Relationship between PREPARE and ARRIVE

The PREPARE guidelines for planning animal experiments are complementary to reporting guidelines such as ARRIVE. They should both be used, to ensure that important topics are not omitted at each stage of the process from the conception of research ideas to publication. We have tried to illustrate this in a cartoon film.

Here is a 4-step approach for scientists conducting animal studies:

  1. PREPARE: Use the PREPARE guidelines from day 1 of planning, to implement the 3Rs and identify all the factors which can affect the validity of their research
  2. CARE: Work to develop a Culture of Care at the research facility. This is a commitment to improving animal welfare, scientific quality, care of the staff and transparency for the stakeholders.
  3. SHARE: Use reporting guidelines to write a manuscript which adequately describes the study. Ensure that any refinements developed during the study are shared: for example in separate method papers, or in the Refinement Wiki.
  4. FLAG: Make sure that any advances in the 3Rs which were made during the study are prominently mentioned in the manuscript, preferably in the title and/or abstract, since many databases only index these parts of a paper.

We have made a webpage with downloadable icons to illustrate this.

PREPARE includes topics which may not be necessary to report in a scientific paper, but which can seriously affect the scientific validity of an animal study, its reproducibility and its translatability, and animal welfare. In addition, PREPARE addresses the potential health risks to both humans and animals.

The PREPARE checklist is just the top of an iceberg: all the topics in PREPARE are discussed in more detail, with many links to international resources, under the headings on the main PREPARE page.

Click on the picture to see a 3-minute film about the roles of planning and reporting guidelines. Under the CC button (below the screen) are optional subtitles in several languages.

PREPARE film storyboard

Further reading

This page was updated on 31 March 2021

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