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This section is designed to assist researchers with their literature searches, while facilitating compliance with regulatory agencies. The search should identify any alternatives to potentially painful or distressful procedures, while also assuring that the protocol does not unnecessarily duplicate previous research.

Additional information on the listed databases can be found below the chart.

Newly added (06/24/2008): Go3R, a knowledge-based semantic search engine

Free Bibliographic Resources
Proprietary bibliographic databases -- check with your library for availability
Free governmental, regulatory, and organizational databases

Other resources, databases, and websites may be useful. The Animal Welfare Act regulations and policies allow for researchers to describe other methods and sources used to determine the availability of alternatives, though this should be secondary to the literature search.

AWIC list of databases

ECVAM search guide

UCCAA list of databases

For additional information or assistance:
AWIC sample searches, methods and guidelines, training and education, databases, organizations, and other resources that can assist in understanding alternatives, finding alternatives and completing the alternatives search.

The ECVAM Search Guide has been specifically developed to inform and support untrained database users to find high quality information on relevant alternative strategies and methods to animal experiments in an easy, yet systematic, efficient and effective way.

Other resources:
USDA/APHIS/AnimalCare Animal Care Policy Manual
Policy #11 Painful Procedures (PDF file)
Policy #12 Consideration of Alternatives to Painful/Distressful Procedures (PDF file)
Alternatives and the AWA Brochure - AWIC (PDF file)

Alternatives Search Tip Sheet - NIH Library (PDF file)

The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique by Russell and Burch

Information on databases

Agricola - Published by the National Agricultural Library, the Agricola database describes publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines including: animal science; veterinary science; entomology; plant science; forestry; aquaculture and fisheries; farming, farming systems and crops; agricultural economics; extension and education; food and human nutrition; and earth sciences and environmental sciences. Covers 1970s to present.

AltBib - Bibliography on Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing, National Library of Medicine. The intent of the bibliography is to assist in identifying methods and procedures helpful in supporting the development, testing, application, and validation of alternatives to the use of vertebrates in biomedical research and toxicology testing. This bibliography is produced from MEDLARS database searches, performed and analyzed by subject experts from the Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) of the Specialized Information Services Division (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Covers 1980s to present.

AltWeb - Pain Management and Humane Endpoint databases (not currently available). The Pain Management database includes information about anesthesia and analgesia for most commonly used laboratory animals, including: rats, mice, primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, fish, and exotic species. It provides information about available drugs and the side effects of commonly used drugs. Citations are from publications that have published laboratory animal studies or human clinical studies with relevance to animal research, 1990-present. The Humane Endpoints database is designed to help investigators find the earliest "endpoint" that is compatible with the scientific objectives of their research. An endpoint may be defined as "the point at which an experimental animal's pain and/or distress is terminated, minimized, or reduced by taking actions such as killing the animal humanely, terminating a painful procedure, or giving treatment to relieve pain and/or distress."

ANZCCART - Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching. Many useful resources including Fact Sheets, Newsletters, and publications.

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) - Includes information on the science, technology and management of marine, freshwater, and brackish water environments and organisms. Database consists of the following subfiles: ASFA 1: Biological Sciences and Living Resources; ASFA 2: Ocean Technology, Policy and Non-Living Resources; ASFA 3: Aquatic Pollution and Environmental Quality; ASFA Aquaculture Abstracts; and ASFA Marine Biotechnology Abstracts. Covers 1970s to present.

AVAR - Alternatives in Education Database. This web-based, user-searchable database contains information on various alternatives to using nonhuman animals in all levels of education. It is updated regularly as new information is received. The current routine searches an index file generated by indexing the keywords meta tag and title tag of every document in the AltEd directory and is relatively fast. You can also view alphabetical lists of linked titles for key disciplines without doing a search.

AWI - Laboratory Animals and Comfortable Quarters. Provides access to several focused databases, including primate enrichment, lab animal refinement, rodent and rabbit enrichment, and species-specific housing and handling recommendations.

BIOSIS - All life science areas, including agriculture, biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, botany, ecology, environmental sciences, genetics, microbiology, veterinary medicine & pharmacology. Indexes over 6000 journals, serials and conference proceedings. 1969-present

CAB - Citations and abstracts to the international agricultural literature, including veterinary medicine, human and animal nutrition, rural development, as well as other related topics such as tourism and human ecology. Covers over 11,000 journals & conference proceedings and selected books in agriculture, 1972-present.

CCAC - CCAC is the national organization responsible for setting and maintaining standards for the care and use of animals in research, teaching and testing throughout Canada.

CRIS -Current Research Information System is the USDA's documentation and reporting system for ongoing and recently completed research and education projects in agriculture, food and nutrition, and forestry.

CRISP - Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects is a searchable database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other research institutions. It is a biomedical database system containing information on research projects and programs supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, 1986-present.

DTIC - Defense Technical Information Center, provider of DoD technical information. DTIC links information among DoD personnel, DoD contractors and potential contractors and other U.S. Government agency personnel and their contractors.

ECVAM - Promotes the scientific and regulatory acceptance of non-animal tests which are of importance to biomedical sciences through research, test development and validations and the establishment of a specialized database service. It is the leading international centre for coordinating the validation of alternative methods, providing advice on theoretical and practical aspects of the validation of new tests, the current state of validation of alternative methods for use in toxicology and the biosciences in general, in vitro test for topical toxicity, embryotoxicity, haematotoxicity, metabolism-mediated toxicity, metal toxicity, neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, and general animal welfare issues (scientific and ethical), such as the use of transgenic animals.

EPA EcoTox - The ECOTOX (ECOTOXicology) database provides single chemical toxicity information for aquatic and terrestrial life. ECOTOX is a useful tool for examining impacts of chemicals on the environment. Peer-reviewed literature is the primary source of information encoded in the database. Pertinent information on the species, chemical, test methods, and results presented by the author(s) are abstracted and entered into the database. Another source of test results is independently compiled data files provided by various United States and International government agencies. ECOTOX is a unified interface providing access to three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ecological effects databases: AQUIRE (all aquatic species including freshwater and marine); TERRETOX (terrestrial animal mainly wildlife); and PHYTOTOX (terrestrial plant). Ecology, Toxicology. 1972-present

ERIC - The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world’s premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. The ERIC Database indexes and abstracts education and education related journals, studies and reports, with links to full-text studies and reports from 1993 forward, 1966-present.

EURCA - Alternatives Database An information-rich database of alternatives, evaluations and independent reviews (commissioned by eurca). Visitors are informed on the pedagogical quality of alternative models through an independent evidence-based alternatives review process. The suitability of a model is assessed, based on a selection of criteria, such as: support of the 3R’s concept; feasibility of implementation in Higher Education; interactive character; availability for evaluation, and the recommendations by experts in the field.

FEDRIP - Federal Research In Progress contains information about ongoing federally funded research projects in the fields of physical sciences, engineering, and life sciences.

Fish and Fisheries Worldwide - Covers fish, fisheries and aquaculture, including biology, genetics, natural history, behavior, diseases, parasites, limnology and oceanography, habitat management, culture, propagation, fish processing, marketing, and fisheries management, 1971 - present.

Go3R: Semantic Search to avoid animal experiments.

ICCVAM - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods Develop and validate new test methods; establish criteria and processes for the validation and regulatory acceptance of toxicological testing methods; generate, use, or provide information from toxicity test methods for risk assessment purposes.

ILAR Animal Models and Strains - ILAR has developed a unique search engine which indexes and searches only the websites of the suppliers and repositories listed on their Links page. The search engine produces search results only of sites that sell or distribute the animal model or strain searched for.

INVITTOX - Data bank of in vitro techniques in toxicology. The aim of INVITTOX protocols is to present precise and up-to-date technical information of the performance of the in vitro techniques currently in use and under development, their applications, advantages and drawbacks. The information is obtained directly from those scientists already employing such methods. Each protocol includes a detailed methodology sufficient to enable another researcher to carry out a procedure, experimental data, where available, the rationale for choice of technique and endpoint, and critical assessment comments about the accuracy of the system, its sensitivity, ease of implementation, shortcomings, etc.

Invitroderm - Alternatives to skin irritation and corrosion testing in animals, searchable bibliography with abstracts.

JAX Resources - Supports and provides access to a variety of tools: Mice Database, Mouse Genome Informatics, International Mouse Strains Resources, Mouse Resources, and Informational Resources.

NCI Mouse Models - The NCI Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium (MMHCC) is a collaborative program designed to derive and characterize mouse models, and to generate resources, information, and innovative approaches to the application of mouse models in cancer research.In addition to the MMHCC initiative, the NCI sponsors numerous other projects to develop, analyze, and apply mouse cancer models. This site is intended to provide the cancer research community with information about mouse models and mouse research generated by the MMHCC and other NCI-supported projects

NIH Model Organisms for Biomedical Research - This web site provides information about national and international activities and major resources that are being developed to facilitate biomedical research using the animal models listed here.

NORINA - Norwegian Inventory of Alternatives, Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science and Alternatives. Database of audiovisuals, computer programs, cd-roms, interactive videos, and other alternatives for use in the biological sciences

NTIS - National Technical Information Service is the central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information.

PrimateLit - The PrimateLit database provides bibliographic access to the scientific literature on nonhuman primates for the research and educational communities. Coverage of the database spans 1940 to present and includes all publication categories (articles, books, abstracts, technical reports, dissertations, book chapters, etc.) and many subject areas (behavior, colony management, ecology, reproduction, field studies, disease models, veterinary science, psychology, physiology, pharmacology, evolution, taxonomy, developmental and molecular biology, genetics and zoogeography). Literature acquisition, analysis, and indexing are carried out by the Primate Information Center at the Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington. Covers 1940s to present.

PubMed - Citations and abstracts for articles published in approximately 8,400 journals in medicine, life sciences, health administration, veterinary medicine, molecular biology and genetics. PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Covers 1950s to present.

PsycInfo - PsycINFO is a department of the American Psychological Association (APA). It provides citations to articles in professional journals, conference proceedings, books, reports, dissertations and even important internet sites in psychology and related disciplines, most with abstracts. Covers 1840s to present.

RTECS - Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. Provides toxicological information on over 140,000 chemical substances. Records include toxicological data and reviews, international workplace exposure limits, references to US standards and regulations, analytical methods and exposure and hazard survey data. RTECS is a compendium of data extracted from the open scientific literature. Six types of toxicity data are included in the file: (1) primary irritation; (2) mutagenic effects; (3) reproductive effects; (4) tumorigenic effects; (5) acute toxicity; and (6) other multiple dose toxicity. Specific numeric toxicity values such as LD50, LC50, TDLo, and TCLo are noted as well as species studied and route of administration used.

TOXNET - Network of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and environmental health. National Library of Medicine, Specialized Information Services cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas. Includes: Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System (CCRIS), Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology and Environmental Teratology Information Center (DART/ETIC), GENE-TOX, TOXLINE, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER), CHEMIDplus among others. New databases or services include Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER); Haz-Map, Household Products Database, and TOXMAP.

Web of Science - Provides access to the three ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) Citation Databases: Science Citation Index; Social Sciences Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Multidisciplinary database, with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the sciences. Unique capability to search for articles that cite a known author or work, 1975-present.

Wildlife and Ecology Studies Worldwide - Indexes literature on wild mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians; covering all aspects of wildlife and wildlife management, 1935-date.

WildPro - Wildlife Information Network, makes information on the health and management of wild animals and their habitats. An electronic encyclopaedia and a library of electronic books and documents providing information on the natural history, health and management of captive and free-ranging wild animals.

ZEBET is responsible for documentation and information on alternatives to animals in research and testing. The ZEBET database AnimAlt is mainly designed to support the examination of the imperative nature of animal experiments by providing information on possible alternative methods. To this end, the ZEBET database offers validated information on alternative methods. Since February 2000 the ZEBET database on alternative methods to animal experiments has been accessible without license fees on the Internet in German and English through the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI). The databank includes: description of specific methods; evaluations of those methods according to the 3 Rs, a description of the experiment that can be so modified, names of scientists who are experienced in the use of that method, and references to literature on the specific method and the experiment that can be replaced, reduced or refined.

Zfin, FishBase, OneFish - Zebra Fish Information Network addresses zebrafish genetics and development via an online database of information for zebrafish researchers. ZFIN serves as the zebrafish model organism database. The long term goals for ZFIN are a) to be the community database resource for the laboratory use of zebrafish, b) to develop and support integrated zebrafish genetic, genomic and developmental information, c) to maintain the definitive reference data sets of zebrafish research information, d) to link this information extensively to corresponding data in other model organism and human databases, e) to facilitate the use of zebrafish as a model for human biology and f) to serve the needs of the research community.

FishBase is a global information system with all you ever wanted to know about fishes. FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase on the web contains practically all fish species known to science.

OneFish - Fish Technology Knowledge Base. The topics and knowledge in this worldview have been developed as part of the EU funded Fish-Tech-DB Project. The purpose of this Project is to develop a network to support an open-access, online, fish technology knowledge base in oneFish with the primary objective of enhancing the knowledge infrastructure for fish processing technology and related areas, thereby enabling more effective development of R&D, application of technology, and better quality and safety in this area for the European Union and Associated States.

Zoological Record - Comprehensive coverage of zoology; including behavior, conservation and environmental science, ecology, evolution, genetics, habitat, marine and freshwater biology, nutrition, parasitology and disease, reproduction, taxonomy and systematics, veterinary studies, zoogeography and fossil records. Especially strong in new species reports and field studies. 1978-date.


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June 17, 2019
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5th International Conference on Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT) Testing
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