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Letter to the editor - round table unites to tackle culture change in an effort to improve animal research reporting

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A round table discussion was held during the LAVA-ESLAV-ECLAM conference on Reproducibility of Animal Studies on the 25th of September 2017 in Edinburgh. The aim of the round table was to discuss how to enhance the rate at which the quality of reporting animal research can be improved. This signed statement acknowledges the efforts that participant organizations have made towards improving the reporting of animal studies and confirms an ongoing commitment to drive further improvements, calling upon both academics and laboratory animal veterinarians to help make this cultural change.

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On Monday 25th September 2017 a round table meeting funded by LAL was held to discuss how to enhance the rate at which the quality of reporting animal research can be improved. This meeting took place during the LAVA-ESLAV-ECLAM conference on reproducibility in animal studies in Edinburgh. It was attended by individuals & organisations proactively working on this issue across Europe including research funders (MRC, Wellcome Trust, ZonMw), journals (EMBO, F1000Research, PLOS ONE, BMJ Open Science, BMC, British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP), The Lancet, Laboratory Animals) & others including ESLAV, EQUATOR, CAMARADES, SYRCLE, Responsible Research in Practice. NIHR were also present to share learning from the perspective of a funder of later phase clinical research.

All reiterated a commitment to drive improvements in the quality of animal research reporting to improve reproducibility, and call upon both academics and laboratory animal veterinarians to help drive this cultural change. In our experience relevant and useful training in experimental design, planning, reporting and data sharing is not universal within academic institutions, despite the perception that it might be. This must change, and academic institutions need to act now if scientists are to be skilled in the conduct of reproducible and reliable animal studies.

Yours Faithfully.

Round table participants: Nicola J Osborne* (Responsible Research in Practice & SYRCLE ambassador), Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga* (SYRCLE & ECLAM), Amrita Ahluwalia (British Journal of Pharmacology), Sabina Alam (F1000Research), Matthew Brown (Wellcome Trust), Hayley Henderson (BMC Veterinary Research), Wim de Leeuw (University of Utrecht), Joan Marsh (The Lancet & EASE), David Moher (Centre for Journalology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), Erica van Oort (ZonMw), Frances Rawle (Medical Research Council), Beat Riederer (Laboratory Animals), Jose Sanchez-Morgado (ESLAV), Emily Sena (CAMARADES & BMJ Open Science), Caroline Struthers (EQUATOR), Matt Westmore (National Institutes for Health Research).

* Co-organisers of the round table meeting.

Supporters: Marc Avey (Canadian CAMARADES group & SYRCLE ambassador), Rony Kalman (ECLAM), Annette O’Connor and Jan Sargeant (MERIDIAN), Anja Petrie (LAVA), Adrian Smith (Norecopa).

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All authors read and approved the final letter.

Correspondence to Nicola J. Osborne.

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Competing interests

Hayley Henderson is the Editor for BMC Veterinary Research.

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