TurneyCameronCloutierEtAl2015

Reference

Turney, S., Cameron, E.R., Cloutier, C.A. and Buddle, C.M. (2015) Non-repeatable science: Assessing the frequency of voucher specimen deposition reveals that most arthropod research cannot be verified. PeerJ, 2015(8). (Scopus )

Abstract

Scientific findings need to be verifiable and grounded in repeatability. With specimen-level research this is in part achieved with the deposition of voucher specimens. These are labeled, curated, data-based specimens that have been deposited in a collection ormuseum, available for verification of the work and to ensure researchers are calling the same taxa by the same names. Voucher specimens themselves are the subject of research, from the discovery of new species by taxonomists to ecologists documenting historical records of invasive species. Our objective was to quantify the frequency of voucher specimen deposition in biodiversity and community ecology research through a survey of the peer-reviewed literature about arthropods, from 1989 until 2014. Overall rates of voucher deposition were alarmingly low, at under 25%. This rate increased significantly over time, with 35% of papers reporting on vouchers in 2014. Relative to the global mean, entomological research had a significantly higher rate of voucher deposition (46%), whereas researchers studying crustaceans deposited vouchers less than 6% of the time, significantly less than the mean. Researchers working in museums had a significantly higher frequency of voucher deposition. Our results suggest a significant culture shift about the process of vouchering specimens is required. There must be more education and mentoring about voucher specimens within laboratories and across different fields of study. Principal investigators and granting agencies need a proactive approach to ensuring specimen-level data are properly, long-term curated. Editorial boards and journals can also adopt policies to ensure papers are published only if explicit statements about the deposition of voucher specimens is provided. Although the gap is significant, achieving a higher rate of voucher specimen deposition is a worthy goal to ensure all research efforts are preserved for future generations. © 2015 Turney et al.

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@ARTICLE { TurneyCameronCloutierEtAl2015,
    AUTHOR = { Turney, S. and Cameron, E.R. and Cloutier, C.A. and Buddle, C.M. },
    TITLE = { Non-repeatable science: Assessing the frequency of voucher specimen deposition reveals that most arthropod research cannot be verified },
    JOURNAL = { PeerJ },
    YEAR = { 2015 },
    VOLUME = { 2015 },
    NUMBER = { 8 },
    NOTE = { cited By 0 },
    ABSTRACT = { Scientific findings need to be verifiable and grounded in repeatability. With specimen-level research this is in part achieved with the deposition of voucher specimens. These are labeled, curated, data-based specimens that have been deposited in a collection ormuseum, available for verification of the work and to ensure researchers are calling the same taxa by the same names. Voucher specimens themselves are the subject of research, from the discovery of new species by taxonomists to ecologists documenting historical records of invasive species. Our objective was to quantify the frequency of voucher specimen deposition in biodiversity and community ecology research through a survey of the peer-reviewed literature about arthropods, from 1989 until 2014. Overall rates of voucher deposition were alarmingly low, at under 25%. This rate increased significantly over time, with 35% of papers reporting on vouchers in 2014. Relative to the global mean, entomological research had a significantly higher rate of voucher deposition (46%), whereas researchers studying crustaceans deposited vouchers less than 6% of the time, significantly less than the mean. Researchers working in museums had a significantly higher frequency of voucher deposition. Our results suggest a significant culture shift about the process of vouchering specimens is required. There must be more education and mentoring about voucher specimens within laboratories and across different fields of study. Principal investigators and granting agencies need a proactive approach to ensuring specimen-level data are properly, long-term curated. Editorial boards and journals can also adopt policies to ensure papers are published only if explicit statements about the deposition of voucher specimens is provided. Although the gap is significant, achieving a higher rate of voucher specimen deposition is a worthy goal to ensure all research efforts are preserved for future generations. © 2015 Turney et al. },
    ART_NUMBER = { 1168 },
    AUTHOR_KEYWORDS = { Biodiversity; Entomology; Museum collections; Philosophy of science; Taxonomy; Verifiability; Vouchers },
    DOCUMENT_TYPE = { Article },
    DOI = { 10.7717/peerj.1168 },
    KEYWORDS = { Arthropoda; Crustacea },
    SOURCE = { Scopus },
    URL = { http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84940398320&partnerID=40&md5=0d2d4820c6d32324def3d28c22d69dc0 },
}

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