Genomic reproducibility in the bioinformatics era

In biomedical research, validation of a new scientific discovery is tied to the reproducibility of its experimental results. However, in genomics, the definition and implementation of reproducibility still remain imprecise. Here, we argue that genomic reproducibility, defined as the ability of bioinformatics tools to maintain consistent genomics results across technical replicates, is key to generating scientific knowledge and enabling medical applications. We first discuss different concepts of reproducibility and then focus on reproducibility in the context of genomics, aiming to establish clear definitions of relevant terms. We then focus on the role of bioinformatics tools and their impact on genomic reproducibility and assess methods of evaluating bioinformatics tools in terms of genomic reproducibility. Lastly, we suggest best practices for enhancing genomic reproducibility, with an emphasis on assessing the performance of bioinformatics tools through rigorous testing across multiple technical replicates.

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