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Animals in Research: Searching Alternatives : Getting Started

Welcome!

This guide provides information and links to additional resources to help you conduct a thorough literature search to discover ways to reduce, refine, or replace the use of USDA-regulated species in research. This requirement is outlined in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Peruse this guide to:

Consider contacting a librarian to discuss your search.  A librarian can help you choose the best databases to search, develop a search strategy, save your searches, and more.

Mousebase

Mousebase@Duke is a user-populated catalog of research mouse model strains used and maintained by Duke investigators, enabling investigators to access existing models for increased research efficiency.

USDA Non-regulated Species

Although it is NOT necessary to search for animal alternatives for:

mice, rats, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians or birds

it is still recommended that you consider the 3 R's--outlined below--in planning your research.

You may also want to review the Duke IACUC Policy on Considerations for Alternatives as well as Protocol Forms.

The 3 R's

Searching for animal alternatives is typically guided by the "3 R's":

  • Reduction - Minimize the number of animals used to smallest number needed to obtain statistically relevant results.
  • Refinement - Use techniques that reduce the incidence or severity of pain and/or distress in animals.
  • Replacement - Substitution of non-animal methods or material or a lower species that may be less sensitive to pain and distress.

First described in The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique by Russell and Burch (1959).

Contact the Medical Library

Email iacuc-librarian@duke.edu

or call 919-660-1100 and ask for an IACUC librarian.

 

Visit the Duke Medical Center Library:

Duke Health badge access - 24/7

Painful or Distressing Procedures

Below are some, but not all of the painful and/or distressing procedures you will be required to conduct a literature search for in order to seek methods of reduction, refinement, and replacement, and document in your protocols:

Biopsies

Chest Tube

Cutdowns

Cystotomy

Electrical Stimulation

Infusion

Intraosseous Access

Laminectomy

Laparotomy

Nerve Transection​

Spinal Tap

Sternotomy

Thoracentesis

Thoracotomy

Tracheotomy