Planning and reporting of animal studies

We have collected resources that you can use in the preparation of animal studies or when you report your results.

It is important that you plan your animal studies carefully so that you use the right number of animals and obtain reliable results from your research.

Once your studies are finished, it is important that you report the data and results that you have collected together with a detailed description of how the experiments were performed. It is important to include any negative results, that is when you did not get the results that you expected. This way, we increase knowledge about studies that worked and those that did not, so that we can avoid unnecessary future studies with or without animals.

Prepare your study

There are tools to help you prepare your animal experimentation. There are also resources that help you improve your study design.

The Norwegian 3Rs Center Norecopa and the British organisation RSPCA have introduced international guidelines for better planning of animal experimentation. The guidelines are called PREPARE, which is short for Planning Research and Experimental Procedures on Animals: Recommendations for Excellence.

With the tool EDA you can get suggestions on how to improve the design of your animal studies. It can also help you find suitable statistical methods to analyse your results. EDA is short for Experimental Design Assistant and was developed by the British 3Rs Center NC3Rs.

Pre-register your study plan

By registering and reporting your study plan before conducting animal experimentation, you help reduce selective reporting of results and contribute to increased reporting of negative results. By allowing other researchers and reviewers to compare your original study plan with the final publication, you also contribute to increased transparency. In addition, pre‑registration of animal experimentation reduces the risk of similar or even identical studies being carried out at the same time.

The German 3Rs Center Bf3R has developed the Animal Study Registry platform where researchers can pre-register their study plans. The platform uses accepted guidelines for reporting of results and thus you are well prepared for writing your manuscript when the study is finished.

Another platform for pre-registration of study plans originates from the Netherlands.

Report your results

By reporting all your research results, both expected and unexpected, you contribute to openness and transparency in science and give other researchers the opportunity to improve their research.

The British 3Rs Center NC3Rs has produced guidelines for reporting of research results. The guidelines are helpful when writing manuscripts but also when reviewing manuscripts for publication. The guidelines are called ARRIVE, which is short for Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments.

Revision date: 2024-02-13

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