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Research Guides

Alternative Literature Searching

A guide for live animal researchers finding alternative research methods to reduce, refine, and replace their use of animals.

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University of Idaho Library Reference Desk


Video Tutorial for Alternatives Searching

Search Tips

Search Terminology (should have all 3 types of terms):

-scientific terms relates to the research protocol

-alternatives (3Rs) terminology: replacement, reduction, refinement

-search terminology: boolean operators (AND, OR), limits, truncations (*), years, types of materials, etc.

Example Search: 

Set 1  "inflammatory bowel disease" or IBD or colitis 

Set 2  murine or mouse or mice or rats or rat

Set 3  "animal welfare" or wellbeing or humane or endpoint* or noninvasiv* or imaging or biomarker*

Set 4  #1 AND #2 AND #3


For more help, visit: 

Documenting Your Search

  • Names of the databases searched
  • Date the search was performed
  • Period covered by the search
  • Search strategy used
  • A copy of your search results