Molecular Medicine Israel

Many Papers Lack Detailed Methods

Nearly half of scientific publications lack sufficient information about the research resources needed to reproduce experimental findings, a study finds.

Quite a few standards have been lowered in recent years concerning publications. One is the lack of sufficient information to reproduce the data and more importantly, the lack of attention of reviewers and editors to prevent it.

Reproducibility is a hallmark of good science. However, despite the fact that most scientific journals require authors to list the resources used in their experiments, almost half of the papers examined in a new study failed to specify all of the items needed to replicate the findings. The study was published Thursday (September 5) in the journal PeerJ.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) examined the methods sections of nearly 240 scientific articles from more than 80 journals spanning five disciplines: neuroscience, immunology, cell biology, developmental biology, and general science. They scanned the articles, including the supplementary information and references, searching for exact product numbers for five types of biomedical resources: antibodies, model organisms, cell lines, DNA constructs, and knockdown reagents….

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