Having your preprint certified with a badge signals that your paper meets established standards in scientific reporting and that you are presenting the highest quality version of your work. Our assessment will identify what improvements need to be made in order to meet these standards. Once you make the necessary changes, the badge will be displayed on your preprint and you’ll receive a certificate.
We check for:
Complete author information
Appropriate declaration statements
Potential risks to human health
Material-specific details (e.g., source, catalog number, RRID)
Study design (e.g., sample size determination, data exclusions, recruitment)
Software/code for data collection and analysis and data deposition
Results in 3-4 business days
Details of the statistical analyses (data conform to test assumptions, test used and p value adjustments are described)
Results (sample size, precise p values and number of in-laboratory repetitions provided, effect sizes described, error bars and plot elements defined)
Our editorial team will assess your work, and you’ll receive a short report with guidance on the revisions that must be made in order to be compliant with the relevant standards. Once your manuscript has been verified to meet these standards, the corresponding badge icon will be displayed on your public preprint. You’ll also receive a downloadable certificate that can be used when submitting to a journal to outline the assessment your article has undergone.
Adherence to established standards of reporting and ethics facilitates reproducibility and increases transparency, both of which benefit the scientific and broader community. The process of earning a badge for your preprint invariably leads to revisions that improve its overall quality and may ease the efforts of peer reviewers and journal editors in assessing your article. Most reputable journals have stated policies around reporting that supports transparency and reproducibility. Additionally, funders are increasingly bolstering requirements around rigorous reporting of data, materials, and availability. A badge can demonstrate to readers that your manuscript meets fundamental reporting standards required by many publishers and funders.
First upload your manuscript to Research Square as a preprint. Then select the badge(s) you wish to purchase. Within 4 business days, we’ll return a report to you with a list of changes that need to be made to your manuscript. Once you’ve made these changes, the badge will be displayed on your preprint.
We’ll also send you a detailed certificate to use when submitting to a journal.
Our in-house editorial staff with advanced degrees in life science-related fields performs the checks. Our staff have years of experience assessing papers for compliance with reporting standards for highly selective journals.
A recent Commentary published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that badges can play a key role in signaling trustworthiness in science by allowing others to see what has been assessed and what standards have been met. Badges allow research to be certified independently of journals, offering a form of validation for preprints and other non-peer-reviewed research.
"In a world that urges quick but quality scientific data, Research Square has provided me a thorough, precise, and strictly technical review of the data presented, allowing us to improve the quality of the paper before submitting to a journal, and putting us in a new category of ‘Reviewed, Certified Preprint’, somewhere between preprint and publication in terms of reliability of the data presented in the study. I highly recommend this service offered by Research Square, particularly for those seeking external evaluations prior to submission to journals."