Laboratory Codes in Nomenclature and Scientific Communication (Advancing Organism Nomenclature in Scientific Communication to Improve Research Reporting and Reproducibility)

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Abstract

Laboratory registration codes, also known as laboratory codes or lab codes, are a key element in standardized laboratory animal and genetic nomenclature. As such they are critical to accurate scientific communication and to research reproducibility and integrity. The original committee on Mouse Genetic Nomenclature published nomenclature conventions for mice genetics in 1940, and then conventions for inbred strains in 1952. Unique designations were needed, and have been in use since the 1950s, for the sources of animals and substrains, for the laboratories that identified new alleles or mutations, and then for developers of transgenes and induced mutations. Current laboratory codes are typically a 2- to 4-letter acronym for an institution or an investigator. Unique codes are assigned from the International Laboratory Code Registry, which was developed and is maintained by ILAR in the National Academies (National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine and previously National Academy of Sciences). As a resource for the global research community, the registry has been online since 1997. Since 2003 mouse and rat genetic and strain nomenclature rules have been reviewed and updated annually as a joint effort of the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee. The current nomenclature conventions (particularly conventions for non-inbred animals) are applicable beyond rodents, although not widely adopted. Ongoing recognition, since at least the 1930s, of the research relevance of genetic backgrounds and origins of animals, and of spontaneous and induced genetic variants speaks to the need for broader application of standardized nomenclature for animals in research, particularly given the increasing numbers and complexities of genetically modified swine, nonhuman primates, fish, and other species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalILAR journal
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 31 2021

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Databases
  • Genes
  • Genetic/standards
  • Mice
  • Nomenclature
  • Research Reproducibility
  • RRID
  • Terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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