New Requirements for Rigor and Reproducibility of Published Data
Figure legends are required to include:
Statistical test used for each experiment.
n value for each condition in every panel.
Sex - if not stated as only one sex in Methods.
Non-uniform image modifications must be declared in legends.
What’s new? Legend details are now required rather than recommended. The reporting of sex in the legend is also a new addition to the list of details to include.
Strongly encourage data availability:
Primary data may be requested upon review and should be provided.
Recommend that primary data be stored in a public repository linked to the paper (e.g., Figshare).
What’s new? While we previously encouraged data storage, we did not specifically encourage authors to make source data available via a public repository. This update also gives reviewers more leeway to request to see source data, if it is needed to fully evaluate the study. Authors will be asked to upload source data into a public repository at submission. We are establishing a relationship with Figshare with direct DOI links to the article and will be encouraging authors to deposit there.
Methods are required to describe:
How antibodies were validated. Experiments using new antibodies that have not been previously validated must submit verification of a validation experiment.
Whether control and treatment groups for microscopy experiments were collected at the same time under the same conditions.
What’s new? Details about antibody validation are now required rather than recommended. Authors should provide reviewers results from a validation study for any antibody that has not been previously validated. Also, the details for microscopy experiments are a new addition in 2018.
Strongly encourage dot-whisker plots instead of bar graphs.
Standard deviations should be indicated as confidence intervals, not standard errors.
What’s new? Use of dot-whisker plots has been changed from a guideline to a strong recommendation.
Expanded use of data supplements
The data supplement policy has been extended to allow for tables/figures (up to 10 multi-paneled figures/tables and explanatory text not to exceed 5 MB.)
As in the past, video and audio files can also be included as supplemental materials.
Such material must be submitted for peer review along with each version of the manuscript and must meet the approval of the journal Editor.
For all supplemental materials, authors should include a caption for each file, explaining the purpose and content of the file.
What’s new? Authors can submit any type of supplemental data (figures, videos, tables ... large or small). They will be asked to upload the data into a public repository at submission. APS is establishing a relationship with Figshare with direct DOI links to the article, and will be encouraging authors to deposit there. Reviewers and Editors will review and approve supplemental materials for publication.
Recommend authors to include Research Resource Identifiers in the Methods section for reporting source details of cells, animals, reagents, and other research tools.
What’s new? We now encourage use of Research Resource Identifiers in the Methods. This is another step to support authors in repeating studies with the reagents that were used in previous studies.