Report Card: Sharing Animal Research

New analysis finds that funding agencies, scientists, and journals are not including sufficient information when reporting on in vivo experiments.

By | January 8, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, AARON LOGANFour years ago, a group of researchers in the U.K. published in PLOS Biology guidelines for reporting animal research that were meant to strengthen the quality and improve the reproducibility of preclinical data. Dubbed ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments), the 2010 guidelines listed 20 proposed items describing the minimum information all scientific publications reporting animals studies should include, like species, strain, sex, and genetic factors, among others. So, have the funding agencies, scientists, and the journals they publish in—all of which swifty endorsed the guidelines when they were published—adhered to these guidelines?

Not so much, according to a study published in the same journal this week (January 7), in which an independent group of U.K.-based investigators noted that “that there has been very little improvement in reporting standards” since the ARRIVE paper was published. Coauthor David Baker, a professor of neuroimmunology at Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, told the Nature news blog that “by doing bad science which is of poor quality and experimental design, we just pander to [the translational research] problem.”

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