Science Forum: A survey of research quality in core facilities

  1. Isabelle C Kos-Braun  Is a corresponding author
  2. Björn Gerlach
  3. Claudia Pitzer  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Heidelberg, Germany
  2. PAASP, Germany


Core facilities are an effective way of making expensive experimental equipment available to a large number of researchers, and are thus well placed to contribute to efforts to promote good research practices. Here we report the results of a survey that asked core facilities in Europe about their approaches to the promotion of good research practices, and about their interactions with users from the first contact to the publication of the results. Based on 253 responses we identified four ways that good research practices could be encouraged: i) motivating users to follow the advice and procedures for best research practice; ii) providing clear guidance on data-management practices; iii) improving communication along the whole research process; and iv) clearly defining the responsibilities of each party.

Data availability

The source data and analysed data have been deposited in Dryad under the accession code doi:10.5061/dryad.zkh18938m.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Isabelle C Kos-Braun

    Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2380-5720
  2. Björn Gerlach

    PAASP, PAASP, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4900-6302
  3. Claudia Pitzer

    Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (01PW18001)

  • Isabelle C Kos-Braun
  • Björn Gerlach
  • Claudia Pitzer

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Peter Rodgers, eLife, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: August 18, 2020
  2. Accepted: November 25, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 26, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 3, 2020 (version 2)


© 2020, Kos-Braun et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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  1. Isabelle C Kos-Braun
  2. Björn Gerlach
  3. Claudia Pitzer
Science Forum: A survey of research quality in core facilities
eLife 9:e62212.
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