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Extent, Predictors, and Management of Publication Bias in Animal ResearCh

EMBARC aims at following-up approved applications for animal experiments with the question whether, when and how results on these animal experiments were published in professional media. The (short-term) aim of this follow-up study is to provide a valid and representative representation of the publication rate of biomedical animal experiments and to identify possible study-dependent factors (predictors) that influence this rate positively or negatively. In addition to the publication rate, it should also be investigated which study aspects (e.g. certain endpoints, planned subgroups) are more likely to be reported in later professional publications than other study aspects (c.f. "selective publication" or "publication bias", i.e. the missing or incomplete publication of data from scientific studies). Furthermore, it should be investigated whether certain publication contents deviate from the previously approved applications for animal experiments, e.g. case numbers, endpoints, methods described in the application (c.f. "protocol deviation"). The results of the follow-up study are to be used in the second part of the project (interview research with project leaders of animal experiments) to record the various causes for a non- or selective publication of data from animal studies and to specify their dimensions. On the basis of the previous project results, recommendations for the management of publication bias in animal research will be developed and widely disseminated in cooperation with international experts.

This project takes place in close cooperation with the Hannover Medical School.


Wieschowski S, Biernot S, Deutsch S, Glage S, Bleich A, Tolba R, Strech D (2019) Publication rates in animal research. Extent and characteristics of published and non-published animal studies followed up at two German university medical centres. PLoS One. 2019 Nov 26;14(11):e0223758