Scientists who plan to publish in British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) must read this article before undertaking a study. This editorial provides guidance for the design of experiments. We have published previously two guidance documents on experimental design and analysis (Curtis et al., 2015; Curtis et al., 2018). This update clarifies and simplifies the requirements on design and analysis for BJP manuscripts. This editorial also details updated requirements following an audit and discussion on best practice by the BJP editorial board. Explanations for the requirements are provided in the previous articles. Here, we address new issues that have arisen in the course of handling manuscripts and emphasise three aspects of design that continue to present the greatest challenge to authors: randomisation, blinded analysis and balance of group sizes.