Scientific Results Lexicon

Words matter! Scientists (humans) use colloquial, often colorful "code" language that may easily be misinterpreted when taken out of context. Some examples include: Mathematical trick [clever way], black box [module in a model that is held fixed], gadget [used early-on to refer to nuclear weapons], fudge factors [fitting parameters], [original physics preprint archive at Los Alamos National Lab].

In addition, the same word may have different meanings for different scientific communities. Therefore, the first task was to adopt a minimal lexicon (terminology) for the purpose of this workshop. In particular, there are strong differences of opinion about the meaning of the terms replicability and reproducibility, as discussed in

The stability of a scientific result addressing a well-posed scientific question to changes in how it is obtained, or to independent tests. The sensitivity of the result to perturbations to the technique or conditions is predictable.

Reliability is the extent to which a research method produces the same results each time it is applied to the same system. A scientific result is said to have a high reliability if the same result is obtained within stated uncertainty under consistent conditions.

The extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement corresponds accurately to the natural world.

The ability of an experiment or calculation to be duplicated by using the same method.

The ability of an experiment or calculation to be duplicated by other researchers working independently.

Carrying out different experiments or simulations aimed at confirming specific scientific results.

Attribute of a statement, hypothesis or theory. Represents the inherent possibility that it can be proven false. A statement is called falsifiable if it is possible to conceive of an observation or an argument that could negate the statement in question.

Scientific Knowledge
Set of scientific concepts, equations, models, and results that have been validated. One aspect of validation is confirmation of results by different experiments, simulations or theoretical calculations.


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