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Journal publication policies

Scientific journals are instrumental in the communication of information to scientists and other interested parties around the world.

They are also a forum for discussion of the quality of research and of ethical issues, which in turn, has the potential to influence future research practices. Particularly important with respect to animal research is the publication and dissemination of information on animal welfare and the implementation of the 3Rs.




In 2007 we carried out a survey of journals to assess the prevalence and quality of publication policies covering issues such as criteria for the acceptance and publication of research involving animals, and whether they had any policies likely to promote animal welfare and dissemination of information on the 3Rs. A paper discussing the full results was published in the Americal Journal of Bioethics: Journal editorial policies, animal welfare and the 3Rs (2009) (PDF 146KB)

This lead us to work with journal editors and publishing organisations to produce a leaflet outlining what we believe journal publication policies should include, together with an illustrative example: Editorial policies of scientific journals regarding the use of animals (2009) (PDF 1.06MB)

In 2010, we reviewed and published data from over 850 journals whose policies had been surveyed over four years: Journal editorial policies as a driver for change - animal welfare and the 3Rs (see pages 18-23).

We believe that when journals develop good publication policies, significant progress can be made in advancing animal welfare and improving the quality of scientific research. This is discussed further in the article: Reporting animal research - worthy of a rethink? (2011) (PDF 83.5KB)

Journal policies also feature on our list of research integrity issues which have implications for animal welfare or the 3Rs.

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