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Animals in Research: Searching Alternatives : Search Keywords


Although it is recommended that you keep your searches broad--searching for just the painful and/or distressing procedure and the animal species--you may decide to add some of the following keywords to your search strings. You may also find these keywords helpful for searches unrelated to animal alternatives.

Reduction & Refinement

Analgesic OR hypnotic OR sedative OR tranquilizer
Anesthesia OR anesthesia OR anaesthesia
Enrichment AND (behavioral OR behavioural OR environmental)
Experimental design
Handling OR housing OR husbandry OR caging
Monitoring device
Positive reinforcement
Postoperative OR postsurgery
Reduction OR refinement
Restraint OR restrict OR immobilize
Welfare OR pain OR stress OR distress

  • Paste this search into PubMed: ("Pain"[Mesh] OR "Pain Management"[Mesh] OR "Anesthesia and Analgesia"[Mesh] OR  "Analgesics"[Mesh] OR "Analgesics"[Pharmacological Action] OR "Anesthetics"[Mesh] OR  "Anesthetics"[Pharmacological Action] OR "Animal Welfare"[Mesh] OR "Animal Use Alternatives"[Mesh] OR "Stress, Psychological"[Mesh] OR "Stress, Physiological"[Mesh] OR stress[tiab] OR distress[tiab] OR pain*[tiab] OR analgesia[tiab] OR analgesic*[tiab] OR anesthesia*[tiab] OR anesthetic*[tiab] OR welfare[tiab] OR alternative*[tiab] OR “Disease Models, Animal”[mesh] OR “animal model”[tiab])


Algae OR fungus OR hydra OR plant
Animal alternatives OR alternative
Artificial intelligence OR AI
Bacteria OR microorganism OR protozoan OR single-celled organism
Cadaver OR autopsy
Cell OR cell line OR cellular
Computer aided instruction OR computer assisted instruction OR CAI
Culture AND (cell OR tissue OR organ)
Digital imaging
Fish OR cephalopod
Insect OR invertebrate
Isolated AND (cell OR tissue OR organ)
Mannequin OR manikin
Membrane OR organ OR organelle OR slice OR tissue 
(Model OR modelling OR modeling) AND (animal OR cadaveric OR interactive OR mathematical
OR statistical OR theoretical)
Replacement OR surrogate
Three-dimensional OR 3D OR 3-D AND (image OR images OR imaging)
Train OR educate OR teach OR instruct
Virtual AND (surgery OR reality)
Vitro AND (method OR model OR technique)

  • Paste this search in PubMed: (("Computer Simulation"[Mesh] OR simulation[tiab] OR "Cadaver"[Mesh] OR cadaver[tiab] OR "Culture Techniques"[Mesh] OR "Cells, Cultured"[Mesh] OR "cultured cells"[tiab] OR "cell culture"[tiab] OR "cell cultures"[tiab] OR vitro[tiab] OR "Models, Theoretical"[Mesh] OR model[tiab] OR models[tiab] OR modeling[tiab] OR modelling[tiab] OR "Manikins"[Mesh] OR manikin[tiab] OR manikins[tiab] OR mannequin[tiab] OR mannequins[tiab])) AND (("Imaging, Three-Dimensional"[Mesh] OR three-dimensional[tiab] OR 3D[tiab] OR 3-D[tiab]) AND (image[tiab] OR images[tiab] OR imaging[tiab]))

Search Hedges for Common Animal Species

For use in PubMed (MEDLINE) database:

“Cats”[Mesh] OR cat[tiab] OR cats[tiab] OR feline[tiab]

"Dogs"[Mesh] OR dog[tiab] OR dogs[tiab] OR canine[tiab] OR canines[tiab]

"Guinea Pigs"[Mesh] OR guinea pig[tiab] OR guinea pigs[tiab]

"Mice"[Mesh] OR mice[tiab] OR mouse[tiab] OR mus[tiab] OR murine[tiab]

(("Primates"[Mesh] NOT "Humans"[Mesh]) OR "non-human primate"[tiab] OR "non-human primates"[tiab])

“Rabbits”[Mesh] OR rabbit[tiab] OR rabbits[tiab] OR lagomorpha[tiab]

"Rats"[Mesh] OR rat[tiab] OR rats[tiab] OR rodent[tiab] OR rodents[tiab]

"Sheep"[Mesh] OR sheep[tiab] OR ovis[tiab] OR ovine[tiab]

"Swine"[Mesh] OR swine[tiab] OR pig[tiab] OR pigs[tiab] OR porcine[tiab]

Note: The tag [tiab] searches for the term in the title and abstract

For use in Scopus database:

TITLE-ABS-KEY (cat OR cats OR feline)

TITLE-ABS-KEY ( canine OR dog OR dogs )

TITLE-ABS-KEY(guinea pig OR guinea pigs)

TITLE-ABS-KEY(mice OR mouse OR mus OR murine OR rodent OR rodents) 

TITLE-ABS-KEY(rabbit OR rabbits OR lagomorpha)

TITLE-ABS-KEY(rat OR rats OR rodent OR rodents)

TITLE-ABS-KEY (rhesus OR macaca OR macaque OR "non?human primate*") 

TITLE-ABS-KEY(sheep OR ovis OR ovine)

TITLE-ABS-KEY(swine OR pig OR pigs OR porcine)