New journal gives authors credit for their work in customizing research methods.

A new journal publishing customized scientific methods will give researchers credit for the adaptations they make to existing technical protocols, and make them available to the global scientific community.

MethodsX – an open access journal – will publicize researchers’ previously-unseen modifications to methods for their particular experiments. As well as giving researchers proper credit for their lab work, the journal is intended to become a knowledge hub for customized methods, and Elsevier hopes it may help to identify some current issues around methodologies, such as the reproducibility and validation of published methods.

The MethodsX format makes it easy for researchers to describe and submit their customized methods, and easy for their peers to search for and use them. A user-friendly ‘protocol template’ presents each customized method in clear steps and with the necessary detail for others to actually reproduce the process. Each article references the original method on which the adaptation is based, creating the possibility of building up a traceable ‘institutional memory’ of research evolutions among researchers worldwide. 
The open access nature of the journal is important in this respect. Everyone can see and cite the work in MethodsX, helping to ensure a useful legacy for the time-consuming customizations that researchers make.
According to Andrea Hoogenkamp-O’Brien, one of the initial creators of the journal, “Early in my research career, if there had been a similar ‘library’ where customized methods could be shared, life would have been easier.”  
“Interestingly, that’s the exact same feedback we continue to get when speaking to people currently active as researchers”, continues her counterpart Irene Kanter-Schlifke . “All MethodsX articles will be peer reviewed and citable as standalone pieces of work. By sharing tailored methods across all disciplines, and creating an engaged community around them, we hope to make MethodsX equally valuable to contributors and readers alike.”

MethodsX is now accepting submissions, and an introductory video about the journal is live. Individual researchers – as well as academic institutions, companies, and professional membership organizations – are invited to submit their customized methods, and take their place among the journal’s first articles.

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