Risk of bias in reports of in vivo research: a focus for improvement

Malcolm R. Macleod, Aaron Lawson McLean, Aikaterini Kyriakopoulou, Stylianos Serghiou, Arno de Wilde, Nicki Sherratt, Theo Hirst, Rachel Hemblade, Zsanett Bahor, Cristina Nunes-Fonseca, Aparna Potluru, Andrew Thomson, Julija Baginskitae, Kieren Egan, Hanna Vesterinen, Gillian L. Currie, Leonid Churilov, David W. Howells, Emily S. Sena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The reliability of experimental findings depends on the rigour of experimental design. Here we show limited reporting of measures to reduce the risk of bias in a random sample of life sciences publications, significantly lower reporting of randomisation in work published in journals of high impact, and very limited reporting of measures to reduce the risk of bias in publications from leading United Kingdom institutions. Ascertainment of differences between institutions might serve both as a measure of research quality and as a tool for institutional efforts to improve research quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002273
Number of pages12
JournalPLOS Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2015


  • bias
  • research
  • in vivo
  • experimental design

Cite this