Arturo Casadevall and co-authors reported A Framework for Improving the Quality of Research in the Biological Sciences. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01256-16 30 August 2016 mBio vol. 7 no. 4 e01256-16
The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium to discuss problems in the biological sciences, with emphasis on identifying mechanisms to improve the quality of research. Participants from various disciplines made six recommendations: (i) design rigorous and comprehensive evaluation criteria to recognize and reward high-quality scientific research; (ii) require universal training in good scientific practices, appropriate statistical usage, and responsible research practices for scientists at all levels, with training content regularly updated and presented by qualified scientists; (iii) establish open data at the timing of publication as the standard operating procedure throughout the scientific enterprise; (iv) encourage scientific journals to publish negative data that meet methodologic standards of quality; (v) agree upon common criteria among scientific journals for retraction of published papers, to provide consistency and transparency; and (vi) strengthen research integrity oversight and training. These recommendations constitute an actionable framework that, in combination, could improve the quality of biological research.
Also, Rigorous Science: a How-To Guide. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01902-16 8 November 2016 mBio vol. 7 no. 6 e01902-16
Proposals to improve the reproducibility of biomedical research have emphasized scientific rigor. Although the word “rigor” is widely used, there has been little specific discussion as to what it means and how it can be achieved. We suggest that scientific rigor combines elements of mathematics, logic, philosophy, and ethics. We propose a framework for rigor that includes redundant experimental design, sound statistical analysis, recognition of error, avoidance of logical fallacies, and intellectual honesty. These elements lead to five actionable recommendations for research education.
Conspicuous by its absence is ISO accreditation. ISO 9001 which some apply to contract research. ISO 17025 to laboratory work or ISO 15189 for diagnostic laboratory work.
While these products of the inspection cartel grow in importance in the UK and countries of the surviving EU, the USA can do fine, and improve further, without them. The experts who attended this colloquium saw no need to mention accreditation for the improvement of quality.