During the past decade, the scientific community and outside observers have noted a concerning lack of rigor and transparency in preclinical research that led to talk of a “reproducibility crisis” in the life sciences (Baker, 2016; Bespalov & Steckler, 2018; Heddleston et al, 2021). Various measures have been proposed to address the problem: from better training of scientists to more oversight to expanded publishing practices such as preregistration of studies. The recently published EQIPD (Enhancing Quality in Preclinical Data) System is, to date, the largest initiative that aims to establish a systematic approach for increasing the robustness and reliability of biomedical research (Bespalov et al, 2021). However, promoting a cultural change in research practices warrants a broad adoption of the Quality System and its underlying philosophy. It is here that academic Core Facilities (CF), research service providers at universities and research institutions, can make a difference. It is fair to assume that a significant fraction of published data originated from experiments that were designed, run, or analyzed in CFs. These academic services play an important role in the research ecosystem by offering access to cutting-edge equipment and by developing and testing novel techniques and methods that impact research in the academic and private sectors alike (Bikovski et al, 2020). Equipment and infrastructure are not the only value: CFs employ competent personnel with profound knowledge and practical experience of the specific field of interest: animal behavior, imaging, crystallography, genomics, and so on. Thus, CFs are optimally positioned to address concerns about the quality and robustness of preclinical research.
This EQIPD project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement no. 777364. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and EFPIA. LR was supported by the Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne. VV was supported by Biocenter Finland and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation. CP and IKB received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, grant 01PW18001). SB from the Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF) Preclinical Phenotyping Facility acknowledges funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science & Research; and the City of Vienna. MT is an incumbent of the Carolito Stiftung Research Fellow Chair in Neurodegenerative Diseases. We thank Dr. Katja Kivinen (Helsinki Institute of Life Science) for discussions and feedback.
Restivo L, Gerlach B, Tsoory M, et al. Towards best practices in research: Role of academic core facilities. EMBO Reports. 2021;22. doi:10.15252/embr.202153824
Restivo, L., Gerlach, B., Tsoory, M., Bikovski, L., Badurek, S., Pitzer, C., … Voikar, V. (2021). Towards best practices in research: Role of academic core facilities. EMBO Reports. EMBO Press. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.202153824
Restivo, Leonardo, Björn Gerlach, Michael Tsoory, Lior Bikovski, Sylvia Badurek, Claudia Pitzer, Isabelle C. Kos-Braun, et al. “Towards Best Practices in Research: Role of Academic Core Facilities.” EMBO Reports. EMBO Press, 2021. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.202153824.
L. Restivo et al., “Towards best practices in research: Role of academic core facilities,” EMBO Reports, vol. 22. EMBO Press, 2021.
Restivo L, Gerlach B, Tsoory M, Bikovski L, Badurek S, Pitzer C, Kos-Braun IC, Mausset-Bonnefont ALM, Ward J, Schunn M, Noldus LPJJ, Bespalov A, Voikar V. 2021. Towards best practices in research: Role of academic core facilities. EMBO Reports. 22, e53824.
Restivo, Leonardo, et al. “Towards Best Practices in Research: Role of Academic Core Facilities.” EMBO Reports, vol. 22, e53824, EMBO Press, 2021, doi:10.15252/embr.202153824.
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