There is increasing evidence that chemicals/test substances cannot only have adverse effects, but that there are many substances that can (also) have a beneficial effect on health. As this journal regularly publishes papers in this area and has every intention in continuing to do so in the near future, it has become essential that studies reported in this journal reflect an adequate level of scientific scrutiny. Therefore a set of essential characteristics of studies has been defined. These basic requirements are default properties rather than non-negotiables: deviations are possible and useful, provided they can be justified on scientific grounds. The 10 basic requirements for a scientific paper reporting antioxidant, antimutagenic or anticarcinogenic potential of test substances in in vitro experiments and animal studies in vivo concern the following areas: (1) Hypothesis-driven study design; (2) The nature of the test substance; (3) Valid and invalid test systems; (4) The selection of dose levels and gender; (5) Reversal of the effects induced by oxidants, carcinogens and mutagens; (6) Route of administration; (7) Number and validity of test variables; (8) Repeatability and reproducibility; (9) Statistics; and (10) Quality Assurance.