From Science Europe Data Glossary

Definition: Replication in the narrow sense means creating and maintaining one or more copies of a piece of data. Replication, when applied to scientific results, means the effort of carrying out a scientific experiment that has been done before and obtain the same results in a different setting.

Explanation: Data replication is an important technique in preserving digital data. Digital data is easier destroyed than data that is firmly connected to a substrate. This is an inherent fragility of digital data. However, digital data is easy to copy. It is a sensible move to use one of the strengths of digital data to overcome one of the weaknesses associated with it. The LOCKSS method is a good example.

Replication of scientific results is needed to check claims by competing scientists and to overcome bias and to detect disturbances caused by subtle factors in the experimental setups. The term reproduction is also used and there are subtle differences between the two.

References: As to data replication:; Raymond John Prytherch, Harrod's librarians' glossary and reference book : a directory of over 10,200 terms, organizations, projects and acronyms in the areas of information management, library science, publishing and archive management, (Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2005), see:

LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Save):

As to replication in science: Antske Fokkens et al.: Offspring from Reproduction Problems: What Replication Failure Teaches Us

See also: digital preservation, research data, data citation, result data