Design and reporting of animal experiments

This page supplements advice given in Section 4 of the PREPARE guidelines. PREPARE covers all aspects of design (including animal and facility related issues).

Guidance on reporting of animal experiments has been moved to a separate section.

Resources about contingency plans and preparedness, relevant to the Covid-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

This page contains a collection of links to resources on the more "mathematical" aspects of experimental design, including statistical analysis.
Direct oversight by a statistician is likely to be more effective than reliance on self-education from interactive tools, textbooks and websites, although many of these are excellent. The following points should be considered:

  1. A clear hypothesis and descriptions a priori of primary and secondary outcomes, to avoid HARKing.
  2. Steps to minimise numbers and suffering of animals by appropriate statistical analysis, including the use of pilot studies.
  3. Decisions on the power and significance levels to be used.
  4. Definition of the experimental unit and number of animals in each unit
  5. Choice of sample size and gender, age and/or developmental stage
  6. Avoidance of bias, including “blinding” and randomisation (the procedure should be specified)
  7. Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Resources for experimental design

Material from courses


Other literature

This page was updated on 20 July 2020

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