A Review of the Scientific Rigor, Reproducibility, and Transparency Studies Conducted by the ABRF Research Groups

J Biomol Tech. 2020 Apr;31(1):11-26. doi: 10.7171/jbt.20-3101-003.


Shared research resource facilities, also known as core laboratories (Cores), are responsible for generating a significant and growing portion of the research data in academic biomedical research institutions. Cores represent a central repository for institutional knowledge management, with deep expertise in the strengths and limitations of technology and its applications. They inherently support transparency and scientific reproducibility by protecting against cognitive bias in research design and data analysis, and they have institutional responsibility for the conduct of research (research ethics, regulatory compliance, and financial accountability) performed in their Cores. The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) is a FASEB-member scientific society whose members are scientists and administrators that manage or support Cores. The ABRF Research Groups (RGs), representing expertise for an array of cutting-edge and established technology platforms, perform multicenter research studies to determine and communicate best practices and community-based standards. This review provides a summary of the contributions of the ABRF RGs to promote scientific rigor and reproducibility in Cores from the published literature, ABRF meetings, and ABRF RGs communications.

Keywords: collaborative research; community based standards; core laboratories; multicenter research studies; shared resource.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration
  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Computational Biology / standards
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Flow Cytometry / standards
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genomics / standards
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / organization & administration
  • Laboratories / standards*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Mass Spectrometry / standards
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Metabolomics / standards
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Microscopy / standards
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Proteomics / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results*