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Table 2 CoBRA checklist for the citation of bioresources used* in scientific journal articles

From: Developing a guideline to standardize the citation of bioresources in journal articles (CoBRA)

Article text section Item # Guidance Additional information
Abstract 1 Indicate whether the work has used one or more bioresources; specify the number of bioresources if relevant Adapt according to the number of words allowed
Introduction 2 Indicate that the work has used one or more bioresources; specify the type The types of bioresources include: data, samples and data, database, registry
Methods 3 Report each individual bioresource used to perform the study: The format of the reference is detailed in item 6 in the section “References”
By their name and other ID, if extant The bioresource name should be the original name as reported in
By a single bibliographic reference Official documents such as Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and Data Transfer Agreement (DTA); the name should be reported in the original language without translation
Specify any relevant characteristics of the bioresource, such as sample number and type of biospecimens, if this information is not available from the bioresource reference
Number of accesses can be also reported here, for instance, as the MTA/DTA registration number associated with each access; if the dates of actual bioresource availability for the user (e.g., reception of samples) are distant from those in the MTA signature, this can be reported here
Results 4   Indicate the relevance of the bioresource(s) used for the study (Optional)
Discussion 5   Standard rules should apply
Reference 6 Cite each bioresource as a reference as follows: Each citation includes three fields: Identification/Institution/Access
ID/Bioresource Name (acronym if available)/organization or network partnership, membership (optional)/Number of access(es), Date of last access; [BIORESOURCE] Specifications for ID: Unique ID can be DOI, catalogue number, or the name only If the only ID is the name then add Town and Country The “use” of the bioresource is distinguished within the citation by adding “[BIORESOURCE]” at the end of the reference
ID: citing the ID, rather than, or in addition to, the name is essential in order to avoid any confusion and facilitate retrieval (see Box 1, Example 1)
DOI: if the detailed description of the bioresource is available in a marker paper, it should be cited here, this being one way of providing a DOI (see Box 1, Example 2)
Name: the name should be the original name as reported in official documents such as MTA and DTA. The name should be reported in the original language of the residence country without translation
Place of residence (town) and country should be translated in the article language (See Box 1, Example 3)
Acronym: when available, stable and consolidated, it is recommended to add the acronym to the reference (See Box 1, Example 3)
    If the bioresource requires mentioning membership or partnership in consortia, networks or organizations, a dedicated field should be included (see Box 1, Examples 1 to 3)
When the bioresource is a physical resource such as a biobank or collection, the number of accesses should be specified, in addition to the date of last access. These data will generally correspond to the data signature of the MTA/DTA
When the bioresource is a digital resource such as a database, dataset, or registry, only the last access should be reported (see Box 1, Example 5)
Authorship 7   Standard rules should apply
Providing samples or data is not sufficient to justify authorship
Acknowledgements 8   Standard rules should apply
  1. *In the case of bioresources not used as a source of material for the study, but only referred to, follow the citation format: ID/Bioresource Name (acronym if available)/organization or network partnership, membership (optional) (see Box 1, Example 5).