Design and reporting of animal experiments

There is increasing concern about the potential for improving the design and reporting of animal experiments. Some of the concerns are summarised here.

This page contains a collection of links to resources on the design of animal experiments, including statistical analysis. It also contains guidance on reporting animal studies, since the two are inter-related.
Health risks when working with animal experiments

The Design of Animal Experiments: Reducing the use of animals in research through better experimental design, by Michael Festing.

An interactive CD based on the first edition of the book has been produced. Topics on the CD include:
Choice of animal model; The experimental unit; Use of valid statistical methods; Increasing precision; Increasing the use of statistical methods; Planning and organising; Self-study and evaluation; Software and references.

3Rs-Reduction.co.uk: a website about statistical methods produced by Dr. Michael Festing. The site includes information on, among other topics:

  1. Experimental units
  2. Avoiding bias
  3. Power and sample size
  4. Controlling variability
  5. Experimental designs
  6. Factorial experiments
  7. Strains of mice and rats
  8. Statistical analysis
  9. Literature
  10. Self-test 


Strategic planning posters (in 5 languages) from FRAME

Guidelines for conducting a pilot study

The Experimental Design Assistant (EDA) is an online tool to help researchers both design animal experiments with a minimum of animals and apply appropriate statistical methods when analysing the results.

Does age matter? The impact of rodent age on study outcomes The findings of an NC3Rs working group on the consideration of rodent age.

There are major concerns about the lack of details on pain management in papers reporting experiments involving survival surgery.

Norecopa arranged a seminar on 11 June 2009 where Dr. Manuel Berdoy, Oxford University, gave three lectures entitiled "Statistics: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". The lectures discussed, among other topics, p-values, power analysis, calculation of group size, experimental design and control of variation. His lecture notes can be downloaded here.

Online courses arranged by the University of Oxford, including statistics training and data analysis

FRAME Training Schools on Experimental Design and Statistics (report from the Training School held in Voss, Norway, 1-3 February 2016)

The American Statistical Association has issued a statement warning scientists about undue trust on p values when evaluating treatment effects

A statistical guide for authors, produced by the journal Animal.

Principles of Experimental Design for the Life Sciences
 by Murray R. Selwyn

Guidelines for the design and statistical analysis of experiments using laboratory animals (Festing & Altman, 2002)

Experimental Design and Statistics - volume 55, issue 3 of the ILAR Journal (2014)

A list of textbooks on statistics and experimental design, produced by FRAME

How to conduct a literature search by Alice Tillema, Radboud University

Database searches and resources for non-animal methods (a presentation by Michelle Hudson-Shore, FRAME)

Guidance for writing manuscripts

The ARRIVE guidelines for reporting animal experiments.

Reporting checklist for life science articles, produced by the Nature Publishing Group.

CONSORT: guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials

The Principal Investigator Advisor Newsletter

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals (Vancouver Convention)

Reporting the Results of an Animal-based Scientific Investigation - an edited version of a guide produced by Arieh Bomzon and presented at the 2016 FELASA Congress.

Strategies for considering alternative approaches to animal experiments:

The Focus on Alternatives (FOA) initiative has produced two excellent posters outlining means of addressing the three R's when planning animal experiments.  A general poster about early planning and one illustrating a worked example within oncological research can be downloaded here in pdf format.

Other literature
Degrees of freedom in Planning, Running, Analyzing, and Reporting Psychological Studies: A Checklist to Avoid p-Hacking

Detecting and avoiding likely false-positive findings - a practical guide.

The NOAH (National Office of Animal Health, UK) Compendium of Veterinary Datasheets, Withdrawal Periods and Veterinary Poisons Information Service

Did you find what you were looking for?

Yes, I found it! No, I did not!

Thanks for your feedback! Please note that we cannot respond unless you supply your email address.

What are you looking for?

Please give us your feedback so we can improve the information on the page. Thank you in advance for your help. Please add your email address if you would like a reply.

Please contact us by email if you have any questions.

Thanks for your feedback! Please note that we cannot respond unless you supply your email address.



 

Abonnér på nyhetsbrevene fra Norecopa