Skip to Main Content

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

General Tips for Formulating the Question

Please consider the following points to help formulate your research question and outline a search strategy.

  • What is your area of study (neurology, cardiology, oncology, etc.)?
  • What species are you working with (rats, mice, groundhogs, etc.)?
  • Briefly describe your experimental protocol and highlight the main concepts/methods/procedures.
  • What specific systems or anatomical parts are involved?
  • Spell out all acronyms.
  • Consider all synonyms and spelling variations for the above answers.
  • Consider any outcome measures.

Excerpted and modified from: "AWIC Tips for Searching for Alternatives to Animal Research and Testing".

Sample Question Formats

General example as to avoid unnecessary duplication of already published research:
In (Animal Model), what is the effect of (Intervention/Exposure) in achieving (Outcome) related to (Disease/Condition)?

Pain and Stress Prevention:
Is (Administration Route A) or (Administration Route B) more effective at eliminating unnecessary pain or stress in (Animal Model) with (Disease/Condition)?

Guidance from the Literature