Editor—In view of concerns previously raised regarding the reporting of animal experiments in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, 1 ,2 we present some related information that we hope is of interest to the journal and its readership. The attempt of Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) (2010) guidelines 3 to improve the quality of reporting in animal experiments appears to have failed, 4 ,5 and evidence continues to accumulate that biomedical journals do not prioritise the description of methods improving laboratory animal welfare (e.g. pain management). 6 Our recent examination of the role of journal guidelines to authors in this apparent failure 4 has been published in Laboratory Animals. 7 The study examined and quantified the emphasis placed on animal welfare, including the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement), ARRIVE guideline compliance, and the levels of regulatory approval in the guidelines to authors of journals from the nine countries reportedly accounting for the greatest laboratory animal use. The methods involved a four-stage process. First, keywords associated with animal welfare, the ARRIVE guidelines, the 3Rs principle of Russel and Burch, 8 and the requirements for ethical approval, regulatory approval, or both were identified. Neutral (non-welfare) animal-linked keywords, for example ‘animal model’ or ‘animal tissue’, were also established. Keywords were categorised in an iterative process that continued until agreement was achieved amongst two examining authors. Second, the number of keywords in these five categories were counted, and third, expressed as a proportion (per myriad, or per 10 000) of the guidelines' total word count. In the fourth stage, proportions of ‘neutral’ to ‘welfare-related’ words were established.
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