Skip to Main Content

Research Resource Identifiers

The Resource Identification Initiative was designed to help researchers more accurately cite the key resources used to produce the data reported in the biomedical literature. Resources (e.g. antibodies, model organisms, and software tools) reported in the literature often lack sufficient detail to permit the underlying experimental data to be reproduced by other researchers. For example, catalog numbers for antibody reagents often are not reported and the version numbers for software programs used for data analysis are often omitted from publications. This challenge has become so serious that NIH introduced new guidelines for rigor and transparency for almost all awards starting in May, 2016 and NIH now requires that "Research Resource Identifiers such as RRIDs are to be used in all publications".

The Resource Identification Initiative aims to enable resource transparency within the biomedical literature by promoting the use of unique Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) for key biological and/or chemical resources that include, but are not limited to, cell lines, model organisms, specialty chemicals, antibodies and other biologics, and software tools and databases. Key resources may or may not be generated with NIH funds and may differ from laboratory to laboratory or over time; they may have qualities that could influence the research data; and they are integral to the proposed research. The quality of resources used to conduct research is critical to the ability to reproduce the results. Each investigator will have to determine which resources used in their research fit these criteria and are therefore key to the proposed research. In addition to being unique, RRID’s are 1) machine readable, 2) free to generate and access and 3) consistent across publishers and journals. In addition to facilitating reproducibility and reuse, the inclusion of RRID citations in the literature allows resource providers, funders and others to better track usage and impact.

The Resource Identification Portal was created to support the Resource Identification Initiative. The portal provides a central location for easily obtaining persistent and unique RRID identifiers for referencing a research resource. The portal relies on the work of many well established community repositories and databases that are the source for RRIDs of their type. To ensure they are recognizable, unique, and traceable, identifiers are prefixed with " RRID: ", followed by a second tag that indicates the source authority that provided it (e.g. "AB" for the Antibody Registry, "Addgene" for plasmds, "CVCL" for the Cellosaurus, "MMRRC" for Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers, and "SCR" for the SciCrunch registry of tools). Investigators who used a resource in their research should cite it using the RRID. Investigators who created a new resource should go to the Resource Identification Portal to deposit that key resource in a community repository.

Several publications from the Yale/NIDA Neuroproteomics Center include RRIDs. For example, Cheadle and Biederer (2014) include RRIDs for four antibodies; Andrade et al (2017) include RRIDS for nine antibodies, two software tools, and one cell line; Cao et al (2017) include RRIDs for 33 antibodies; Musante et al (2017) include RRIDs for eight antibodies and two software tools; and Gunther et al (2019) include RRIDs for 14 antibodies, and one mouse model organism.