Guidelines on statistics for researchers using laboratory animals: the essentials

Lab Anim. 2019 Feb;53(1):28-42. doi: 10.1177/0023677218783223. Epub 2018 Jun 28.


There is growing concern that the omnipresence of flawed statistics and the deficient reproducibility that arises therefrom results in an unethical waste of animals in research. The present review aims at providing guidelines in biostatistics for researchers, based on observed frequent mistakes, misuses and misconceptions as well as on the specificities of animal experimentation. Twelve recommendations are formulated that cover sampling, sample size optimisation, choice of statistical tests, understanding p-values and reporting results. The objective is to expose important statistical issues that one should consider for the correct design, execution and reporting of experiments.

Keywords: experimental design; guidelines; reproducibility; sample size; statistics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Experimentation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Animals
  • Laboratory Animal Science / methods*
  • Research Design*
  • Sample Size
  • Statistics as Topic / methods*