Assessing the impact of the ARRIVE guidelines

    Background

    The NC3Rs developed the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines in 2010 to improve the reporting of research using animals. They were published in nine journals including the online journal PLOS Biology, and have since been endorsed by research-intensive universities, major funders, and over 1,000 journals worldwide (for a full list see our ARRIVE endorsers page).

    Despite high levels of endorsement of the ARRIVE guidelines throughout the scientific community, there is little published evidence measuring the impact of these guidelines on the quality of reporting. 

    Assessing impact

    There are currently two projects in progress that will address this, providing a clearer picture of the impact of the ARRIVE guidelines.

    The ARRIVE guidelines survey

    The ARRIVE guidelines are aimed primarily at scientists writing up their research for publication and those who are involved in peer review. The NC3Rs is conducting a survey of these individuals to explore current practice in the designing and reporting of animal experiments, and to identify the reasons for good or bad compliance with specific items of the checklist.

    If you are interested in taking our survey, please read our information sheet.

    IICARus (A randomised controlled trial of an Intervention to Improve Compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines)

    With joint funding from the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and the NC3Rs, the CAMARADES group carried out a randomised controlled study assessing whether mandating the completion of a checklist at the editorial review stage of publication improved full compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines. Their novel strategy utilised crowd sourcing to recruit reviewers who assessed the quality of reporting in these research papers. Although the call for reviewers has now closed, the online training module is still available and is a great resource for training in high quality reporting of animal research.

    This project will help us to understand the impact that the ARRIVE guidelines have on the quality of reporting in published animal research.

    The future of the ARRIVE guidelines

    These two projects will inform the NC3Rs strategy to improve the reporting of animal research, and the results will be used to assess whether the ARRIVE guidelines should be revised. 

    Back to top