Are You Planning to Use Animals in Your Research?

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NOT PUBLISHED

The regulations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) require that investigators provide Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) with documentation demonstrating that alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary pain or distress to the animals have been considered and that activities do not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.  A thorough literature search regarding alternatives using relevant sources helps to meet this Federal mandate.

Investigators must provide a written narrative of the methods used and sources consulted to determine the availability of alternatives including refinements, reductions, and replacements.

 

A multiple database search is considered the most effective and efficient method for demonstrating compliance with the requirement to consider alternatives to painful/distressful procedures.

The narrative must, at a minimum include:

  1. 1.  The names of the databases searched.
  2. 2.  The date(s) the search was performed.
  3. 3.  The period covered by the search.
  4. 4.  The key words and the search strategy used.

[From the Animal Care Resource Guide, Policy #12.  United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.]

 

The USDA's Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) lists the following "Red Flags" to an INADEQUATE database search:

  • Search completed at the last minute.
  • Only 1 database searched.
  • Terms only for painful aspects.
  • The term "alternative" used alone.
  • Keywords listed not relevant to protocol.
  • Keywords and concepts linked in an incorrect manner (e.g. wrong Boolean operators).
  • Search doesn't cover adequate time period.

Websites

Pepper: The Stolen Dog that Changed American Science by Daniel Engber

Excellent five-part series which examines the history and politics behind the Animal Welfare Act and asks us to look at how humane the laboratory animal business is today.

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Animal Welfare Information Center (USDA)

The Animal Welfare Information Center is mandated by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to provide information for improved animal care and use in research, testing, teaching, and exhibition. Resource for literature related to research protocols.

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United States Department of Agriculture, APHIS - Animal Welfare

Provides resources such as inspection reports and annual reports from research facilities made available through the Freedom of Information Act.

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EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing

Organization that promotes non-animal testing within the biomedical sciences through research and test development.

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Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME)

Organization dedicated to the use of animal-free alternatives in medical experimentation.

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Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) provides grants, resources, publications, and event information related to research developing alternatives to animal testing.

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Alternatives Research & Development Foundation

Awards grants to develop alternative methods to animal testing. Funded by Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF).

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Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS)

IIVS is a non-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the advancement of alternative testing methods by pushing to increase the acceptance of in vitro testing worldwide.

 
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It's Hard to Perform Ethical Research on Animals by Daniel Engber

Column post from Daniel Engber in response to the annual question, "What have you changed your mind about? Why?" in which Engber discusses the complex topic of animal testing in biological research.

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How to Avoid Unncessary Testing on Animals (ECHA)

Provides information on alternative and non-test methods of assessing the properties of chemical substances.

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Animalearn

Advocacy group and resource for educators and students in using non-animal methods to teach and study science.

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ANZCCART 3Rs Resources

The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) and the Ministry for Primary Industries have produced a series of booklets  on the application of the three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) in the use of animals in research and teaching.

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IACUC Central

IACUC Central is a resource for institutional animal care and use committee members and staff. Updated quarterly, IACUC Central organizes information into pages containing links to governmental agencies, databases, examples of institutional websites, training resources, and more.

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Alternative Methods Accepted by U.S. Agencies

Methods for chemical safety testing that are accepted by U.S. and international regulatory authorities as replacement, reduction, or refinement alternatives to required animal tests

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NICEATM: Alternative Methods

The NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) is an NTP office focused on the development and evaluation of alternatives to animal use for chemical safety testing. The topics in this section provide information about approaches used to replace, reduce, or refine animal use while ensuring that the toxic potential of substances is appropriately characterized.

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Starting Points

The key parts of a literature search are: A) how you search  [forming a search strategy and choosing key words]  and  B) where you search  [which databases to use].

Searching the Literature for Animal Testing Alternatives

Excellent tutorial from UNC Health Sciences Library.

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Planning a Search: Search Terms and Strategies

A) How to Begin Your Search - Planning a Search and Choosing Search Terms [From the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments]

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Systematically Identify all Relevant Animal Studies

Article in PubMed for searching for Alternatives to Animals to be used in research.

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The step-by-step guide will assist in performing a comprehensive literature search and, consequently, improve the scientific quality of the resulting review and prevent unnecessary animal use in the future.

Sample Search

Your search should include keywords from your research protocol, plus keywords to search for Refinement, Reduction, and Replacement of animals. The following is a sample search. Feel free to copy and paste the search string for alternative keywords (in black letters including the parentheses), connecting them to your research protocol keywords with the Boolean connector AND:

hypertension AND telmisartan AND (In Vitro OR Toxicity Tests OR Animal Use Alternatives OR Animal Testing Alternatives OR Animal Testing Reduction, Refinement and Replacement OR Animal Welfare OR Cell Line OR Lab on a Chip OR Animal Rights)

Databases

Some of these are licensed Databases, available to UNCW Faculty, Staff, Students (both on and off-campus), and also to Guests in the Library. If you are off-campus you will be asked to log-in. Some of these databases are available for free to the public.

ALTBIB - Alternatives to Animal Testing

ALTBIB provides access to PubMed citations for users seeking information on alternatives to animal testing. Development of alternative methods is an active area of research. The ALTBIB search tool provides users with access via PubMed to the latest research on in vitro and computational methods to predict toxicity, as well as approaches to refining animal use for study types that still require animals. ALTBIB also provides links to additional resources on alternative methods research and acceptance.

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It is not necessary to copy and paste the search string from the Sample Search box above when searching in ALTBIB. ALTBIB provides access to PubMed citations for users seeking information on alternatives to animal testing. The ALTBIB search tool provides users with access via PubMed to the latest research on in vitro and computational methods to predict toxicity, as well as approaches to refining animal use for study types that still require animals.
Web of Science - Core Collection

Access the world’s leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities and examine proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions.

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CINAHL Plus with Full Text

CINAHL Plus with Full Text is a robust collection of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 770 journals indexed in CINAHL. This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most used journals in the CINAHL index, with no embargo. A core research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature. Full text coverage dates back to 1937.

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Oxford Journals

Collections cover Life Sciences, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, Medicine, Social Sciences, Humanities, Social Work, Sociology, English, Creative Writing, Criminology, and Law, and include some of the most authoritative journals in their fields.

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Animal Welfare Institute Refinement Database

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

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It is not necessary to copy and paste the search string from the Sample Search box above when searching in the Animal Welfare Institute Refinement Database. This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research. [More details]
ScienceDirect

Elsevier Journal collection covering the sciences, business, child development, computer science, clinical research, economics, history, hospitality, industrial technology, library and information science, physical education and health, psychology, social work, sociology, and tourism.

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BIOSIS Previews

BIOSIS Previews is the world's most comprehensive reference database for life science research. It covers original research reports and reviews in traditional biological and biomedical areas. It also covers references to primary journal literature on vital biological research, clinical research, medical research findings, and discoveries of new organisms.

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APA PsycINFO

This database is the American Psychological Association (APA)'s renowned resource for abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations. PsycINFO is the largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health, with ninety-nine percent of the covered material peer-reviewed.

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PubMED

Developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), PubMed is the most comprehensive biomedical research database, and a key resource used by scientists. Please see the PubMed Overview Sheet for Quick Tours.

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Toxline (via ProQuest)

This database, produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, provides bibliographic citations and abstracts from the core journal literature in all areas of toxicology, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, environmental pollutants and mutagens and teratogens. Part of ProQuest Environmental Science Collection.

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AnAge: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database

A curated database of ageing and life history in animals, including extensive longevity records.

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It is not necessary to copy and paste the search string from the Sample Search box above when searching in AnAge. A curated database of ageing and life history in animals, including extensive longevity records.
National Wildlife Resource Center (NWRC) Chemical Effects Database

The NWRC Chemical Effects Database is a searchable database that contains bioassay records and data for chemicals analyzed and evaluated for repellency, toxicity, reproductive inhibition, and immobilization.

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It is not necessary to copy and paste the search string from the Sample Search box above when searching in the NWRC Chemical Effects Database. This is a searchable database that contains bioassay records and data for chemicals analyzed and evaluated for repellency, toxicity, reproductive inhibition, and immobilization.
Environmental Protection Agency Science Inventory

The Science Inventory is a searchable database of research products primarily from EPA's Office of Research and Development. Science Inventory records provide descriptions of the product, contact information, and links to available printed material or websites.

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It is not necessary to copy and paste the search string from the Sample Search box above when searching in the Environmental Protection Agency Science Inventory. This is a searchable database of research products primarily from EPA's Office of Research and Development. Science Inventory records provide descriptions of the product, contact information, and links to available printed material or websites

Training

3Rs Reduction.co.uk

This site provides an interactive short course on experimental design for research scientists working with laboratory animals. The aim is to reduce the number of animals which are used, improve the quality of the science and save time, money and other scientific resources.

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3Rs Resources

An extensive variety of 3Rs resources from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research.

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An extensive variety of 3Rs resources from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research. Be sure to scroll down the landing page to see all the available resources.
Institute for In Vitro Sciences Education and Outreach

Webinars, workshops, training videos, etc.

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Journals

Altex - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation

The journal ALTEX – Alternatives to Animal Experimentation publishes open access academic articles on the development and implementation of alternatives to the use of animals for scientific purposes and informs on international developments in this field.

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Contact Librarian

Portrait of John Osinski
John
Osinski
Nursing Librarian
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL2059

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