Transparent research starts with an unambiguous parts list. To help promote the wider use of identifiers and recognized symbols in biological research, FlyBase (with input from other model organism databases) is developing a resource for tracking and reporting reagents in a more standardized way, aiding curation into research databases.
The GSA journals are now encouraging authors to use this Reagent Table and to provide input to help the community develop and improve the concept.
The Reagent Table is provided as a spreadsheet template, a format that is convenient and flexible for the researcher, easily used by readers of research publications, and allows bulk downloads for database curation. The table is designed for use in the lab, as a research project is conducted. Unambiguous identification of not only reagents, but the specific genes studied is particularly helpful for genetic and genome databases, as well as for other researchers, helping avoid confusion around genes with similar names or symbols.
The template, detailed instructions, and an example file are available in the journals’ Instructions for Authors. Please send feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.