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FASEB Science Research Conferences Transparency and Rigor Initiative

In 2018, the FASEB Science Research Conference (SRC) series collaborated 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 invited all 2018 conference attendees to participate.

Overview and Purpose

This initiative tested 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, NIH 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 used badges to test whether key information regarding experimental methods can be conveyed effectively using transparency and rigor badges at the 2018 SRC's. This initiative aligns with the broader efforts of FASEB to promote rigor and reproducibility in biological and biomedical research.


All 2018 SRC Speakers and Poster Presenters were encouraged to use badges to convey incorporation of specific experimental methods in PowerPoint and poster presentations. The badges (available for digital or print materials, below) were for any individual presenting at a 2018 conference. The goal was to determine the practicality and value of this unobtrusive approach for presenters and conference attendees. Participation in this initiative was completely voluntary. For this pilot, we used symbols to convey eight aspects of study design.


The badges were incorporated into PowerPoint slides or in the legends of poster presentation images displaying key findings. We recommended that symbols be 0.5” high by 0.5” wide and large enough to be visible by audience members, but not so large that they overwhelmed the figure or slide. Click on the badges below to download.

  • 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


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