Submitted to: International Society of Applied Ethology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 18, 2007
Publication Date: July 30, 2007
Citation: Dailey, J.W., Carroll, J.A., Mitloehner, F. 2007. Quantifying animal behavior: Why methods are important [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 41st International Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology, July 30-August 3, 2007, Merida, Mexico. p. 192. Technical Abstract: Scientific publications should contain enough information and detail to allow for replication of studies. A review of research articles published in Applied Animal Behavior Science (AABS) was conducted to identify the presence of such details. Three major topic areas; general methodology, behavioral observation methods, and video materials and methods, were examined. For general methodology, manuscripts were reviewed to assess if the location and time frame of the study could be determined. For behavioral observation, manuscripts quantifying animal behavior were evaluated according to seven criteria which included citation of methodology. With regard to the video materials and methods, manuscripts were evaluated for information on the equipment and settings used during a project. A total of 243 articles published in AABS during 2000 and 2005 were evaluated for the aforementioned criteria. As with other scientific methods, behavioral "assays" should be validated and adequately described to allow for replication by other researchers. The results of our review emphasize the need for a consistent format when describing materials and methods for studies utilizing video recording of animal behavior.