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Now available: the EURL ECVAM Search Guide on Alternatives to Animal Testing

News details
May 31, 2012

How best to search information on the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal use) in the WWW

Making full use of all sources of information on alternative methods is a key part of preparing research projects in the life sciences using laboratory animals in compliance with the EU legislative requirements. 

A major challenge to locate relevant high quality information about a proposed field of scientific investigation is the exponential increase of scientific publications. Over the last years the electronic resources, originally developed to offer a potential solution to this problem, have shown a similar proliferation. The question arises: how best to search information specifically on the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal use) in the World Wide Web?

The guide provides examples of search procedures and user guidance to facilitate the location of the desired information on 3Rs alternatives; it also includes an inventory of relevant resources.

The guide is aimed at untrained database users. It represents a useful resource where comprehensive searches are required as part of authorisation processes for animal experiments and where regulatory requirements mandate the application of the 3Rs.


The guide will also be made available on-line as an electronic data retrieval system (publication foreseen in 2013).

The European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) has been formally established in 2011, due to the increasing need for new methods to be developed and proposed for validation in the European Union. EURL ECVAM is hosted by the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) located in Ispra, Italy.

The EURL ECVAM Search Guide was produced by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. It involved an international advisory team composed of different professional profiles covering its major future users, such as scientists, regulatory authorities, the animal welfare movement and information scientists. The JRC has had the collaboration of specialists from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment -Bundesinsitut für Risikobewertung (BfR).

European Commission - EUR 24391 EN - Joint Research Centre – Institute for Health and Consumer Protection

Title: «The ECVAM Search Guide – GOOD SEARCH PRACTICE on Animal Alternatives»

Author(s): Annett J. Roi – Barbara Grune
Luxembourg: Publications Offi ce of the European Union
2011 – 176 pp. – 21 x 28 cm
EUR – Scientific and Technical Research series – ISSN 1018-5593
ISBN 978-92-79-15879-7