Biophysical Society Newsletter - April 2015

Newsletter APRIL 2015


Networking Events April 15 Proposals Awards & Contests May 1 Awards Nominations June 15 Changing Our World Submissions Thematic Meetings Biophysics of Proteins at Surfaces: Assembly, Activation, Signaling October 13-15 Madrid, Spain June 1 Abstract Submission Polymers and Self- Assembly: From Biology to Nanomaterials October 25-30 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 22 Abstract Submission Biophysics in the Understanding, Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases November 16-20, 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa July 20 Abstract Submission

Reproducibility of Research in Biophysics This editorial is reprinted from Biophysical Journal 108-7 (April 7, 2015) New advances in science invariably rest on the foundation of previous work and, therefore, the reliability of published work is fundamental to the scientific enterprise. Consequently, research should be well designed, rigorously analyzed, and reproducible. In response to a number of high profile cases in which published data could not be reproduced, as well as a man- date from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the NIH leadership has moved to address the issue of research reproducibility (Collins and Tabak 2014). Toward this end, the NIH, together with the editors of Science and Nature , convened a meeting of scientific journal editors, including the

editor of the Biophysical Journal (BJ), in June of 2014 to address the issue. As a follow-up to the meeting, in November of 2014 the NIH released Principles and Guidelines for Re- porting Preclinical Research ( and requested that publishers sign on to the document. The Biophysical Society (BPS), publisher of BJ, agrees whole-heartedly with the intent of the guidelines—to encourage reproducible, robust, and transparent research. However, in their specifics, these guidelines are primarily directed at large correlative statistical preclini- cal and clinical studies and are not pertinent or applicable to the types of science published by BJ. Therefore BJ, along with several other basic science journals, did not sign on to the document. Basic and applied sciences in general, and biophysics in particular, can require the use of diverse, highly specialized research instrumentation and techniques along with complex, customized computational analysis. The diversity of the research methods and the types of data that are produced requires a flexible approach to the important issues of repro- ducibility of scientific results, transparency, and data sharing. BJ, through its Biophysical Journal Author Guidelines , has already established requirements in support of transparency, rigor, and data sharing that also take into account the need for flexibility based on specific research areas.

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