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Call for papers - Responsible research in animal science

Guest Editor

Annette M. O’Connor, BVSc, MVSc, DVSc, FANZCVS, Michigan State University, US

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 31 August 2024

BMC Veterinary Research invites submissions to our Collection on Responsible research in animal science. Submissions are invited on various themes such as transparency and open science, emphasizing open science practices; improving methodological rigor, focusing on experimental design and ethical guidelines; the 3Rs in animal research, exploring alternatives and strategies to minimize animal suffering; adherence to reporting standards, emphasizing meticulous reporting following ARRIVE; and innovative approaches, welcoming manuscripts proposing novel methods and technologies to enhance responsible research practices and address the reproducibility crisis in animal science.

New Content ItemThis Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 14: Life Below Water and 15: Life on Land

Meet the Guest Editors

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Annette M. O’Connor, BVSc, MVSc, DVSc, FANZCVS, Michigan State University, US

Dr O’Connor is a veterinarian and quantitative epidemiologist interested in applying quantitative epidemiology to better inform policy related to food safety, one health, animal welfare, animal health, and veterinary clinical practice. Dr O’Connor has been a leader in veterinary science to translate research into practice by reducing research wastage and maximizing the value of research. Dr O’Connor has been instrumental in developing and applying research synthesis methods, including network-meta-analysis in veterinary science. Dr O’Connor co-lead the REFLECT statement, Vet-STROBE statement and the PetSORT initiatives designed to improve the reproducibility and utility of veterinary research. She also leads the MERIDIAN initiative which seeks to improve the reporting of all research involving animals and the SYREAF website (Systematic Reviews of Animals and Food), which provides unique information for researchers seeking to conduct systematic reviews. 

About the Collection

BMC Veterinary Research invites submissions to our Collection on Responsible research in animal science. As journal editors, we understand the immense pressure authors often face to produce groundbreaking research. At the BMC Series, our primary focus, however, is not on the potential impact or interest of a study, but rather on ensuring that the research submitted and published in our journals is reliable, valid, and contributes to the broader scientific understanding of its field. This commitment to research integrity is driven by our recognition of the challenges authors encounter in their pursuit of excellence, which can sometimes inadvertently lead to questionable research practices, such as HARKING (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known) or p-hacking, as well as the pursuit of statistically significant but potentially fragile results. These challenges underscore the importance of our collective effort to address the reproducibility crisis and elevate the overall quality of scientific research.

The solution lies in embracing open science principles and adhering to reporting standards like ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments). Researchers worldwide must commit to transparent, well-designed studies, emphasizing the importance of sample size, randomization, blinding, and open data sharing. By doing so, we not only bolster the credibility of our findings but also uphold the ethical responsibility we bear toward the subjects of our research, be they animals or humans. The path to responsible research is one of continual improvement, but it's a journey that all researchers must take.

This special collection encompasses a multifaceted approach to ensure the highest standards in animal science research. We seek submissions that showcase best practices, novel methodologies, and strategies to enhance the reliability and transparency of scientific studies.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Transparency and Open Science: We welcome submissions that promote or demonstrate open science practices, including data sharing, preregistration of studies, and submission of a study protocol, to ensure the reproducibility of research.
  • Improving Methodological Rigor: We are looking for research papers or study protocols that address the enhancement of experimental design, statistical analysis, and adherence to ethical guidelines, with a focus on minimizing biases and improving the robustness of findings. Perspective papers on this topic are also welcome
  • The 3Rs in Animal Research: Respect for the principles of Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement (the 3Rs) is fundamental in minimizing animal suffering in research. We welcome contributions that discuss novel strategies and innovations in applying the 3Rs to animal science research, including alternatives to animal models, reduced animal use, and refined research methodologies.
  • Adherence to Reporting Standards: Submissions that exemplify meticulous adherence to ARRIVE, demonstrating comprehensive reporting of animal research methods and results, will be very important to this collection.
  • Innovative Approaches: Manuscripts proposing innovative methods, tools, or technologies to enhance responsible research practices and mitigate the reproducibility crisis. Innovation is key to progress. We encourage submissions that propose and explore novel ideas and techniques to improve the rigor and reproducibility of animal science research. These might include new tools, technologies, or methodologies that enhance the quality of research and its impact on both science and society.

Image credit: chris2766 /

  1. Rubber seed kernel is a by-product derived from rubber tree plantations. It is rich in C18 unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) and has the potential to be used as a protein source for ruminant diets. This investigat...

    Authors: Nirawan Gunun, Chatchai Kaewpila, Waroon Khota, Thachawech Kimprasit, Anusorn Cherdthong and Pongsatorn Gunun
    Citation: BMC Veterinary Research 2024 20:177

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Responsible research in animal science" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.