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As the editors of several journals, we have joined forces to highlight the importance of providing essential details related to animal experiments, particularly for studies that include mouse work. This is a critical issue that partially underlies the problem of irreproducible results that is attracting international attention1 as well as the attention of funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.2 For mouse studies, this can be a daunting problem given that many manuscripts do not provide sufficient details regarding the number of animals used for a given experiment, the sex of the animals, their age, and in some cases identification of the background genetic strains. Other variables that can also play an important role in shaping experimental findings and conclusions are the microbiome,3 making co-housing of control and genetically altered animals essential, diet, and even the composition of animal bedding.4
Several journals have supported the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) Guidelines that were originally proposed in 2010,5 which include an extensive checklist of information related to animal experiments that is considered essential to provide. However, it seems that the reporting standards may not have improved very much since initial presentation and acceptance of the guidelines by multiple journals.6 Several reasons may account for the observed ‘noncompliance’ with the ARRIVE guidelines,6 including difficulty ensuring that reviewers and …
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