Changes to AWA Requirements
The primary contact that researchers have with the information requirements of the Animal Welfare Act is in the literature search for alternatives portion of a research protocol proposal. It is important to know that these requirements have recently changed:
The new text is as follows:
"When a database search is the primary means of meeting this requirement [consideration of alternatives or alternative methods], the narrative should include:
•the name(s) of the databases searched (due to the variation in subject coverage and sources used, one database is seldom adequate);
•the date the search was performed;
•the time period covered by the search; and
•the search strategy (including scientifically relevant terminology) used."
The key is that 1) multiple databases are now recommended, and 2) the inclusion of the actual search strategy is also required as opposed to only the keywords. This change allows for better evaluation of the quality and comprehensiveness of the search performed, and also allows a reviewer to replicate the actual search that a researcher used to support their protocol.
Help with documenting your search strategies can be found on the "Databases" page.
This guide is intended to assist IACUC members and researchers at Penn State Hershey in meeting the information requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. It also links to other resources at Penn State and Penn State Hershey that pertain to IACUC and Animal Research activities and needs, such as policies, guidelines, and web resources for laboratory procedural training. Suggestions from the IACUC and researchers for content in this guide are encouraged - see the profile link at the right to contact me.
This guide is divided into the following sections (use the tabs along the row above to move from one section to another or select a link from the list below):
Databases - selected databases with coverage in subject areas relevant to the IACUC and to animal research.
Penn State Resources - IACUC and research-releated resources are from various locations across Penn State, some external, some internal. Internal sources may not be available off-campus.
Searching help - this section will assist you with search strategies and termninology for getting relevant results
Links to other resources - this section links to a variety of resources, including regulatory and training sites and documents, in particular the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th ed. (AAALAC)
Writing the Lay Summary - information about summarizing your research in clear, concise language for non-scientists