Date added: 26/04/2017 Journal editors share their experiences of cell line authentication testing
Journal editors share their experiences of cell line authentication testing
How does a journal make mandatory authentication testing a requirement for authors?
Driven by the increasing use of misidentified cell lines, editors at the International Journal of Cancer decided to find out. They now share their experiences in a perspective article, published by PLOS Biology.
Back in 2007, a call for action was issued by Roland Nardone to address increasing use of misidentified cell lines in research laboratories around the world. Roland’s work was featured in a previous newsletter, Roland’s “Snail Glide” memo.
Editors at the International Journal of Cancer debated how to put this into action. They initially tried to bring together a consortium of journals to respond. When other journals did not assist, the International Journal of Cancer decided to "go it alone".
The journal first recommended authentication, then moved to make testing mandatory. Authors are asked to provide testing data during manuscript submission. Manuscripts that do not comply are returned for re-submission.
The editors are honest about the difficulties involved. Problems have been addressed on a case-by-case basis. Mandatory requirements require a significant time investment for the editors; adding a dedicated staff person is a great help.
But the editors also celebrate their outcomes. Usage of misidentified cell lines has decreased but manuscript submissions have not.
The International Journal of Cancer has shown the research community that it values quality in its publications and has enhanced its own reputation in the process.