About animalstudyregistry.org

We strongly believe that animalstudyregistry.org will increase the quality of biomedical research by improving transparency, reproducibility and animal welfare.

Transparency

With animalstudyregistry.org, we provide you as scientists with a platform to register your preclinical studies in order to minimize selective reporting by capturing your exact study plan prior to the start of your experiments. Your registration allows reviewers and other scientists to compare the initially registered study plan with the final publication. If you have to change your method plan after having your study registered, you will still be able to state these changes with our update feature. So your research process becomes fully transparent and easy to follow. In this case, we strongly encourage you to explain why the modification of your initial plan was necessary, as for example because of technical problems. Your fellow researchers will benefit greatly from this transparent approach. Thus, a publication referring to a registered study in animalstudyregistry.org appears more reliable and the whole research process becomes more transparent. This will not only convince your readers but also editors and reviewers. A pdf version of your registered study with submission of your manuscript to a journal or funder, while keeping your entry under embargo. This makes your results easier to follow for reviewers and editors but preserves the intellectual property of your idea.

Reproducibility

Have you already tried reproducing published results and realized that decisive details in the method description were missing? To solve this problem we elaborated a detailed questionnaire that will support you to consider all key parameters for your study. Our preregistration template covers all points from the essential 10 of the ARRIVE guidelines 2.0 that can be addressed before conducting the experiments. The ARRIVE guidelines were already endorsed by over 1’000 journals and cover the most important information for in vivo animal research essential for the interpretation and reproduction of results. Answering all points from the ARRIVE guidelines before starting the study can save valuable time at the end, e.g. when submitting your manuscript to a journal. Our questionnaire about the study design and statistical plan helps you to think out your experiments thoroughly. Since this study plan will be registered, this adds motivation to set all the important parameters for a well-designed study already at an early stage of your research and to stick to the plan.

Animal Welfare

We launched animalstudyregistry.org to prevent selective reporting and to encourage the publication of negative results. Animal experiments are generally tolerated under the assumption that they contribute to the knowledge gain to speed up scientific progress and medical successes. However, an important part of data deriving from animal experiments is never published. To prevent this lack of knowledge, we propose the preregistration of all studies involving animal experiments. Next to details about the study design, hypothesis and statistical planning, we also specifically ask in our preregistration template for methods on the refinement of experiments. Sharing these practices will help to advance laboratory animal welfare. However, it is equally important to enter information about all circumstances that may have impact on the results and the reproducibility of the studies. Those are housing conditions, handling and analgesic treatment of animals. This also aims to raise researchers’ awareness of the well-being of the laboratory animals they use.

Benefits for your research using animalstudyregistry.org

  • Helps you to design a new study

    We support you in planning your study thoroughly including the statistical analysis. Following our template, you will collect all relevant details needed for grant proposals and animal study protocols.
  • Marks your idea as your intellectual property

    Your preregistered study will receive a timestamp together with a DOI (Digital object identifier) which makes your idea and your study plan citable.
  • Recognizes adherence to transparent research practices

    By preregistering your study, you can label your adherence to open science. Open science practices are becoming a decisive element in the CV of scientists and could help you when applying for your next position.
  • Saves precious time during submission process of your final publication

    Our template covers the 10 essential points from the ARRIVE guidelines endorsed by over 1’000 journals. If you have already described all necessary details in your preregistration, it will be an easy task in the end to report these in your manuscript. You do not need to fear journal checklists anymore since you will be optimally prepared.
  • Convinces future reviewers and readers by making your work flow transparent

    If you can refer to a thoroughly preregistered study in your publication, you can signalize your scientific reliability by revealing your workflow. Thus, you give your readers, editors, and reviewers the additional means to evaluate your work properly

Publications

Declaration of common standards for the preregistration of animal research – speeding up the scientific progress. Heinl C, Scholman-Végh AMD,  Mellor D, Schönfelder G, Strech D, Chamuleau S, Bert B. PNAS Nexus, pgac016, https://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac016

Ensuring Reproducible Research Requires a Support Infrastructure: The Value of Public Registries to Publishers. Olevska, A., Bert, B., Schönfelder, G., Ebrahimi, L., Heinl, C. Science Editor 2021 Feb 9; 44:4-7. https://doi.org/10.36591/SE-D-4401-4

Rethinking the incentive system in science: animal study registries: Preregistering experiments using animals could greatly improve transparency and reliability of biomedical studies and improve animal welfare. Heinl C, Chmielewska J, Olevska A, Grune B, Schönfelder G, Bert B. EMBO Rep. 2020 Jan 7;21(1):e49709. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.201949709

Refining animal research: The animalstudyregistry.org Bert B, Heinl C, Chmielewska J, Schwarz F, Grune B, Hensel A, Greiner M, Schönfelder G. PLoS Biol. 2019 Oct 15;17(10):e3000463. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000463

Talks

Preregistration – How to bring transparency into animal research. Heinl, C. Open Science Conference 2021. 8th International conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science. 2021 Feb 17-19.

Slides from delivered talks

Please find the slides to our delivered talks uploaded on the Open Science Framework here.

About the German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R)

Our mission at the German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) as part of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is to reduce the number of animal experiments wherever possible, to refine all animal experiments that are not avoidable, and to foster alternative methods, which allow us to replace animals in experiments whenever we can. Animalstudyregistry.org is our contribution to reduce animal experiments and to increase the quality of animal experiments. We believe that incomplete publication of results gained from animal experiments strongly contradicts ethical principles. Animal experiments can only be justified by a gain of knowledge for the society that contributes to scientific progress. This reasoning is lost if results remain unavailable for the scientific community and the public and animals are therefore literally wasted. With animalstudyregistry.org, we want to encourage you to publish all results gained from animal experiments and make research more transparent. If you want to know more about our research and activities to increase animal welfare you can find more information here and follow us on twitter @Bf3R_centre.