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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Theodore W. Thannhauser (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Ithaca, NY, USA) for his critical review of this manuscript and Dr. Sarah Birken (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA) for her suggested approaches in analyzing the survey data. N.C.F. is supported by P30 CA016086 Cancer Center Core Support Grant to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. B.D.H. is supported by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under contract HHSN261200800001E. K.L.K. is supported in part by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30 CA086862. S.M.M. was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health Cancer Center grant P30 CA068485. S.M.M. and P.A.L. are supported by P30 CA016087 Cancer Center Core Support Grant at the NYU Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Comprehensive Cancer Center. F.W.-G. is supported by P30 CA008748 Cancer Center Core Support Grant at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. K.S.-C. is supported in part by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health IDeA program under award numbers P30 GM114736 and P20 GM103446. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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