The publication of research articles involving animal studies is central to many disciplines in science and biomedicine. Effective descriptions in such publications enable researchers to interpret the data, evaluate and replicate findings, and move the science forward. Analyses of published studies with research animals have demonstrated numerous deficiencies in the reporting of details in research methods for animal studies. Considerable variation in the amount of information required by scientific publications and reported by authors undermines this basic scientific principle and results in the unnecessary use of animals and other resources in failed efforts to reproduce study results.
Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications outlines the information that should be included in scientific papers regarding the animal studies to ensure that the study can be replicated. The report urges journal editors to actively promote effective and ethical research by encouraging the provision of sufficient information. Examples of this information include: conditions of housing and husbandry, genetic nomenclature, microbial status, detailed experimental manipulations, and handling and use of pharmaceuticals. Inclusion of this information will enable assessment and interpretation of research findings and advancement of knowledge based on reproducible results.