Achieving Rigor and Reproducibility in Your Research Results: Here's a Tool That Can Help

March 6, 2017 Virginia Chanda

A and N photography Shutterstock.jpgThe NIH has enacted initiatives to enhance reproducibility of research through rigor and transparency. It has been noted that many factors have contributed to inherent problems with reproducibility, including poor training of researchers in experimental design and limitations in published materials and methods sections, such that basic (and important) elements of the protocol and materials used are often left out of papers (Nature 27 Jan 2014).

Fortunately, the main goal of the Current Protocols program is to provide researchers with reliable, robust methods that will ensure reproducible results. The success of the program is due to the careful selection of content and the rigorous editing process that ensures consistency in experimental approaches.

What are Current Protocols?

The Current Protocols collection includes over 18,000 step-by-step techniques and procedures across all areas of the life sciences. Current Protocols provides researchers with reliable, efficient methods to ensure reproducible results that pave the way for critical scientific discovery.

Our Editing Process

The extensive editing process embedded in the creation of Current Protocols ensures the highest quality laboratory techniques, effectively safeguarding the validity of researchers’ results.

There are three levels of editing for Current Protocols content. First, the content of each title is curated by an editorial board of respected scientists who are experts in their fields. They carefully plan the content and invite the best scientists to write the protocols and share their tips and expertise. The editors are careful to select techniques that they know will work. They will often discuss cutting-edge research, but before a method is published in Current Protocols, they ensure that other labs have used the method successfully and that it generates reproducible results. The goal is a superior user experience.

CP editorial boards are responsible for the peer review process, and also regularly review the published content to determine what content needs to be updated. The updating is an important aspect of Current Protocols to ensure that the methods are current.

Following the expert review of the content, Current Protocols Ph.D. developmental editors perform a review optimized for the evaluation of protocols. These editors anticipate the questions that may arise when performing a protocol, and consider the clarity of the protocol.

Finally, Current Protocols copy editors, who are also scientists, review the accepted manuscript with painstaking care. They focus on every experimental detail to eliminate ambiguity. Materials lists and buffer recipes are checked. The copy editors also make sure the format and style are consistent with Current Protocols requirements. This ensures consistency of information and level of detail in each article for quality and ease-of-use.

This careful choice of content, the rigorous three-step editing process, and a meticulous attention to detail make Current Protocols a must-have tool to ensure reproducibility in research.

To learn more about how your institution can purchase access to Current Protocols, please contact your account manager.

Image Credit: A and N photography/Shutterstock

About the Author

Virginia Chanda

Publishing Director, Wiley // Virginia Chanda is the executive editor of Current Protocols, and manages the staff of CP Ph. D. developmental editors, interacts with account managers, presents CP training demonstrations to end-users, and is active in new business development for CP.

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