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Reproducibility of experiments

Fri Apr 16 07:39:10 EST 1993

>Current practice is to describe only novel methods, with other methods
>described by reference.  The problems with this are:
>1) One can be lead down a long chain of references to references to
>references to ...
                Annoying, but at least the details are there.

>2) It is too easy to say "Southern blots were done by the techniques
>of Southern (J. Mol. Biol. 98: 503-517, 1975) when you know you have
>made dozens of changes from the original protocol.
                It is perfectly acceptable to state "according to Southern
                (1975) with the following modifications"

>              "According to manufacturers instructions" is one
>example, but references to journals which are not widely available,
>books, meetings proceedings, etc., in fact raise the same problems.
                Annoying, but at least the details are there.

>I propose the following general solution:
>There ought to be a general repository of methods.  This ought to be
>available both in hard copy and electronically.
               That is what the existing literature should be.

                                              Kit manufacturers should
>be strongly encouraged to deposit kit instructions and descriptions in
>this archive.
               A little too idealistic.
               Sincerely,  Don Forsdyke

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