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Before Reproducibility must come Preproducibility

Many of us ask a question – what can I do to help improve the research data quality? And we are often discouraged by the apparent size of the problem and easily come to a conclusion that one individual cannot do much, there is a need for a societal action that would force different players such as funders and publishers to more actively develop, introduce and enforce higher quality standards.

However, this commentary suggests an interesting step that any of us can take. Since we all regularly receive invitations and review manuscripts submitted for publication, why don’t we follow what Philip Stark is apparently already doing – pledge not to review papers that are not ‘preproducible’. This neologism means that an experiment is described in sufficient detail for readers to be able to a) understand the exact procedure and b) reproduce the published experiments if required.

In other words, refuse to review manuscripts that do not respect established guidelines like ARRIVE but are nevertheless submitted to a journal that officially endorses the ARRIVE guidelines.

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