NIH–sponsored workshop calls for more detailed reporting in animal studies

A workshop sponsored by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has produced a set of consensus recommendations to improve the design and reporting of animal studies.   The workshop recommendations apply to scientific papers as well as grant applications that describe preclinical animal studies.  The recommendations are four key aspects of research methodology:

  • randomization
  • blinding
  • sample size estimation
  • data handling

The workshop, was held on June 20-21, 2012 in Washington, D.C., with NINDS representatives, patient advocates, and scientists from academia and industry. Editors from Cell, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neurology, Neuron, and Science Translational Medicine also participated.

The recommendations should focus on hypothesis-testing studies rather than hypothesis-generating studies.

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