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One Step, One Checklist at a Time

Nature Publishing Group has announced a new initiative aimed at improving the reproducibility of research published in articles appearing across its spectrum of journals.

To help with the issue of reproducibility, the publishing company says in a press release it has developed a checklist to help researchers report the details of their methodologies. The checklist "focuses on a small number of often-incompletely reported elements of experimental and analytical design that are crucial to the interpretation of research results; it also consolidates several existing policies about data deposition and presentation," the statement adds.

Nature adds that it will also be changing some of its in-house practices, eliminating length restrictions on methods sections, and may consult with statisticians on certain papers.

It notes in an editorial, though, that this is but a "small step" toward solving the issue of reproducibility. "Tackling these issues is a long-term endeavour that will require the commitment of funders, institutions, researchers and publishers. …. We urge others to take note of these and of our initiatives, and do whatever they can to improve research reproducibility," the editorial adds.