dependent on the idiosyncrasies of the researcher and that their future studies often relate to or build upon the findings of previous ones. Might replication studies be a useful way to corroborate findings in the humanities? If so, what would they look like in various fields within the humanities and how would they differ from replication in the biomedical, natural and social sciences? What aims would they strive for in terms of epistemic progress? What can the humanities learn from replication studies in the sciences and vice versa? In addition to this, we need to ask whether and how, as Peels and Bouter introduced, replication might contribute to the trustworthiness of research in the humanities. Furthermore, concerns regarding replication studies in the humanities voiced by other scholars, like Leonelli and Penders, Holbrook and De Rijcke, call for further investigation...."