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In Vitro Critical Appraisal Tool (IV-CAT): Tool Development Protocol

de Vries, Rob; Whaley, Paul

Researcher(s)
Wright, Robert

This document presents the protocol for development of the In-Vitro Critical Appraisal Tool (IV-CAT), intended to help ensure comprehensive and exacting peer-review of in vitro toxicology studies, and contribute to improving the quality of published in vitro research. Development of the tool is a project of the Evidence Based Toxicology Collaboration at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In vitro studies are becoming an increasingly important source of data in chemical risk assessment. There are concerns, however, about the methodological quality of these studies and multiple interventions are being undertaken to assess and improve them. Interventions to improve study quality can focus on three target groups: (1) researchers designing, conducting and reporting primary in vitro exposure studies, (2) peer reviewers of journals advising on whether to publish a submitted manuscript and (3) authors of systematic reviews aiming to assess the risk of bias/study quality of the primary in vitro studies included in their review. Given that there are already interventions available or being developed for target groups (1) and (3), IV-CAT focuses on target group (2).

The EBTC Scientific Advisory Council were consulted for comment and approval prior to publication of this protocol. Any disputes were arbitrated by the Working Group chairs RdV and PW. The protocol was reviewed by the EBTC Board of Trustees and signed off by EBTC's Executive Director, Dr Katya Tsaioun. After sign-off, this protocol was published in the Zonodo.org repository, prior to commencement of screening the search results for the systematic review.
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EBTC In Vitro CAT Protocol - verson 1-0-0.pdf
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EBTC IV-CAT Figure 1 - Study Screening Decision Tree.pdf
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EBTC IV-CAT Search Strings.docx
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