Antibodies are frequently used in developmental biology labs, but their validation is crucial to provide the information needed in order to reliably interpret the results of experiments. Antibody validation is also important to help scientists chose antibodies that will be suitable for their experiments, yet the results of these validations rarely get published.
To try and help F1000Research recently launched the Antibody Validation collection. Myself, along with my colleague Matt Helsby from Citeab and Mei Yeung from PeproTech EC Ltd are the guest editors of the collection which aims to provide a platform where researchers and companies can both publish their antibody validation studies regardless of the outcome, and look up existing validation articles for antibodies or experimental setups of their interest. Our goal is to enhance the reliability and reproducibility of antibodies in scientific research. Referees reviewing the validation studies will not focus on novelty and impact, but rather on whether the study is scientifically sound and provides all the relevant information. This allows us to publish validations which might otherwise be lost and include detailed methods and complete data (for example entire western blots).
Formal publication allows scientists doing these validations (which can be onerous and time consuming) to get some tangible credit for their efforts through a recognised citation which once peer reviewed, is indexed in PubMed. So, if you are using antibodies and you are regularly validating them, why not write up this data and publish it? By sharing your information you can help others receive valuable information about antibodies giving them more confidence in which ones they should use in their studies.
We want to be as inclusive as possible in this initiative and encourage participation from everyone involved in using, validating and manufacturing antibodies. So, if you have any thoughts on the collection or would like to be involved please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org), as your suggestions/help will be most welcome.
Andy Chalmers (CiteAb/University of Bath)