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Transparency and Rigor Initiative

In 2017, the FASEB Science Research Conference (SRC) series began collaborating with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to pilot a Transparency and Rigor Initiative in order to enhance the reproducibility of research findings in research. As the only organization to test this initiative, FASEB invites all 2019 conference attendees to participate.

Overview and Purpose

This initiative tests the use of badges to convey methodological information in conference presentations and posters to enhance the transparency and reproducibility of research findings. Responding to claims that many published studies are not reproducible, the National Institutes of Health issued a policy to improve consideration of rigor and transparency in grant applications, and many scientific publications have required additional information regarding experimental materials and methods to be included in manuscripts. Recognizing that conference presentations and posters are time- and space-limited, FASEB’s Office of Public Affairs has partnered with the Science Research Conferences (SRCs) to test whether key information regarding experimental methods can be conveyed effectively using badges as part of its broader efforts to promote rigor and reproducibility in biological and biomedical research.


Presenters are requested to use badges to convey incorporation of specific experimental methods in PowerPoint and poster presentations. Our goal is to determine the practicality and value of this unobtrusive approach for presenters and conference attendees. Participation in this initiative is completely voluntary. For this pilot, we will use the following symbols to convey ten aspects of study design:

  • Randomization

  • Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable

Tested in Both Sexes

Male Only Female Only


  • Inclusion of Positive and Negative Controls

  • Blinded Analysis

  • Preliminary Analysis

  • Confirmatory Analysis

  • Database Deposition

  • Littermate controls for animal studies

  • Statistical Power Analysis

  • Authenticated Reagent


These badges may be incorporated into PowerPoint slides or in the legends of poster presentation images displaying key findings. These and additional badges to be determined will be available for download on the FASEB SRC website. We recommend that symbols be 0.5” high by 0.5” wide. They should be large enough to be visible by audience members, but not so large that they overwhelm the figure or slide.


Questions in the post-conference evaluation survey will be used to gauge the effectiveness and interest in utilizing these badges for future conferences.