Retractions Australia releases new tool which will strengthen science quality

Experts behind Retractions Australia have launched a new tool which will help strengthen research quality. 

The QuOCCA (Quality Output Checklist and Content Assessment) is a free and simple 11-step checklist that has been specifically designed to support researchers to conduct more open, rigorous and reproducible science. Designed to be used at the proofreading stage of a paper, it enables researchers to systematically review their work, ensuring all necessary elements such as methodology, data analysis and references are considered and properly cited. By following a checklist, researchers can maintain consistency, accuracy and transparency, enhancing the overall quality and trustworthiness of their paper in the scientific community.

Professor Simon Gandevia, founder of Retractions Australia and deputy director of Neuroscience Research Australia, hopes to see the QuOCCA widely used across publications, institutes and universities. 

In recent years, research quality and integrity has declined,” says Professor Gandevia, who leads NeuRA’s Research Quality Committee. 

We are recognising the challenges associated with assessing research quality at both individual and organisational levels and so the QuOCCA was created to address this situation.” 

The QuOCCA is accompanied by a series of videos (neu​ra​.edu​.au/​r​e​s​o​u​r​c​e​s​-​t​o​o​l​s​/​q​uocca) that thoroughly explain how to implement each step of the checklist. 

The quality and integrity of research output is of utmost importance to me and I want to see the QuOCCA widely implemented to ensure rigorous and reproducible science,” says Professor Gandevia. 

By providing researchers and institutions with tools that increase research transparency, both Retractions Australia and NeuRA aim to foster a culture of openness, reproducibility, and continuous improvement in scientific research.

Image: Professor Simon Gandevia (right) is pictured here with Professor David Vaux (left) who visited NeuRA for the launch of the QuOCCA video series. 

10 November 2023

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