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.
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