Animal Alternatives

Resources, methods, and models for animal research, with guidelines on alternatives search

Conducting Alternatives Search

            An animal alternatives search should be conducted to meet the requirements of Animal Welfare Act to consider alternatives to animal research and to address  the 3R’s (refine, reduce, replace).

ALTBIB, an NIH website, is recommended as the search interface for alternatives.

  • In the ALTBIB search box, type the animal species and one or more other terms to represent methods or painful procedures performed on the animal; the general research topic/disease/condition may also be searched to determine if there are new or  improved models.
  • Alternatives terminology is automatically incorporated with your search terms, and the search is then transferred to and conducted within the PubMed database.
  • Review articles retrieved and comment on whether any methods are identified which can be implemented in your protocol.
  • Conduct a separate ALTBIB search for each procedure or group of concepts.

In addition to the ALTBIB search, look at the links to specialized websites (Johns Hopkins AltWeb, UCDavis Alternatives), as well as specialized books on animal models and methods listed in other sections on this page.  The alternatives search can also be conducted in other databases such as EMBASE, BIOSIS, AGRICOLA

For assistance, contact Ask a Librarian

Websites to consult

Print Resources

  • Culture of Animal Cells (Health Library Q5 525 F735 2005)
  • Guidelines for the Care and Use of Mammals in Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (Health Library WG 120 P578 2004)
  • Handbook of Animal Models of Infection (Health Library WC 100 H236 1999)
  • Molecular Embryology: Methods and Protocols (General Library QL 959 M65 1999)
  • Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Research: Biology and Management (vol.1), Diseases (vol.2)  (Health Library QY 60 P7N65 2012)
  • The Physiological Genomics of the Critically Ill Mouse (Health Library WG 120 P578 2004)
  • Transgenic Mouse Methods and Protocols (Health Library QY 25 T7725 2003)
  • Vaccine Protocols (Health Library QW525 .V116 2003)
  • What's Wrong with My Mouse? : Behavioral Phenotyping of Transgenic and Knockout Mice (Health Library QY 60 R6 C911W 2000)