Systematic Review in Vertebrate Animal Research: Best Practices for Institutions of Higher Education
Estabrook, Elizabeth J.
MetadataShow full item record
Systematic review is the comprehensive review of an entire body of research. These reviews compare independently published results for trends such as efficacy and reproducibility. Systematic review also helps protect human subjects from harmful or otherwise ineffective treatments. Therefore, it is common practice in human subjects research to conduct a systematic review. However, systematic review is not common in preclinical research with animals. Basic research that leads to clinical trials is known as translational research, and often involves preclinical research using animal subjects. Many advances in medicine can be attributed to animal experimentation. For these reasons, the scientific community has called for increased systematic review in the drafting of animal experimental protocols. This report had three specific aims. This project examined the benefits of systematic review and underlying problems resulting from a lack of systematic review in animal protocol development. Secondly, this project explored four spheres of institutional influence. The cultural, administrative, training, and policy-related aspects of the institution were found to be problematic. This project also examined ways in which each sphere of influence might help an institution promote systematic review. Thirdly, this report provides recommendations for institutions, based on the results of the research. Recommendations fall within each of the four spheres of institutional influence.