Toward Good In Vitro Reporting Standards

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Thomas Hartung
Rob de Vries
Sebastian Hoffmann
Helena T. Hogberg
Lena Smirnova
Katya Tsaioun
Paul Whaley
Marcel Leist


A good experiment reported badly is worthless. Meaningful contributions to the body of science are made by sharing the full methodology and results so that they can be evaluated and reproduced by peers. Erroneous and incomplete reporting does not do justice to the resources spent on conducting the experiment and the time peers spend reading the article. In theory peer-review should ensure adequate reporting – in practice it does not. Many areas have developed reporting standards and checklists to support the adequate reporting of scientific efforts, but in vitro research still has no generally accepted criteria. It is characterized by a “Wild West” or “anything goes” attitude. Such a culture may undermine trust in the reproducibility of animal-free methods, and thus parallel the “reproducibility crisis” discussed for other life science fields. The increasing data retrieval needs of computational approaches (in extreme as “big data” and artificial intelligence) makes reporting quality even more important so that the scientific community can take full advantage of the results.
The first priority of reporting standards is to ensure the completeness and transparency of information provided (data focus). The second tier is a quality of data display that makes information digestible and easy to grasp, compare and further analyze (information focus). This article summarizes a series of initiatives geared towards improving the quality of in vitro work and its reporting. This shall ultimately lead to Good In Vitro Reporting Standards (GIVReSt).

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How to Cite
Hartung, T., de Vries, R., Hoffmann, S., Hogberg, H., Smirnova, L., Tsaioun, K., Whaley, P. and Leist, M. 2019. Toward Good In Vitro Reporting Standards. ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation. 36, 1 (Jan. 2019), 3-17. DOI:
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