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Female rats are not more variable than male rats: a meta-analysis of neuroscience studies

Overview of attention for article published in Biology of Sex Differences, July 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#6 of 229)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
twitter
161 tweeters
facebook
3 Facebook pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
72 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
135 Mendeley
Title
Female rats are not more variable than male rats: a meta-analysis of neuroscience studies
Published in
Biology of Sex Differences, July 2016
DOI 10.1186/s13293-016-0087-5
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jill B. Becker, Brian J. Prendergast, Jing W. Liang

Abstract

Not including female rats or mice in neuroscience research has been justified due to the variable nature of female data caused by hormonal fluctuations associated with the female reproductive cycle. In this study, we investigated whether female rats are more variable than male rats in scientific reports of neuroscience-related traits. PubMed and Web of Science were searched for the period from August 1, 2010, to July 31, 2014, for articles that included both male and female rats and that measured diverse aspects of brain function. Only empirical articles using both male and female gonad-intact adult rats, written in English, and including the number of subjects (or a range) were included. This resulted in 311 articles for analysis. Data were extracted from digital images from article PDFs and from manuscript tables and text. The mean and standard deviation (SD) were determined for each data point and their quotient provided a coefficient of variation (CV) as a measure of trait-specific variability for each sex. Additionally, the results were coded for the type of research being measured (behavior, electrophysiology, histology, neurochemistry, and non-brain measures) and for the strain of rat. Over 6000 data points were extracted for both males and females. Subsets of the data were coded for whether male and female mean values differed significantly and whether animals were grouped or individually housed. Across all traits, there were no sex differences in trait variability, as indicated by the CV, and there were no sex differences in any of the four neuroscience categories, even in instances in which mean values for males and females were significantly different. Female rats were not more variable at any stage of the estrous cycle than male rats. There were no sex differences in the effect of housing conditions on CV. On one of four measures of non-brain function, females were more variable than males. We conclude that even when female rats are used in neuroscience experiments without regard to the estrous cycle stage, their data are not more variable than those of male rats. This is true for behavioral, electrophysiological, neurochemical, and histological measures. Thus, when designing neuroscience experiments to include both male and female rats, power analyses based on variance in male measures are sufficient to yield accurate numbers for females as well, even when the estrous cycle is not taken into consideration.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 161 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 135 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Canada 2 1%
United States 2 1%
United Kingdom 2 1%
France 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Unknown 127 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 40 30%
Student > Bachelor 21 16%
Researcher 19 14%
Student > Master 14 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 12 9%
Other 29 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Neuroscience 37 27%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 36 27%
Unspecified 21 16%
Medicine and Dentistry 11 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 11 8%
Other 19 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 108. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 March 2019.
All research outputs
#134,464
of 12,963,566 outputs
Outputs from Biology of Sex Differences
#6
of 229 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#5,626
of 261,795 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Biology of Sex Differences
#1
of 6 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,963,566 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 229 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.0. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 261,795 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 6 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them