Empowering methods,
to empower you.

STAR Methods promote rigor and robustness with an intuitive, consistent framework that integrates seamlessly into the scientific information flow—making reporting easier for the author and replication easier for the reader.

We're pleased to announce that this exciting new approach to methods is now available for more Cell Press journals, including:

Cell

Cancer Cell

Cell Chemical
Biology

Cell Host & Microbe

Cell Metabolism

Cell Stem Cell

Cell Systems

Current Biology

Developmental Cell

Immunity

iScience

Molecular Cell

Neuron

Structure

STRUCTURED

“STAR Methods are organized logically.”

TRANSPARENT

“STAR Methods have all the information I need.”

ACCESSIBLE

“STAR Methods are easy to access & comprehend.”

REPORTING

“STAR Methods are key to good science.”

Structured

Attention to detail matters.

We’ve reimagined every aspect of our approach to methods—including structure, content, and functionality—to promote rigorous reporting.

  • Standard, intuitive structure that encourages full reporting.
  • Comprehensive, at-a-glance Key Resources Table.
  • All methods information in one dedicated section.

Transparent

Credibility is everything.

Methods that are transparent, comprehensive, and accurate empower your work and your peers—whether they’re down the hall or on the other side of the world.

  • An intuitive, consistent framework across all Cell Press research articles.
  • The space required to relay all of the information in detail.
  • Robust and transparent methods allow others to build on and extend the impact of your work.

Accessible

Rigorous is hard work.

We’re making it a little bit easier with methods that are accessible, rich in detail, and easy to follow.

  • Easy access to information about reagent and resources.
  • Methods information in one complete online report and intuitively linked to the main manuscript.
  • Promotes more effective sharing of resources, data, and knowledge.

Reporting

Science builds.

We understand that strong methods and accurate reporting are the foundation of strong science. We’re committed to methods that help you make your science even better.

  • Working closely with our authors, we’re giving methods the focus and attention they deserve.
  • We’re working actively with community stakeholders to raise the standards for methods and reporting.
  • This is just the beginning. We’ll continue to improve and be innovative to empower methods.

Empowering methods: How it works

No length restrictions

A full methods section, with no length restrictions, means the author can provide the full details, all in one place.

A quick, at-a-glance view

Integrating the methods section within the main paper, the outline provides a quick, at-a-glance view of the methods with links to reach the section of interest.

Standardized sections

Standardized sections help organize and promote reporting complete information on design, statistical analysis, and details on the subjects and experimental model.

Resource information

A simple three-column table allows full reporting of reagent and resource information, including their source and identifiers.

Contact information

Dedicated section for contact information emphasizes the importance of sharing reagents and other resources.

Datasets and software

Datasets and software generated and critical for the work and future studies are easy to access.

STAR METHODS: Q&A

Q

The Methods section in Cell Press articles seemed to work pretty well. Why change it now?

A

We don’t see STAR Methods as a change of strategy for Cell Press, as much as an evolution of the values for scientific rigor and innovation in publishing that have always been at our core. We have always viewed methods as a critical part of every paper we publish. We see methods as the story behind the story and the foundation on which all great science builds. We have been listening to discussions in the community about the need to improve rigor and reproducibility in science, and this has inspired us to evolve our approach to methods. Find out more about how STAR Methods came to be in our editorial in Cell. STAR Methods are only the first step of our renewed efforts for empowering methods. Stay tuned!

Q

I'm an author preparing my paper. Where can I find further information about how to prepare the STAR Methods section?

A

Please see our STAR Methods instructions for authors, where you will find documents including the STAR Methods guide, key resources table template, and supplemental information guidelines. STAR Methods are required for acceptance in journals currently publishing this format. It is not required for initial submission, but it is encouraged.

Q

How does STAR Methods relate to NIH policies on rigor and reproducibility and other efforts to promote robust and open science?

A

Cell Press endorses the NIH Principles and Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research and, in alignment with those recommendations, STAR Methods provides a structure to encourage transparent reporting of methods and statistics and open data and reagent sharing. STAR Methods also align with the Center for Open Science’s Guidelines for Transparency and Openness Promotion initiative, which established standards for transparent reporting, and the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting of research using animals. The key resources table is integrated with RRIDs, reagent identifiers developed by the Resource Identification Initiative (RII) to facilitate tracking of key resources and reagents.

Q

When will STAR Methods roll out to other Cell Press journals?

A

We launched STAR Methods first with Cell and Cell Systems in September 2016, and then more journals – Cancer Cell, Cell Chemical Biology, Cell Host & Microbe, Cell Metabolism, Cell Stem Cell, Current Biology, Developmental Cell, Immunity, Molecular Cell, Neuron, and Structure – in spring 2017. STAR Methods will roll out to Cell Reports soon. In the meantime, we will be looking closely at where we can continue to improve and refine the format. To help us optimize STAR Methods, we'd love your feedback. Email us at [email protected] or take our STAR Methods survey.

Empowering methods, to empower you.

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The image file “Entry in notebook of Francis Crick on "Action of RNase”” comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom. Refer to Wellcome blog post (archive). “Entry in notebook of Francis Crick on "Action of RNase”” is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Changed from original: merged with image.