FASEB encouraged increased communications about environmental factors potentially affecting animal research in its response to a Request for Information (RFI) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP). The RFI sought input from the community on the significance of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, lighting cycles, light color, noise level, humidity, feed type) in animal facilities and laboratories and their effects on the reproducibility of research outcomes.
In its response to ORIP, FASEB stated that the primary issue is a lack of information about environmental conditions reported in scientific publications, not a lack of knowledge about their effects. As such, FASEB urged ORIP to encourage researchers to disclose these variables more comprehensively in their publications and to urge publishers to allow expanded methods sections. In addition, FASEB suggested that animal care facilities be encouraged to communicate to researchers the environmental factors recorded within the animal facilities to help them recognize variables that may influence their research results. To assist in disseminating new information related to environmental factors, FASEB asked NIH to schedule more face-to-face conversations by funding conferences and/or convening workshops to address these issues and identify ways to overcome potential obstacles.