We strongly believe that animalstudyregistry.org will increase the quality of biomedical research by improving transparency, reproducibility and 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.
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
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.
Please find the slides to our delivered talks uploaded on the Open Science Framework here.
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.