A Pilot Study Exploring Spreadsheet Risk in Scientific Research
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This paper discusses the risks and potential impacts of spreadsheet errors in scientific research data in a Neuroscience research centre in the UK. Spreadsheets usage in neuroscience, or indeed any medical discipline, is a largely unreported area of spreadsheet research. This paper presents a case study exploring the possible risks and impacts of spreadsheet errors in the neuroscience research centre at the University of Newcastle. Data was collected using an online questionnaire with 17 participants and two detailed semi-structured interviews. The analysis highlights that errors in research data may lead to severe impacts such as misleading science and damaged personal and organisational reputations. In addition, many risks factors arise from using spreadsheets such as inadequate design and a lack of training. Spreadsheets are used widely in business and the impacts and risks in these fields have been studied and highlighted in detail. However, scientific research and spreadsheets have also a significant relationship that has not been clarified. The paper also draws out the similarities in spreadsheet practice between the scientific and business communities.
- Computing and IT 
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