Pritt, S. L., Hammer, R. E. 2017. The interplay of ethics, animal welfare, and IACUC oversight on the reproducibility of animal studies. Comparative Medicine 67(2), 101–105.
Reproducibility in animal studies has been defined as the ability of a result to be replicated through independent experiments within the same or among different laboratories. Over the past few years, much has been written and said about the lack of reproducibility of animal studies. Reasons that are commonly cited for this lack of reproducibility include inappropriate study design, errors in conducting the research, and potential fraud. In the quest to understand the basis for this lack of reproducibility, scientists have not fully considered the potential ramifications on ethical constructs for animal research, animal welfare considerations in animal research programs, the regulatory environment, and oversight by IACUCs. Here, we review how ethical theories behind animal research, policies, and practices meant to enhance animal welfare and the IACUC oversight process influence the reproducibility of animal studies, a previously undiscussed topic in the peer-reviewed literature.