Methods

Methods

These should be brief, but detailed enough to be able to recreate the experiment. When possible, cite previously published works that have described the methodology in detail.

For a detailed methods checklist, check out the Arrive Guidelines (note: this includes both clinical and preclinical studies, so not everything will be relevant for our own work).

Below is more specific information pertinent to our own studies.

ANIMAL SECTION

Include the following:

  • Species (i.e. C57Bl/6J mouse), sex, age, and source (i.e. Jackson) of animals used. If using genetically modified mice, be sure to include the background strain.
  • Housing conditions (type and size of cage, singly or group housed, food and water, what light phase was the testing performed)
  • Boiler plate ethics statement. This is included in every manuscript that includes studies with animals:

“All animal studies were conducted in accordance with the Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines and Policies and were approved by the University of Alberta Animal Care and Use Committee”

REAGENTS AND/OR CHEMICALS

This information is not necessarily in its own section, but often included in experimental subheadings. In general, include the following:

  • if a drug, give dose, diluant, route of administration
  • for other reagents, give concentration and diluant
  • include the source and cite in brackets as (Company, City, State/Prov)

STATISTICS

These can be included at the end of each experimental section, or included in its own section at the very end.

  • describe how groups were randmized
  • describe if analysis blinded
  • state whether parametric versus non parametric statistics (were data tested for normality?)
  • state the test used (t-test versus ANOVA) and the posthoc test, if applicable
  • state where the significance boundary was set (usually p<0.05)
  • were any data points excluded or dropped from analysis? If so, what was the criteria?

Next Section: Results