Like a digital object identifier or a uniform resource identifier, RRID aims to be a standard format to identify resources, in this case, model organisms or reagents in scientific publications. This way, researchers reading articles will know exactly which resources were used in the project.
The identifier has been used in hundreds of papers, project coordinator Anita Bandrowski from the University of California, San Diego, tells Nature News. It notes, though, that about 90 percent of those papers have appeared in neuroscience journals.
Bandrowski and her colleagues add in a paper at F1000Research that their pilot study asked authors preparing manuscripts for 25, and then 40, journals to include RRIDs for antibodies, model organisms, and tools. They report that authors were generally accurate in their use of RRIDs, and all but one of the journals continued the use of the identifiers beyond the pilot period.
"The load on curation staff with participating journals has been minimal and the initial portal prototype appears reasonable for the majority of authors to find their resource identifier," they add.
Bandrowski notes that the identifiers will branch out to other fields as journals with a broader scope like PLOS One adopt them.
"They'll be useful if they catch widespread attention and uptake," adds Dan MacLean from the Sainsbury Laboratory at Nature News.