We identified 1113 articles (103 reviews, 1010 primary research articles) published in 2005 that describe experiments performed using commercially available optical biosensors. While this number of publications is impressive, we find that the quality of the biosensor work in these articles is often pretty poor. It is a little disappointing that there appears to be only a small set of researchers who know how to properly perform, analyze, and present biosensor data. To help focus the field, we spotlight work published by 10 research groups that exemplify the quality of data one should expect to see from a biosensor experiment. Also, in an effort to raise awareness of the common problems in the biosensor field, we provide side-by-side examples of good and bad data sets from the 2005 literature. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.