A good place to begin learning about a search for alternatives is the Literature Searching and Database page of the Animal Welfare Information Center.
You can also consult the Selected Databases page of this guide. Remember to use two different databases for your searches. You can use one resource that searches the MedLine database but your second resource must search a different body of information.
The narrative describing the search for alternatives should include the following:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about capturing search strings.
|Potentially painful procedure: Jugular Catheter|
|Name of databases searched: PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science|
|Date of Search: 4/28/2017|
|Years covered by search: 1960-2017|
Keywords or search strategies used:
PubMed: ("jugular catheter"[All Fields] AND ("rats"[MeSH Terms] OR "rats"[All Fields])) AND (("pain"[MeSH Terms] OR "pain"[All Fields]) OR ("stress"[All Fields]) OR distress[All Fields])
Web of Science: TOPIC: ("jugular catheter" rat (pain OR stress OR distress))
23 results in PubMed. Articles discussed xyz methods but these particular procedures do not work for our research because...
28 results in Web of Science. Articles discussed xyz methods and we will adjust our procedures to xyz method based on the review of the articles.
Click on the Tutorial link below for a step-by-step guide to performing literature searches in PubMed Medline and Web of Science.
A search for alternatives to death as an endpoint can be challenging to build. Here is a sample of such a search in PubMed Medline:
(("leukaemia"[All Fields] OR "leukemia"[MeSH Terms] OR "leukemia"[All Fields])) AND ((((((humane) AND ((endpoint) OR endpoints))) OR ((death) AND ((endpoint) OR endpoints)))) AND (("animal experimentation"[MeSH Terms] OR ("animal"[All Fields] AND "experimentation"[All Fields]) OR "animal experimentation"[All Fields] OR ("animal"[All Fields] AND "research"[All Fields]) OR "animal research"[All Fields])))
You can use this same search for your protocol by replacing leukemia with the topic of your research. For further assistance, contact Lori Snyder at the Harrell Health Sciences Library.
The term "alternatives" is not a catch-all as many subject specialties do not use the term, or use it in ways not relevant to searching for "alternatives" to painful/distressful procedures. Refer to the Altweb Resources Search Guide for more information:
Here are some suggested terms to use when searching for alternatives:
animal testing alternative • assay • distress • euthanasia • learn • learning • method • model • pain • replace • replacement • surrogate • system • teach • teaching • technique
aided/assisted • artificial • cadaver • computers • image • imaging • instruction • interactive • mathematical model(ing) • model(ing) • prediction • simulation • software • teaching • theoretical model(ing) • virtual
statistics • statistical analysis • experimental design • model • reduce • reduction
distress • (non-)invasive • pain • postoperative • postsurgery • stress• anaesthesia • anesthesia • anesthetic • anaesthetic • analgesia • analgesic • anxiolytic • sedative• animal cage • animal caging • animal euthanasia • animal housing • animal husbandry • animal welfare
The USDA provides a worksheet of possible search terms.