Data Sharing

Data Sharing

Data sharing strategies contribute to reduction by decreasing the total number of experiments that are undertaken and assisting investigators to avoid duplication. In academic research, data is shared through publication in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. In non-academic research environments (e.g., industry), data is often considered proprietary and not shared publicly. However, several initiatives involving the sharing of proprietary data have been successfully undertaken by members of industry:

  • Broadhead C., Betton G., Combes R., Damment S., Everett D., Garner C., Godsafe Z., Healing G., Heywood R., Jennings M., Lumley C., Oliver G., Smith D., Straughan D., Topham J., Wallis R., Wilson S. and Buckley P. (2000) Prospects for reducing and refining the use of dogs in regulatory toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals. Experimental Toxicology 19(8):440-447.
  • Chapman K. and Robinson S. (2007) Challenging the regulatory requirement for acute toxicity studies in the development of new medicines: A workshop report. London UK: National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Historical Data

Use of historical control data as a reduction strategy can be appropriate in situations where similar experiments are performed repeatedly in the same laboratory. However, since so many factors can contribute to variability, contemporary controls are necessary for most experiments.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are other ways to use historical data as part of a reduction strategy, and are regularly used to analyze clinical research data generated from clinical trials in humans. A systematic review is the identification and synthesis of all the available research literature addressing a specific (narrowly focused) research question, using a systematic approach. Meta-analysis is a statistical method used to combine the numerical results from the individual studies included in a systematic review.

This section was adapted from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

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