Authors : Kevin L. Knudtson, Robert H. Carnahan, Rebecca L. Hegstad-Davies, Nancy C. Fisher, Belynda Hicks, Peter A. Lopez, Susan M. Meyn, Sheenah M. Mische, Frances Weis-Garcia, Lisa D. White, Katia Sol-Church
Shared scientific resources, also known as core facilities, support a significant portion of the research conducted at biomolecular research institutions.
The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) established the Committee on Core Rigor and Reproducibility (CCoRRe) to further its mission of integrating advanced technologies, education, and communication in the operations of shared scientific resources in support of reproducible research.
In order to first assess the needs of the scientific shared resource community, the CCoRRe solicited feedback from ABRF members via a survey. The purpose of the survey was to gain information on how U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiatives on advancing scientific rigor and reproducibility influenced current services and new technology development.
In addition, the survey aimed to identify the challenges and opportunities related to implementation of new reporting requirements and to identify new practices and resources needed to ensure rigorous research.
The results revealed a surprising unfamiliarity with the NIH guidelines. Many of the perceived challenges to the effective implementation of best practices (i.e., those designed to ensure rigor and reproducibility) were similarly noted as a challenge to effective provision of support services in a core setting. Further, most cores routinely use best practices and offer services that support rigor and reproducibility.
These services include access to well-maintained instrumentation and training on experimental design and data analysis as well as data management. Feedback from this survey will enable the ABRF to build better educational resources and share critical best-practice guidelines.
These resources will become important tools to the core community and the researchers they serve to impact rigor and transparency across the range of science and technology.