The Animal Care Program at MSU is comprised of two key divisions, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Campus Animal Resources (CAR). The IACUC advises the University President and the Institutional Official regarding all aspects of the responsible use of animals in university research and instructional activities, while the role of CAR is to provide resources and services to support the use of animals in research.
Members of the IACUC are appointed by the President of the University to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution's animal care and use program. The IACUC includes scientists, veterinarians, and local community representation who review protocols and monitor research-related activities to ensure compliance with standards and regulatory requirements.
A literature search is important before the start of any new research project in order to prevent duplication of work already performed and to establish priority. An effective literature search strategy incorporates keywords and concepts that describe the project and/or area of study. The original project literature search can serve as the foundation for an animal alternatives search by adding keywords used in the scope of the 3R's (refine, reduce, replace).
The databases listed in this guide all contain controlled vocabulary terms for locating alternative animal use procedures. When the controlled terms are employed to create a subset of the database, searching for specific animals, procedures, chemicals, etc. within that subset will narrow the subject and hopefully improve the relevancy of the search results.
The US Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Information Center (USDA/AWIC) provides an excellent worksheet for developing search strategies that help determine if alternatives exist and whether the protocol unnecessarily duplicates previous research. Completing the worksheet will assist you with gathering the information necessary to perform a successful literature search.