Comment on:

The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 7

Cross-phase quality assurance

Researchers carry out each step of the research process lege artis. When research findings are made publicly available (in the narrower sense of publication, but also in a broader sense through other communication channels), the quality assurance mechanisms used are always explained. This applies especially when new methods are developed.

Explanations:

Continuous quality assurance during the research process includes, in particular, compliance with subject-specific standards and established methods, processes such as equipment calibration, the collection, processing and analysis of research data, the selection and use of research software, software development and programming, and the keeping of laboratory notebooks.

If researchers have made their findings publicly available and subsequently become aware of inconsistencies or errors in them, they make the necessary corrections. If the inconsistencies or errors constitute grounds for retracting a publication, the researchers will promptly request the publisher, infrastructure provider, etc. to correct or retract the publication and make a corresponding announcement. The same applies if researchers are made aware of such inconsistencies or errors by third parties.

The origin of the data, organisms, materials and software used in the research process is disclosed and the reuse of data is clearly indicated; original sources are cited. The nature and the scope of research data generated during the research process are described. Research data are handled in accordance with the requirements of the relevant subject area. The source code of publicly available software must be persistent, citable and documented. Depending on the particular subject area, it is an essential part of quality assurance that results or findings can be replicated or confirmed by other researchers (for example with the aid of a detailed description of materials and methods).

Guideline 11

Methods and standards

To answer research questions, researchers use scientifically sound and appropriate methods. When developing and applying new methods, they attach particular importance to quality assurance and the establishment of standards.

Explanations:

The application of a method normally requires specific expertise that is ensured, where necessary, by suitable cooperative arrangements. The establishment of standards for methods, the use of software, the collection of research data and the description of research results is essential for the comparability and transferability of research outcomes.

Guidelines for quality-promoting aspects in medicine and biomedicine

The quality of research projects is often not visible until after funding has ended and is ultimately reflected in the verifiability and reproducibility of the results, as well as in the compatibility of the findings arrived at in the project. There are a number of aspects that should be taken into account when planning a project in order to enable high-quality findings in the first place.

The working group “Quality in Clinical Research” of the Permanent Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research has developed essential quality-promoting measures for medical and biomedical research based on discussion with representatives of life science review boards and compiled these in a brief guide. Key points identified include the choice of research model and theoretical approach, the quality of the data sets and biomaterials used and the use of suitable research infrastructures. In addition, appropriate statistical planning and approaches to avoid bias contribute significantly to the quality of the results in these subject areas.

This guide is intended to help applicants take these aspects into account more systematically when planning, as well as when presenting them in the funding proposal. On this basis, the explanations in the funding proposals are systematically included in review and evaluation, thereby raising overall awareness of the relevance of quality-promoting aspects as well as academic discourse on this subject.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL7 (Life sciences) , GL7 (Statements) , GL11 (Life sciences) , GL11 (Statements)

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