Publication bias is a huge issue when it comes to scientific papers. This can have a negative impact on not just scientific discoveries as a whole, but also on the animals used in unpublished research.
A recent paper done on studies published by just one university over a 2 year period showed that 75% of 5500 animals used in studies are not accounted for. This is due to them being involved in studies that never see the light of day due to not being seen as significant or groundbreaking. The researchers say that this can probably be expanded to other universities as well, causing potentially millions of lab animals to die, with no results to be seen from being experimented on.
Publication Bias is when a site or organization that peer reviews and publishes scientific articles pick and choose which articles they are willing to put on their site. Often times, these are scientific studies that have found a "significant" correlation. Because of this, many scientists test for a dozen or more things and find the results with the most significance, known as P-Hacking.
Animal Usefulness and Harm in Studies
While animal studies may be useful in some areas, in most cases they seem to be useless for research. This is not even taking into account the 75% of animals, or million of animals, that have died in vain for a paper that will never be published.
We can also take into account that animals are often treated horribly in these lab conditions, with some research even causing lab animals to live with huge tumors and be in pain unnecessarily to push an agenda. This very thing happens a lot when it comes to polarizing topics, such as GM foods.
With so many animals being harmed and killed for essentially no reason, it should be about time that we switched over to other ways to test chemicals and products that do not harm animals in the long term. Reducing animals used in experiments and using computer models might be the way of the future to prevent harm caused by publication bias and unethical studies.