The Criteria of Authentication
Reference: Hofreiter, M., Serre, D., Poinar, H.N., Kuch, M. & Pääbo, S. (2001): Ancient DNA. - Nat. Rev. Genet. 2, 353-359.
Examples of Criteria of Authentication observed in my lab
Extraction controls and PCR controls: Mock extractions and PCRs without template DNA are elementary controls that should be carried out.
Inverse correlation between amplicon length and amplification efficiency: Generally, amplification of only short DNA pieces is possible.
Quantitation of numbers of template molecules: If the number of DNA molecules that initiate the PCR is less than ~1,000, at least three independent amplifications need to be analysed, and the products need to be cloned and several clones should be sequenced.
Amplification from a second extract: The reproduction of the results from a second, independent extract should show that the result is reliable.