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Survey on attitutes towards Animal Study Registries (ASR)

 

 

Background

 

Increasingly, there exists evidence to suggest a substantial problem with publication bias leading to issues related to a lack of reproducibility in preclinical research, including animal studies. This problem leads to several economic and ethical challenges that are currently discussed by animal and clinical researchers, research institutions, public and private funders, regulators, bioethicists and policy decision makers. Addressing the problem of publication bias in preclinical research will likely require the interplay of several established and new approaches. Registries for animal studies were proposed by several experts to be one of these new approaches [1, 2]; however, other experts had strong reservations regarding the use of such registries.

 

We recently performed an interview study with different stakeholders (preclinical and clinical researchers, academia and industry as well as regulatory representatives) to gather a comprehensive and structured account of issues and arguments around ASRs [3].

 

 

Objectives:

 

In this survey, we would like to acquire quantitative information from the community of animal researchers on what possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats they find more or less important. This data can be used to inform the process of further developing an Animal Study Registry that fits the needs of all stakeholders at the best.

 

Our study focuses on the following objectives:

 

  • To identify and quantify issues around Animal Study Registries that are most important to animal researchers
  • To capture the direction and frequency of attitudes towards Animal Study Registries
  • To use this information for the development of recommendations to make best use of the identified opportunities and proactively counter the identified threats

 

Methods:

 

We selected publications of in vivo animal studies meeting the following inclusion criteria: A) In vivo animal study, B) Primary report, C) Published in 2015 or earlier, D) Published in one of ten high-ranking journals (according to normalized Eigenfactor). For each journal, publications were sampled starting from the newest publication dates (December 31st, 2015) going backwards until 100 publications were reached. Consequently, we are planning to contact a sample of 1000 authors. Survey responses will be analyzed by means of qualitative and quantitative content analysis and will be analyzed using descriptive statistics.

 

 

References

  1. Kimmelman J, Anderson JA. Should preclinical studies be registered? Nat Biotechnol. 2012;30(6):488-9. doi:10.1038/nbt.2261.
  2. Academy of Medical Sciences. Reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research: improving research practice. London2015.
  3. Wieschowski S, Silva DS, Strech D. Animal Study Registries: Results from a Stakeholder Analysis on Potential Strengths, Weaknesses, Facilitators, and Barriers. PLoS biology. 2016;14(11):e2000391. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2000391.

 

Contact: Prof. Daniel Strech, Dr. Susanne Wieschowski (wieschowski.susannemh-hannover.de)

 

Hannover Medical School, Working group on "Ethics and Governance of Biomedical Research and Innovation


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