Journals Unite For Reproducibility

Marcia McNutt | Science Mag | November 5, 2014

Reproducibility, rigor, transparency, and independent verification are cornerstones of the scientific method. Of course, just because a result is reproducible does not necessarily make it right, and just because it is not reproducible does not necessarily make it wrong. A transparent and rigorous approach, however, can almost always shine a light on issues of reproducibility. This light ensures that science moves forward, through independent verifications as well as the course corrections that come from refutations and the objective examination of the resulting data.

It was with the goal of strengthening such approaches in the biomedical sciences that a group of editors representing over 30 major journals, representatives from funding agencies, and scientific leaders assembled at the AAAS headquarters in June of 2014 to discuss principles and guidelines for preclinical biomedical research. The gathering was convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Nature,* and Science.

The discussion ranged from what journals were already doing to address reproducibility and the effectiveness of those measures, to the magnitude of the problem and the cost of solutions. The attendees agreed on a common set of Principles and Guidelines in Reporting Preclinical Research ( that list proposed journal policies and author reporting requirements to promote transparency and reproducibility...