Implementing Reduction in Practice
‘To find ways to encourage better experimental design and strategic planning, and to investigate suitable methods for statistical analysis in practical situations.’
Reducing Animal Use Through Raw Data Availability
Reduction in laboratory animal numbers can most effectively be achieved by implementing rigorous experimental design and appropriate statistical analysis of any results.
An effective experimental design must incorporate the aims of the work to be carried out, the choice of experimental animals and techniques, the parameters to be measured and the methods to be used for analysis of the results.
Ideally, to ensure continued efficient use of any animals, all raw data should be made available for consideration by other scientists, so that improvements in experimental design can be achieved. This would also enable independent data re-interpretation, leading to future improvement in experimental design, optimum use of information and reduction in the number of animals used.
The FRAME Reduction Steering Committee (FRSC) proposes that all scientific journals should require authors to make available the raw data from the investigations presented in the papers they submit for publication. Journals in electronic format and the existence of online databases make this readily feasible. In order to facilitate such a scheme the FRSC has produced a set of guidelines.
These were presented on a poster at the 6th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan (August 2007) and at the LASA Winter Meeting, Brighton, UK (November 2007).
Status: Ongoing – The members of the Working Party now aim to publish a manuscript discussing the concept of ‘Planning for Reduction’, which will include these guidelines. This will explore how experimental design and statistical analysis should be considered in each step of a programme of experimental work.