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Detailed product citations help the research community in two ways. Firstly, they make it easy for other scientists to procure the same reagents in order to reproduce the results themselves. Secondly, they act as independent validation that a reagent works in a particular application / species.

Despite this, a recent study found that 54% of resources are not uniquely identifiable in publications, regardless of domain, journal impact, or reporting requirements’. This makes it difficult for other scientists to repeat successful protocols and to expand upon published research, while also limiting the amount of independent product validation data available.

Below we have included some guidelines to help you properly cite the antibodies you used to ensure other scientists can reproduce and build upon your work. Although we focus on antibodies in the examples, these guidelines can be followed for all reagents.

A detailed antibody citation is composed of three parts – the first identifies the particular antibody used, the second identifies the applications / species the antibody was used in and the third shows that the antibody used has been validated.

To identify a particular antibody you need to include Full Product Name, Clone Number (if applicable), Manufacturer Name, Catalogue Number and Lot / Batch Number.

For example:

Myd88 (Phospho-Tyr257) Polyclonal Antibody from Signalway Antibody should be cited as:

Myd88 (Phospho-Tyr257) Antibody (Signalway Antibody, Cat # 12764, Lot # SA1101-5)

While, Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1 from Exbio should be cited as:

Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1, Clone ABRA1-01 (Exbio, Cat # 11-619, Lot # 12378)

To identify the applications / species you used a particular antibody for you need to list the application(s) and species alongside the particular antibody either in the materials or method sections.

For example:

Western Blotting

Western blotting was carried out using… The following antibodies were used; Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1, Clone ABRA1-01 (Exbio, Cat # 11-619, Lot # 12378) was used with human cells…

Materials

The following antibodies were used; Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1, Clone ABRA1-01 (Exbio, Cat # 11-619, Lot # 12378) was used for western blotting with human cells…

The final step is to include information showing that the antibodies you used have been validated. This can be done by either citing published work or by performing the validation yourself and including it within your paper.

For example:

Western Blotting

Western blotting was carried out using… The following antibodies were used; Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1, Clone ABRA1-01 (Exbio, Cat # 11-619, Lot # 12378) was used with human cells as validated in (Reference A)…

Materials

The following antibodies were used; Monoclonal Antibody to ABRA1, Clone ABRA1-01 (Exbio, Cat # 11-619, Lot # 12378) was used for western blotting with human cells as validated in (Reference A)…

The final product citation may appear long, especially if you are using many different products and admittedly there are other ways of structuring this information, although citing products in this detail enables other researchers to successfully find and procure the same reagents.