Minimum Information and Quality Standards for Conducting, Reporting, and Organizing In Vitro Research

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2020;257:177-196. doi: 10.1007/164_2019_284.


Insufficient description of experimental practices can contribute to difficulties in reproducing research findings. In response to this, "minimum information" guidelines have been developed for different disciplines. These standards help ensure that the complete experiment is described, including both experimental protocols and data processing methods, allowing a critical evaluation of the whole process and the potential recreation of the work. Selected examples of minimum information checklists with relevance for in vitro research are presented here and are collected by and registered at the MIBBI/FAIRsharing Information Resource portal.In addition, to support integrative research and to allow for comparisons and data sharing across studies, ontologies and vocabularies need to be defined and integrated across areas of in vitro research. As examples, this chapter addresses ontologies for cells and bioassays and discusses their importance for in vitro studies.Finally, specific quality requirements for important in vitro research tools (like chemical probes, antibodies, and cell lines) are suggested, and remaining issues are discussed.

Keywords: In vitro research; MIAME guidelines; Minimum Information; Ontologies; Quality standards.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • In Vitro Techniques / standards*
  • Research Design*