In a Nature Comment Malcolm McCleod and Jeffrey Mogli present an idea for preclinical research to improve trust in animal studies by performing large confirmatory studies, which they call preclinical trial. The authors suggest that preclinical studies should be confirmed by an independent lab. These additional studies could be published in the same article as the original scientific finding. For generalizability studies having the potential for clinical applications this replication effort would most likely require a multicenter approach.

The authors believe that following this strategy will increase the quality of preclinical research because researchers will be aware that the primary finding must be replicated by an independent confirmatory lab. This will encourage them to produce higher quality data right from the beginning when studies are planned and designed.

This idea was also discussed in a short interview on Retraction watch (LINK). It certainly could be another important step forward to make science more reproducible, and it will be interesting to see how fast such an idea can be implemented.