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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Searching for Animal Alternatives

Resource guide for helping members of the GUMC community comply with IACUC requirements and perform searches based on the 3Rs

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This guide will help GUMC and GU researchers address the 3Rs and fulfill IACUC requirements about alternatives searching in protocol submissions. This includes choosing at least two different databases to search, selecting appropriate search terms, and combining with boolean operators (AND/OR).

The goal of the search is to retrieve results that might help determine if other experimental methodologies exist that can replace animal models, or new procedures/methodologies that are less painful and/or distressful; and to reduce animal numbers.

General Resources on the Web

IACUC Requirements For Searching

"The principal investigator must provide a written narrative of the sources, such as biological abstracts, Index Medicus, the Current Research Information Service (CRIS), and the Animal Welfare Information Center that is operated by the National Agricultural Library. - Federal Register: Final Rules and Regulations; Vol. 54 (168), August 31, 1989.

From Animal Care Policy #12: The database search narrative should include:

  • Names of the databases search ("one database is seldom adequate")
  • Date the search was performed
  • Time period covered by the search
  • Search strategy (including scientifically relevant terminology) used.

IACUC Liaison

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C. Scott Dorris
Associate Director of Research Services
Dahlgren Memorial Library
3900 Reservoir Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20057
202.431.9562 (mobile: call or text)