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Brain Behav. 2015 Dec 8;6(1):e00417. doi: 10.1002/brb3.417. eCollection 2016 Jan.

The Resource Identification Initiative: a cultural shift in publishing.

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Center for Research in Biological Systems UCSD 9500 Gillman Dr.#0446 la Jolla California 92093-0446.
Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology OHSU Library Oregon Health and Science University 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road Portland, Oregon 97239 USA.
Department of Psychiatry University of Massachusetts Medical School 365 Plantation Street Biotech One Worcester Massachusetts 01605.
INCF Karolinska Institutet Nobels väg 15A 171 77 Stockholm Sweden.
Department of Neuroscience Hess CSM Building Floor 10 Room 118 1470 Madison Avenue New York City New York 10029.
Scientific Outreach Executive Faculty of 1000 Ltd Middlesex House 34-42, Cleveland Street London W1T 4LB UK.
John Wiley and Sons 11 River St Hoboken New Jersey 07030.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 1 Cyclotron Road Berkeley California 94720.
Sr. Content Innovation Manager at Elsevier Radarweg 29 Amsterdam 1043 NX Netherlands.


A central tenet in support of research reproducibility is the ability to uniquely identify research resources, that is, reagents, tools, and materials that are used to perform experiments. However, current reporting practices for research resources are insufficient to identify the exact resources that are reported or to answer basic questions such as "How did other studies use resource X?" To address this issue, the Resource Identification Initiative was launched as a pilot project to improve the reporting standards for research resources in the methods sections of papers and thereby improve identifiability and scientific reproducibility. The pilot engaged over 25 biomedical journal editors from most major publishers, as well as scientists and funding officials. Authors were asked to include Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) in their manuscripts prior to publication for three resource types: antibodies, model organisms, and tools (i.e., software and databases). RRIDs are assigned by an authoritative database, for example, a model organism database for each type of resource. To make it easier for authors to obtain RRIDs, resources were aggregated from the appropriate databases and their RRIDs made available in a central web portal ( RRIDs meet three key criteria: they are machine readable, free to generate and access, and are consistent across publishers and journals. The pilot was launched in February of 2014 and over 300 papers have appeared that report RRIDs. The number of journals participating has expanded from the original 25 to more than 40 with RRIDs appearing in 62 different journals to date. Here, we present an overview of the pilot project and its outcomes to date. We show that authors are able to identify resources and are supportive of the goals of the project. Identifiability of the resources post-pilot showed a dramatic improvement for all three resource types, suggesting that the project has had a significant impact on identifiability of research resources.

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