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Animal Alternatives Searching: Databases

Guidance for Researchers

Selecting & Searching Databases

Databases vary by the type and number of records they contain, dates of coverage, the formats of literature they consider (i.e., chapters, articles, proceedings), and the scope. Select the databases according to the study and particular question being asked.

You are required to search in more than one database.

Most researchers start with PubMed or another broadly inclusive database (ie, ScienceDIrect, Web of Science, Biosis). Your additional databases can be a second biomedical research database, or focus on a specific aspect of the protocol design, the animal model, or the 3Rs.

Alternatives-focused Databases

Public Access databases that contain materials specifically relevant to reduction, refinement, and replacement.

  • CAAT Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health clearinghouse for information on alternatives to animal testing.
  • ALTBIB: Bibliography of Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research & Testing A search portal to access PubMed literature that adds animal research specific fields to your search in order to more easily locate animal use alternatives and to address the 3R principles.
  • AnimAlt ZEBET Database of alternative methods to animal experiments that comply with 3R principles.  
  • AWIC (Animal Welfare Information Center) US National Agricultural Library produces information on alternative methods, humane care, euthanasia, ethics, toxicity testing and legislation.
  • CCAC 3R's Microsite Canadian Council on Animal Care - Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement Alternatives.
  • eMICE Electronic Models Information, Communication, and Education from The National Cancer Institute.
  • Humane Endpoints Provides guidance on humane endpoints, including normal behavior, clinical signs, pain, and distress. Open section contains general information; closed section requires registration and includes detailed guidance.
  • Interspecies Database Helps researchers to make an optimal choice of species and strain of the animal model, which is essential for efficient extrapolation of animal data to humans or other animals.
  • NORINA: Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Teaching Aggregator of audiovisual aids that may replace or supplement the use of animals in teaching and demonstration.
  • Refinement and Enrichment for All Laboratory Animals Database This information resource is a merger of the two databases on refinement & enrichment for non-primate and primate animals kept in laboratories. It disseminates reference material on all aspects of refinement of housing and handling conditions and environmental enrichment for all animals kept in research, testing and teaching institutions.

Public Access Databases

Public Access databases do not require a subscription or VPN access and are freely available. 

  • PubAg Over 213,895 full-text journal articles on the agricultural sciences, in addition to over 2,490,300 citations.
  • AGRICOLA Encompasses all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, created by the National Agricultural Library and its cooperators.
  • CRIS: Current Research Information Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) documentation and reporting system for ongoing and recently completed research projects in agriculture, food and nutrition, and forestry.
  • ECOTOX: Ecotoxicology Database is a source for locating single chemical toxicity data for aquatic life, terrestrial plants and wildlife.
  • Federal Research in Progress Provides access to information about ongoing federally funded projects in the fields of the physical sciences, engineering, and life sciences.
  • PubMed  Produced by the National Library of Medicine, PubMed contains over 26 million citations for biomedical literature
  • RePORTER (NIH) The information found in RePORTER is drawn from several extant databases–eRA databases, Medline, PubMed Central, the NIH Intramural Database, and iEdison–using newly-formed linkages among these disparate data sources.
  • TOXNET(TOXicology Data NETwork) is a cluster of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas.
  • ZFIN  Zebrafish Model Organism Database of online information for zebrafish researchers.

UC Merced Subscription Databases

Access full listing and descriptions of Library Databases through the A-Z Database List.

  • BIOSIS Citations for journals, books, conference proceedings, and technical reports in the life sciences and biology.
  • Compendex Database of scientific and technical engineering research, journals and conferences.
  • Current Protocols Collection Current protocols for chemistry, life sciences, medicine, and healthcare. 
  • ERIC Educational Resources Information Center. Provides extensive access to educational- related documents and journal articles.
  • INSPEC Citations for scholarly journals, conference proceedings, book reports and dissertations in physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computers and control and information technology.
  • PsycINFO Citations and abstracts for articles in professional journals, conference proceedings, books, reports, and dissertations in psychology and related disciplines.
  • ScienceDirect Full text of articles covering the Sciences, technology, medicine and social sciences.
  • Web of Science Provides article and citation searching in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.
  • Zoological Record Comprehensive coverage of zoology, including behavior, ecology, evolution, habitat, nutrition, parasitology, reproduction, taxonomy and zoogeography.