Rigor and Reproducibility
8 Steps to Rigor and Reproducibility
Adapted from the UNC MSL:
- If using a core facility, consult with the core staff in the planning stage. Consult with a statistician if you need help developing a Power Analysis to assure that your results will be adequately powered.
- Design your experiment with sufficient controls (rigor) and replicates (reproducibility).
- Assure that ALL of your reagents (antibodies, cell lines, mice) are fully validated.
- Have a clear and detailed protocol (SOP) and data analysis plan. Assure that the protocol is strictly followed or that any deviation is well documented.
- Assure that the staff or students performing the experiment are well trained and understand each step and the importance of performing them precisely.
- Use only well-maintained instrumentation, preferably maintained and operated in a core facility with expert staff (see #1 above).
- Document all steps, reagents, equipment and data analysis methods used in the experiment. Assure that both the documentation and the data itself are properly stored in a safe data management repository.
- Acknowledge the grants that support the core, the core (by name), and core staff in publications.
Please note that the NIH now requires rigor and reproducibility to be addressed explicitly in many grant applications. More information can be found here.