Most current call-to-arms in scientific publishing invoke the idea of an “executable paper”—an article format that can truly take advantage of web-native publishing, leveraging embedded code and research data to allow readers to confirm research findings on the spot. Though a few promising prototypes have been shared in recent years, we are still fairly far from this ideal.
In fact, we are still grappling with how we can ensure the offline verification of results. In the literature, vague descriptions of antibodies, software packages, and other resources used in the course of a study mean that without intervention from a paper’s authors, it’s often impossible to accurately replicate research or build upon reported findings.
Enter the Resource Identification Initiative (#RII). The Force11-backed group is working with publishers and journals such as Nature to ensure that all resources (currently defined as “Antibodies, Model Organisms, and Tools (software and databases)”) mentioned in a paper get identifiers, which are linked back to detailed descriptions about the resources themselves.