© 2016 The Author(s). The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) presents its 2016 Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation (ISSCR, 2016). The 2016 guidelines reflect the revision and extension of two past sets of guidelines (ISSCR, 2006; ISSCR, 2008) to address new and emerging areas of stem cell discovery and application and evolving ethical, social, and policy challenges. These guidelines provide an integrated set of principles and best practices to drive progress in basic, translational, and clinical research. The guidelines demand rigor, oversight, and transparency in all aspects of practice, providing confidence to practitioners and public alike that stem cell science can proceed efficiently and remain responsive to public and patient interests. Here, we highlight key elements and recommendations in the guidelines and summarize the recommendations and deliberations behind them.