The fundamental properties of organic–inorganic perovskites and their promising technological potential have breathed new life into basic and applied research in photovoltaics. Such enthusiastic activity has also revived the debate on best-practice procedures to be adopted when determining and reporting photovoltaic performance1. In the last few months, discussions between experts in solar cells and editors from the Nature family of journals have converged in the identification of key technical and procedural information about the characterization of photovoltaic devices based on any material system. To improve transparency and reproducibility in the field, this information should be included in published manuscripts. To this end, the key points have been summarized in a checklist, which we will ask authors of pertinent manuscripts to fill in, should their manuscript be sent for peer review. The document, which will be available for downloading from http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/solarchecklist.pdf, mirrors the life-sciences checklist adopted by Nature journals to help authors adhere to data-reporting standards2.