Revision of the ARRIVE guidelines

Background Introducing ARRIVE 2019 | Road testing ARRIVE 2019Evidence used


In 2010, the NC3Rs developed the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines, a 20-item checklist designed to improve the reporting of research using animals. The guidelines were originally published in PLOS Biology and other journals, and have been endorsed by many research-intensive universities, major research funders, and over 1,000 journals worldwide (for a full list see our ARRIVE endorsers page).

Despite growing levels of support for the ARRIVE guidelines throughout the scientific community over recent years, there is limited evidence of improvement in the quality of reporting in animal research publications. 

We have convened an international working group to review the ARRIVE guidelines and developed a strategy to accelerate their uptake (published in BMJ Open Science). This will ensure that the guidelines continue to provide appropriate support for different stakeholders to improve the reporting of animal experiments in scientific publications.

Introducing ARRIVE 2019

The ARRIVE guidelines 2019 are available in preprint while undergoing peer review and we are looking for participants to road test them. Work has focussed on three main areas:

1. Prioritisation of the ARRIVE items

The 21 items in the ARRIVE guidelines have been organised into two sets representing different levels of priority; the “ARRIVE Essential 10” describes information that is the basic minimum to include in a manuscript, as without this information reviewers and readers cannot confidently assess the reliability of the findings presented. These are the most important items on which initial efforts should focus. In their current form, the ARRIVE guidelines 2010 do not lend themselves easily to retrospective evaluation. Prioritising a subset of items provides more manageable metrics for journals, institutions or researchers to assess reporting progress.

2. Publication of an Explanation and Elaboration (E&E) document

We have developed an E&E document to explain the rationale behind each item in the guidelines, to clarify key concepts and to provide illustrative examples from the literature. This information will also be made easily accessible via a new dedicated ARRIVE website.

3. Revision of specific items

We have reviewed specific items to ensure that the guidance provided is in line with the current best evidence. We have improved clarity and the logical flow of information within the guidelines. The revision also ensures that the guidelines are relevant to both exploratory and confirmatory in vivo research.

Road testing ARRIVE 2019 

We are recruiting volunteers to road test the guidelines and the accompanying E&E document. If you are interested in taking part please contact

Why participate: Input into the final development of the guidelines and improve the quality of your manuscript. You will also receive a £50 / US$60 Amazon voucher to thank you for your time.

Eligibility: You must be in the process of writing a paper for publication containing primary in vivo research.

What you will need to do: Use the ARRIVE guidelines 2019 and E&E while preparing your manuscript, and complete an ARRIVE checklist. Our reviewers will check the reporting of ARRIVE items in your paper, and we will follow up to help you identify where reporting in your paper can be improved.

The timeframe: You will need to send us your draft manuscript and completed ARRIVE checklist before the end of October. Telephone interviews will take place in October-November.

Evidence used to inform this work

A number of recent projects have assessed the impact of the ARRIVE guidelines. The studies described below were used to develop our strategy.

IICARus (A randomised controlled trial of an Intervention to Improve Compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines)

With joint funding from the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and the NC3Rs, the CAMARADES group carried out a randomised controlled trial in the journal PLOS ONE, assessing whether full compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines is improved by mandating the completion of a checklist with the submission of a research paper. As part of this, the ARRIVE guidelines were operationalised into a list of over 100 specific questions, and the compliance rate for each item of the ARRIVE guidelines was assessed. Crowdsourcing was used to recruit reviewers who assessed the quality of reporting in these manuscripts. Although the study has now finished, the online training module is still available and is a great resource for training in high quality reporting of animal research.

The ARRIVE guidelines survey

The ARRIVE guidelines are aimed primarily at scientists writing up their research for publication and those who are involved in peer review. We have conducted a survey of these individuals to explore current practice in the design, conduct, reporting and reviewing of animal experiments, and to identify the reasons for good or bad compliance with any of the 20 items of the guidelines.

Journal editor interviews

We have also conducted semi-structured interviews with journal editors to collect qualitative information about the use of reporting guidelines in editorial processes. A number of journals were selected with varying levels of endorsement of the ARRIVE guidelines, and a range of strategies to achieve high standards of reporting.

  • Percie du Sert N, Hurst V, Ahluwalia A, Alam S, Avey MT, Baker M, et al. The ARRIVE guidelines 2019: updated guidelines for reporting animal research. bioRxiv. 2019:703181. doi: 10.1101/703181
  • Percie du Sert N, Ahluwalia A, Alam S, Avey MT, Baker M, Browne W, et al. Reporting animal research: Explanation and Elaboration for the ARRIVE guidelines 2019. bioRxiv. 2019:703355. doi: 10.1101/703355
  • Hair K, Macleod MR, Sena ES, Collaboration II. A randomised controlled trial of an Intervention to Improve Compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines (IICARus). Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019;4:12. doi: 10.1186/s41073-019-0069-3
  • Percie du Sert N, Hurst V, Ahluwalia A, Alam S, Altman DG, Avey MT, et al. Revision of the ARRIVE guidelines: rationale and scope. BMJ Open Science. 2018;2(1). doi: 10.1136/bmjos-2018-000002



Professor Stephen Holgate (Chair)

University of Southampton, UK

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

Queen Mary University of London, UK

Dr Sabina Alam

F1000 Research, UK

Professor Doug Altman*

University of Oxford, UK

Dr Marc Avey

ICF, Canada

Ms Monya Baker

Nature, US

Professor Bill Browne

University of Bristol, UK

Dr Alejandra Clark


Professor Innes Cuthill

University of Bristol, UK

Professor Ulrich Dirnagl

QUEST – Center for Transforming Biomedical Research, Berlin Institute of Health, Germany

Dr Mike Emerson

Imperial College London, UK

Professor Paul Garner

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor David Howells

University of Tasmania, Australia

Dr Viki Hurst NC3Rs, UK

Dr Natasha Karp

Astrazeneca, UK

Dr Catriona Maccallum

Hindawi, UK

Professor Malcolm Macleod

University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Nathalie Percie du Sert NC3Rs, UK

Professor Ole Petersen

Cardiff University, UK

Dr Frances Rawle

Medical Research Council, UK

Dr Penny Reynolds

University of Florida, USA

Dr Kieron Rooney

University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Emily Sena

University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Shai Silberberg

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, USA (role is to provide expertise and not to represent the opinion of the entire NIH)

Dr Thomas Steckler

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV / Johnson & Johnson, Belgium

Professor Hanno Würbel

University of Bern, Switzerland

Professor Doug Altman passed away on 3 June 2018. As one of the co-authors of the ARRIVE guidelines and an active member of the working group to revise them, Doug made instrumental contributions to the work of the NC3Rs. He will be sorely missed.

Conflicts of interest for the working group can be accessed here.

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