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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Implementing and sharing your findings about enrichment

Carrying out your evaluation of enrichment is just the beginning; the next steps are using what you have learned to benefit the animals in your care, then considering how you could disseminate your findings.

My study has...

The process of implementing enrichment may be complicated by factors like availability, budget and the openness of your colleagues to change. Our FAQs section addresses some of these issues.

Sharing your findings  

Once you have completed the tasks of carrying out the study and analysing the data, your final step is to make others aware of what you have done and what you found. Feedback and communication are important, regardless of whether the enrichment was a success or not. You will need to consider who could benefit from information about your evaluation and the results you obtained. You may need to obtain permission to share your data externally.

Opportunities to share your findings range from a discussion with colleagues, through presenting a poster or talk at a conference, to contributing to a publication. Which are appropriate will depend on your findings, the rules within your facility, the scientific robustness of your study, who you are collaborating with and your own commitments. In all cases you will start with a clear summary of your findings, usually alongside a visualisation of your data (e.g. a graph or figure).

A study with any level of investment and scientific robustness can be:

For more advanced studies, you should consider:

Let us know about your work

You can become a force for positive change by sharing your findings, regardless of whether your findings were positive, negative or inconclusive. We would welcome hearing about the results of your studies or any challenges you have faced – please email to share your experiences.

Frequently asked questions about determining whether your enrichment protocol is appropriate and effective. (Image credit: Preclinical Research Facility, University of Leicester.)

Rats in a playpen filled with plastic balls