The Lancet presents a Series of five papers about research. In the first report Iain Chalmers et al discuss how decisions about which research to fund should be based on issues relevant to users of research. Next, John Ioannidis et al consider improvements in the appropriateness of research design, methods, and analysis. Rustam Al-Shahi Salman et al then turn to issues of efficient research regulation and management. Next, An-Wen Chan et al examine the role of fully accessible research information. Finally, Paul Glasziou et al discuss the importance of unbiased and usable research reports. These papers set out some of the most pressing issues, recommend how to increase value and reduce waste in biomedical research, and propose metrics for stakeholders to monitor the implementation of these recommendations.