A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research

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The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened major stakeholders in June 2012 to discuss how to improve the methodological reporting of animal studies in grant applications and publications. The main workshop recommendation is that at a minimum studies should report on sample-size estimation, whether and how animals were randomized, whether investigators were blind to the treatment, and the handling of data. We recognize that achieving a meaningful improvement in the quality of reporting will require a concerted effort by investigators, reviewers, funding agencies and journal editors. Requiring better reporting of animal studies will raise awareness of the importance of rigorous study design to accelerate scientific progress.


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Author information


  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA

    • Story C. Landis,
    • Robert Finkelstein,
    • Amelie K. Gubitz,
    • Walter Koroshetz,
    • John D. Porter,
    • Ursula Utz &
    • Shai D. Silberberg
  2. Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA

    • Susan G. Amara
  3. Bayer HealthCare, 13342 Berlin, Germany

    • Khusru Asadullah
  4. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH, Rockville, Maryland 20854, USA

    • Chris P. Austin
  5. CHDI Management/CHDI Foundation, New York, New York 10001, USA

    • Robi Blumenstein
  6. Center for Review, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA

    • Eileen W. Bradley
  7. Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10021, USA

    • Ronald G. Crystal
  8. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065, USA

    • Robert B. Darnell
  9. Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA

    • Robert J. Ferrante
  10. Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, New York, New York 10019, USA

    • Howard Fillit
  11. Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01545, USA

    • Marc Fisher
  12. Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198, USA

    • Howard E. Gendelman
  13. JAMA, Chicago, Illinois 60654, USA

    • Robert M. Golub
  14. Department of Neurology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA

    • John L. Goudreau
  15. Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA

    • Robert A. Gross
  16. Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601, USA

    • Sharon E. Hesterlee
  17. The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg 3081, Australia

    • David W. Howells
  18. Neurology and Neurological Sciences and Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • John Huguenard
  19. Science Translational Medicine, AAAS, Washington DC 22201, USA

    • Katrina Kelner
  20. Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA

    • Dimitri Krainc
  21. F. Hoffmann-La Roche, 4070 Basel, Switzerland

    • Stanley E. Lazic
  22. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

    • Michael S. Levine
  23. Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK

    • Malcolm R. Macleod
  24. PharMac LLC, Boca Grande, Florida 33921, USA

    • John M. McCall
  25. University of Rochester Medical Center, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York 14642, USA

    • Richard T. Moxley III
  26. Nature Neuroscience, New York, New York 10013, USA

    • Kalyani Narasimhan
  27. Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA

    • Linda J. Noble
  28. ALS Therapy Development Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

    • Steve Perrin
  29. Reeve-Irvine Research Center, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California 92697, USA

    • Oswald Steward
  30. Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993, USA

    • Ellis Unger


R.F., A.K.G., S.C.L., J.D.P., S.D.S., U.U. and W.K. organized the workshop. R.B.D., S.E.L., S.C.L., M.R.M. and S.D.S. wrote the manuscript. All authors participated in the workshop and contributed to the editing of the manuscript.

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