Transparency in how research is conducted is a major obstacle to reproducibility efforts. Without a complete and accurate report of how a study was designed, executed and results analyzed, progress in basic and clinical research will falter. In the most extreme cases this could lead to detrimental effects in clinical research trials.
In the article ‘Publishing Transparent and Rigorous Scientific Research’ (OSFPreprints), Eric M Prager et al. set out to provide a basic guide to help researchers, at all stages of their career, ensure that their manuscripts are written in a transparent and open manner. The authors introduce specific reporting criteria that should be included in all manuscripts and provide details on how to choose specific statistical approaches based upon their experimental design. The article also discusses how to accurately visualize results and provide recommendations to peer reviewers. By refining how research is reported, the authors’ goal of advancing data quality standards and improving preclinical research standards will increase reproducibility and validity of research findings.