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A lack of consistent reproducibility in some preclinical research has serious implications for translating those findings from bench to bedside. This is a problem that requires urgent corrective action. Restoring confidence in the rigor of pre-clinical biomedical research will require all stakeholders to be a part of the solution, including basic scientists, academic institutions, industry, and publishers.


 Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Preclinical Animal Research Design

James Fox (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Valerie Hamilton (Merck), and Tom Cheever (NIAMS) outline key areas to focus on when designing your animal research experiments in order to improve the quality of data outcomes. (Experimental Biology 2018)

 Why Scientific Rigor Matters and Ways to Improve It

Kristine Willis (NIH), Bradley K. Yoder (University of Alabama-Birmingham), Curt D. Sigmund (University of Iowa), and Tracey Weissgerber (Mayo Clinic) describe efforts to increase scientific rigor through training students in research design, more transparent reporting of research findings, and better approaches to data visualization. (Experimental Biology 2017)

 Reproducibility in Research Symposium

Shai Silberberg (NINDS), Richard Nakamura (NIH-CSR), and Malcolm Macleod (Edinburgh University) identified issues that undermine scientific rigor and the importance of addressing them. (Experimental Biology 2015)

APS Resources

  • Reproducibility Tool Box
    Resource collection handout made available during the Why Scientific Rigor Matters and Ways to Improve It Symposium. [PDF]
  • Reproducibility Journal Club
    A journal club activity to gain insight into the challenges of improving scientific rigor. It includes articles and sample questions recommended by speakers at the APS Reproducibility Symposium.
  • APS Advises NIH on Sex as a Biological Variable
    The APS response to an NIH Request for Information (RFI, NOT-OD-14-128) on developing policies for the inclusion of sex as a biological variable in preclinical research studies involving animals and cells.

Outside Resources