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      Two Years Later: Journals Are Not Yet Enforcing the ARRIVE Guidelines on Reporting Standards for Pre-Clinical Animal Studies

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          Abstract

          A study by David Baker and colleagues reveals poor quality of reporting in pre-clinical animal research and a failure of journals to implement the ARRIVE guidelines.

          Abstract

          There is growing concern that poor experimental design and lack of transparent reporting contribute to the frequent failure of pre-clinical animal studies to translate into treatments for human disease. In 2010, the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines were introduced to help improve reporting standards. They were published in PLOS Biology and endorsed by funding agencies and publishers and their journals, including PLOS, Nature research journals, and other top-tier journals. Yet our analysis of papers published in PLOS and Nature journals indicates that there has been very little improvement in reporting standards since then. This suggests that authors, referees, and editors generally are ignoring guidelines, and the editorial endorsement is yet to be effectively implemented.

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          Most cited references 24

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          A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research.

          The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened major stakeholders in June 2012 to discuss how to improve the methodological reporting of animal studies in grant applications and publications. The main workshop recommendation is that at a minimum studies should report on sample-size estimation, whether and how animals were randomized, whether investigators were blind to the treatment, and the handling of data. We recognize that achieving a meaningful improvement in the quality of reporting will require a concerted effort by investigators, reviewers, funding agencies and journal editors. Requiring better reporting of animal studies will raise awareness of the importance of rigorous study design to accelerate scientific progress.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS Biol
                PLoS Biol
                plos
                plosbiol
                PLoS Biology
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1544-9173
                1545-7885
                January 2014
                January 2014
                7 January 2014
                : 12
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
                [2 ]Escola de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal
                [3 ]Pathology Department, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                University of California Davis, United States of America
                Author notes

                The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                The author(s) have made the following declarations about their contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: DB KL AS SA. Performed the experiments: DB KL AS SA. Analyzed the data: DB KL AS SA. Wrote the paper: DB KL AS SA.

                Article
                PBIOLOGY-D-12-04901
                10.1371/journal.pbio.1001756
                3883646

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 6
                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding for this work. We acknowledge the support, in the form of Dr. Lidster’s salary, of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Perspective

                Life sciences

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