After constructing a good search question, the next most important step in literature searches is selecting the most appropriate databases.
When searching for animal research alternatives, it is very important to look in more than one database. The USDA's Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) identifies choosing just one database as a RED FLAG that may result in your problems with your search.
The following types of databases are commonly useful for animal alternatives literature searching, though there are many more available through the UNC Libraries:
Recommended Research Databases - These research databases have been recommended by OLAW, AALECi, or similar organizations as being suitable for animal alternatives literature searching. Most are listed on UNC's IACUC form as suggested options.
Specialized Alternatives Databases - Databases that contain materials specifically relevant to the reduction, refinement, and replacement of animals in laboratory research and teaching can be of particular utility to your literature search. These databases often include a broader range of useful resources than other databases, including videotapes and software packages in addition to peer-reviewed articles.
It is highly recommended by the Library that you choose both PubMed/MEDLINE or whichever other database is most relevant to your area of study or practice and at least one other resource in order to find a complete picture of possible alternatives.
The UNC IACUC will require you to search at least two databases. This guide can help you select the most useful for your specific protocol.
Your additional databases can be a second biomedical research database, or focus on:
If there is a specific database relevant to the protocol topic or model, you should include it in your search.
You are welcome to contact a science or health sciences librarian for assistance in selecting the most useful database for your protocol.
Is your protocol focused on classroom education or student training?
Is your protocol focused on behavioral or neuropsychological research?
Is your protocol focused on toxicological or pharmaceutical research?
Is your animal model a rodent or other animal commonly used in laboratory research?
Is your animal model a non-human primate?
Is your animal model aquatic, a reptile, or an amphibian?
Is your animal model an agricultural animal or fowl?
Is your animal model considered wildlife?
Find discussion and research about alternatives and the 3Rs:
There are many tutorials available to aid in searching specific databases. The following are only some of those that may be found; there are often more available through the database home help screens.