Published — 2022

Quality Output Checklist and Content Assessment (QuOCCA): a new tool for assessing research quality and reproducibility

Tools  For:FundersJournals and publishersResearch institutes

The Research Quality Committee at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) has developed a new tool to assess and improve scientific research quality and reproducibility: Quality Output Checklist and Content Assessment (QuOCCA) The QuOCCA was designed after extensive research and feedback from external experts and researchers. The QuOCCA was specifically created to assess a broad spectrum of biomedical research papers. However, considering its generic nature and wide coverage, many of the components could also be extended to assess published work from other disciplines as well.

The QuOCCA is comprised of an 11-item checklist (subdivided into 14 primary questions and 4 follow-up questions) and is specifically for use to evaluate peer-reviewed research papers. The QuOCCA is meant to support the evaluation of:

  • Research transparency
  • Research design and analysis
  • Research reporting practices

Importantly, the QuOCCA was designed to guide discussion, not to rate and rank researchers or their publications. The QuOCCA does not provide a scoring system.

Individual researchers, research institutions, publishers, or funding bodies can use the QuOCCA for evaluating research publications, tracking changes in research practice over time and leading discussions about open, high-quality research. Examples of how this tool can be used include:

  • Individual researchers can use the QuOCCA to guide the design and reporting of their research or monitor changes in their and their collaborators’ scientific practice
  • Research departments, institutes and universities can use the QuOCCA to maintain consistency and uniformity in gauging the strengths and weaknesses of their published research in terms of openness, transparency, and quality, and accordingly identify and confront the areas where improvements and education are needed.

NeuRA has made both the QuOCCA and a detailed guide freely available on its website, as well as instructional videos to guide researchers, institutions, and journals interested in using the QuOCCA.

Héroux ME, Butler AA, Cashin AG, McCaughey E, Affleck AJ, Green MA, Cartwright A, Jones M, Kiely KM, van Schooten KS., Menant JC, Wewege M, Gandevia SC (2022). Quality Output Checklist and Content Assessment (QuOCCA): a new tool for assessing research quality and reproducibility. doi: