Alternatives or alternative methods are generally regarded as those that incorporate some aspect of replacement, reduction, or refinement of animal use in pursuit of the minimization of animal pain and distress consistent with the goals of the research.” (USDA AC Policy 12).
Replacement—substitute animals used in the study with non-animal methods or lower organisms
Refinement—explore techniques that would reduce pain and distress to the animals in the study
Reduction—minimize the number of animals used in the study
Collect information about:
The search strategy consists of three types of terms.
General Search Tips
Use truncation: depending upon the database system being used, symbols such as the * or ? may be used at the end of a search term to retrieve many word variations to the original term.
Use spelling variations: when searching multiple databases, including American, British and European spellings
Use Boolean Logic: by using connecting words (operators) such as AND, OR, NOT the search can be expanded or narrowed
3Rs Keyword examples
analgesic or analgesia or “pain reduction”
•anesthesia or anaesthesia or anasthesia(spelling)
•housing or facility or caging
•welfare or wellbeing or pain or distress
•technique or procedure or method or assay
•vitro or culture or artificial
•virtual or simulation or digital or interactive
•mannequin or manikin or model
•endpoint or biomarker or noninvasive
When searching for animal research alternatives, it is important to look in more than one database. Use the list below select at least two databases to search. PubMed, Ovid Medline and ALTBIB are considered synonymous databases (search Medline). You may use any ONE of these. For your second database, you may select Web of Science or a specialized database depending on your topic.
DATABASES (use only one of these)
3Rs Guide: https://norecopa.no/3r-guide-database
Principal investigators should:
- Search strategy
- Database searched
- Years covered by the search
- Date the search was performed
d) Keep a copy of the search strategy, databases searched, and years of search. TIP: Set up alerts for searches in commonly used databases.