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Kornhauser Health Sciences Library

Animal Research: Searching the Literature

This guide provides users with information on best practices for literature searches conducted for animal research.

Finding Literature

Literature Searching: How to Find Animal Use Alternatives

The National Agricultural Library's Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) provides guidance on building and conducting a 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal use) alternatives literature search. This page details instructions for finding 3Rs alternatives along with other resources to assist individuals working with animals in research, testing, and teaching. 

Searching Basics

When searching for animal alternatives, you approach the task much as you do when you are searching for literature for any research project. You need key words, synonyms, MeSH terms (if using PubMed), and then you'll also need your 3R's Search Terms.

Building Your Search Strategy

Example Synonyms

Housing: housing OR cage OR enclosure

Animal: mice OR mouse OR murine OR mus

3Rs: “environmental enrichment*” OR “social housing” OR toys OR “animal welfare” OR “reduce stress” OR bedding OR “nesting material*”

See the video for more information on building and conducting a 3R's search 

Best Practices for Conducting a Search for Alternatives and Finding Animal Model/Model Organism Information

Example Synonyms