A solar checklist

    Authors of papers related to solar-cell research will now be asked to complete a checklist of submitted information to aid the reproducibility and transparency of results.

    Following discussion with experts in the photovoltaic community and the publication of several articles on the topic of mischaracterization of solar cell efficiency1,2,3,4, Nature Photonics (along with other physical science research journals published by Nature Publishing Group) is introducing a checklist for papers submitted on the topic. The idea is that authors submitting results in the area will be asked to download and complete the checklist (http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/solarchecklist.pdf) prior to the manuscript undergoing peer review to enhance the transparency and reproducibility of the work. The checklist will be shown to reviewers as part of the peer-review process, but it will not be published.

    The checklist is applicable to all material types and will be applied to all papers where it is deemed to be relevant. The aim is to guide authors in providing salient information and detailing procedures that were undertaken during their research. It encompasses topics such as detailing the size and stability of cells, the number of samples tested, the use of a mask and the illumination conditions during characterization, and whether an accredited third party has certified the cell efficiency.

    The introduction of checklists is not new at Nature Publishing Group, as our journals in the life sciences have for some time made use of a similar form to provide important information about issues related to data reporting, statistics and ethics. We believe passionately in supporting communities to encourage best practices and transparency when reporting data and we hope that this checklist will be viewed as being valuable.

    We would like to thank all the experts who have provided us with feedback and suggestions during the preparation of the checklist. We are confident that it will become a useful tool to help ensure the high standards that research in the photovoltaics community deserves.

    References

    1. 1

      Nature Photon. 8, 665 (2014).

    2. 2

      Zimmermann, E. et al. Nature Photon. 8, 669–672 (2014).

    3. 3

      Snaith, H. J. Nature Photon. 6, 337–340 (2012).

    4. 4

      Timmreck, R. et al. Nature Photon. 9, 478–479 (2015).

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    A solar checklist. Nature Photon 9, 703 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2015.233

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