Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research

The editors will require that the benefits potentially derived from any research causing harm to animals are significant in relation to any cost endured by animals, and that procedures followed are unlikely to cause offense to the majority of readers. Authors should particularly ensure that their research complies with the commonly-accepted '3Rs':

  • Replacement of animals by alternatives wherever possible,
  • Reduction in number of animals used, and
  • Refinement of experimental conditions and procedures to minimize the harm to animals.

Any experimental work must also have been conducted in accordance with relevant national legislation on the use of animals for research. For further guidance authors should refer to the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures [1].

Manuscripts containing original descriptions of research conducted in experimental animals must contain details of approval by a properly constituted research ethics committee. As a minimum, the project identification code, date of approval and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board should be cited in the Methods section.

JRCD endorses the ARRIVE guidelines ( for reporting experiments using live animals. Authors and reviewers can use the ARRIVE guidelines as a checklist, which can be found at

1. Home Office. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures. Available online: