The quality of RNA preserved in different stabilization matrices was investigated after 2 weeks of storage at room temperature. RNA samples in RNAstable (Biomatrica), GenTegra (IntegenX), and RNAshell (Imagene) were compared to RNA stored at -80°C (the current gold standard for RNA preservation) and with liquid or dried RNA stored at room temperature without additives in this multi-center study. One center prepared all of the RNA samples, and five participating laboratories applied the samples to the matrices and stored them for 2 weeks at room temperature. Samples were shipped to three testing laboratories, where the 336 RNA samples were rehydrated and then analyzed for RNA recovery, purity, and integrity. Parallel RNA quality analyses and real-time PCR analyses were performed at each of the three testing laboratories. Each of the RNA matrices tested was shown to be fit-for-purpose for short-term room temperature storage in terms of total RNA recovery and rRNA integrity. All but one of the matrices was judged to be fit-for-purpose for mRNA integrity when assessed by real-time PCR analysis. In a follow-up study, RNase-contaminated samples were shown to provide accurate real-time PCR results when stored for up to 3.5 months in either RNAshell or RNAstable.