Date added: 22/01/2018 Do Funding Bodies and Journals have Cell Line Requirements?


Do Funding Bodies and Journals have Cell Line Requirements?

Grant Cell Hunt

In the Southern hemisphere, it’s time for the beach – and time to write grant applications and manuscripts. If your project uses cell lines, funding bodies and journals have requirements that you will need to comply with. We include links to many of these requirements below. For more help on cell line requirements, see our Authors’ Guide to Cell Lines .


Funding Bodies

NHMRC has released a recommendation on the use of cultured cell lines for research:

“Concern exists within the scientific community regarding the impact of contamination with mycoplasma and other cells in eukaryotic cell lines, and the use of incorrectly characterised cell lines, on the validity of research outcomes. NHMRC recommends that researchers employ quality assurance procedures to ensure their eukaryotic cell lines are free from mycoplasma and other contaminant cells, and are verified as the cell type required.”


NIH requires authentication of key resources, including cell lines:


Cancer Research UK requires grant-holders to incorporate authentication testing:

“Grantholders and Research Personnel using cell cultures must incorporate a best practice cell line authentication protocol into their experimental framework, following the ‘Guidelines for use of cell lines in biomedical research’ as set out by Geraghty et al (British Journal of Cancer (2014) Sep 9; 111(6):1021-46).”




Some publishers have implemented cell line reporting policies that apply to all their journals. Examples include the AACR, BioMed Central and Nature journals:


Other journals have added reporting requirements to their author guidelines. Examples include the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and PLOS One:


For more information, the editors of the International Journal of Cancer have written an article on setting mandatory requirements for cell line authentication. The article includes a list of journals that require or recommend authentication testing: