Rigor & Reproducibility
At Wistar, we pride ourselves on ensuring we meet the two cornerstones of scientific advancement: rigor in designing and performing scientific research, and the ability to reproduce biomedical research findings.
To ensure that their research reflects the highest standards, Wistar trainees and scientists are expected to follow National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for rigor and reproducibility when planning their experiments. Specifically, scientists should consider factors affecting the robustness of their proposed research, including:
- Scientific premise, or the research that forms the basis of proposed questions (i.e., consider the strengths and weaknesses of prior research and/or preliminary data).
- Scientific rigor, or the strict application of the scientific method to ensure robust and unbiased experimental design and results.
- Biological variables, such as sex, age, weight, and underlying health conditions.
- Key biological and/or chemical resources, such as cell lines, antibodies, specialty chemicals, etc.
Wistar’s departments of Education, Science Administration and Research and Administrative Services along with the shared resources offer guidance to scientists in adhering to the new NIH standards.
The following NIH resources provide context for these changes, as well as information about how to address them. We hope these guides will serve as valuable tools to ensure the success of your scientific endeavors.
- FASEB Journal Life Sciences Forums: “Studying both sexes: a guiding principle for biomedicine” Clayton. 10/29/2015
- Science Perspectives: “Fixing problems with cell lines” Lorsch, Collins & Lippincott-Schwartz” 12/19/2014
- Science Editorial: “Journals unite for reproducibility” McNutt“ 11/07/2014
- Nature Commentary: “Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies” Clayton & Collins. 05/14/2014
- Nature Commentary: “Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility” Collins & Tabak. 01/27/2014
- Nature Perspectives: “A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research” Landis, et al. 10/10/2012