Robust science needs robust corrections. David Allison and his colleagues argue that mistakes in peer-reviewed papers are easy to find but hard to fix. In this Nature commentary, six key problems are identified and excellent suggestions are made on how to improve the current situation. Most interestingly, authors argue that ‘scientists who engage in post-publication review often do so out of a sense of duty to their community’ but these efforts need to be recognized and incentivized (Nature. 2016 Feb 4;530(7588):27-9. doi: 10.1038/530027a).
A pocket guide to electronic laboratory notebooks in the academic life sciences. Scientists use lab notebooks (LNs) to document their hypotheses, experiments and initial analysis or interpretation of experiments. However, while complexity of science has changed dramatically over the last century, LNs have remained essentially unchanged since pre-modern science. In this article, U. Dirnagl and I. Przesdzing describe their experience when recently switching from a paper-based laboratory notebook to an electronic LN (eLN). They provide researchers and their institutions with the background and practical knowledge to select and initiate the implementation of an eLN in their laboratories. (F1000Res. 2016 Jan 4;5:2.)
Irreproducibility in Preclinical Biomedical Research: Perceptions, Uncertainties and Knowledge Gaps. Over the last years, many articles and commentaries were written about the ‘reproducibility of research data’. In this new paper, Jarvis and Williams provide a very refreshing view arguing that ‘perceptions of research irreproducibility in the preclinical sciences are based on limited, frequently anecdotal data from select therapeutic areas of cell and molecular biology’. This statement clearly indicates where the urgent need is today. Indeed, besides some limited number of analyses done on real data and theoretical considerations, hard evidence is often missing. In the absence of this information, there is a danger that emerging efforts in the field of ‘reproducibility’ have a ‘potential to inhibit scientific innovation’, as noted by Jarvis and Williams (Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2016. doi: 10.1016/