Universal Scientific Equipment Discovery Tool (USEDiT): If you Used It, You Should Cite It

According to the NIH, "two cornerstones of science advancement are rigor in designing and performing scientific research and the ability to reproduce biomedical research findings." Dissemination of knowledge underpins scientific progress and discovery. It is critical that sufficient, detailed, and transparent reporting is done to allow the researchers, funding agencies, and policy makers to assess the veracity of the previous findings. Currently, the scientific community lacks a structured citation style or method for tracking what types of scientific lab equipment are being utilized to conduct research on grant funded projects or peer reviewed publications. This in turn presents a significant challenge to other researchers who are trying to reproduce the results published by other researchers. Not being able to systematically reference what equipment is being used to conduct experiments also contributes to the crisis in reproducibility that the scientific community is currently facing. This presentation introduces the Universal Scientific Equipment Discovery Tool (USEDiT). USEDiT assigns a universal unique identifier and a standardized set of information for each piece of equipment. Scientists can now easily cite any equipment they use. The goal of USEDiT is to create a tool that enables scientific discovery by making it easier for researchers to cite equipment in peer reviewed publications and in research grant applications. When equipment used in research is properly and consistently cited, the productivity of pieces of equipment can be unambiguously quantified.