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Seven steps to improve open science practices in animal science

@Infographic Paper PNAS Nexus PCI Animal Science
The open science movement aims to ensure accessibility, reproducibility and transparency of research. However, the adoption of open science practices in animal science is still in its infancy. To move forward in this area, we propose here seven practical steps to adopt open science in animal science. We hope that this paper will help move the research practices of animal scientists toward open, reproducible, and transparent science, thereby enabling the field to gain public trust and meet future challenges to ensure reliable research. Although this paper is primarily directed at animal science researchers, the steps discussed here are also applicable to other research areas.

The knowledge produced by publicly funded research is a public good and, as such, the results of research and the evidence that supports scientific claims (e.g., protocols, data, models, and program code) should be transparent and publicly available.

Open Science (OS) is a set of practices referring to the process of making scientific knowledge accessible, reproducible, and transparent to all. Transparency and accessibility contribute to improving the quality and production of scientific knowledge. In addition to the general societal and academic benefits of OS, Nawroth and Krause argued that Open Science practices could also enhance adherence to the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) principle for ethical animal research through the ability to reuse protocols and data, and through the rapid dissemination of protocols and results. However, the integration of Open Science practices is still relatively limited in the field of animal science. By animal science, we primarily mean research on domestic animals, including nutritional, behavioral, and physiological aspects.

Overcoming barriers to the adoption of environmental science may require learning new skills and adopting new habits. One of the main barriers to engagement in Open Science is the lack of institutionalized incentives and training opportunities for Open Science practices. Inspired by guidance documents in the psychological sciences and ecology, we propose here seven practical steps to encourage the adoption of Open Science in animal science. These steps do not reflect a chronological order. They are sets of actions that can be implemented together or individually. In addition, we offer answers to some common questions related to the adoption of open science practices and suggest engagement actions to improve it in animal science.


Rafael Muñoz-Tamayo (
MoSAR INRAE AgroParisTech Université Paris Saclay

Peer Community In Animal Science

Free and transparent preprint and postprint recommendations 

twitter: @PCI_AnimSci

See also


Rafael Muñoz-Tamayo, Birte L. Nielsen, Mohammed Gagaoua, Florence Gondret, E. Tobias Krause, Diego P. Morgavi, I. Anna S. Olsson, Matti Pastell, Masoomeh Taghipoor, Luis Tedeschi, Isabelle Veissier, & Christian Nawroth. (2022). Seven steps to enhance open science practices in animal science (Version 1). Zenodo.