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Hardin Library for the Health Sciences

Animal Alternatives: Database Searching

Searching Tips

Preplan: write out terms, synonyms, and list which databases to search

Determine general area of study/research topic

Description of the procedure being used and why

Which organ systems are involved

List of drugs or chemicals being used

Choose animal species/animal model

Truncate works with the same stem (sulph* will retrieve sulphuric, sulphurous, sulphate, etc)

Start with single concepts, then combine using AND to refine the result set

Limit to a particular time period, to help refine a too-large set

Use OR when the search set is too narrow (rats OR rodents)

Use OR to look for term variants (mice OR mouse OR murine)

Remember American and British spellings can be different (behavior, behaviour)


Alternative Search Terminology


• alternative(s) • animal testing alternative(s) • assay • distress • euthanasia • learn • learning • method • model • pain • replace • replacement • surrogate • system • teach(ing) • technique(s)


• aided artificial assisted • cadaver • computers • image • imaging • instruction • interactive • mathematical model(ing) • model(ing) • prediction • simulation • software • teaching • theoretical model(ing) • virtual


• statistics • stastical combined with • analysis • experimental design • model • reduce • reduction


• distress • (non-)invasive • pain • postoperative • postsurgery • stress• anaethesia • anaesthetic • analgesia • analgesic • anxiolytic • sedative• animal combined with • cage • caging • euthanaia • housing • husbandry • welfare

Library Liaison

Janna Lawrence's picture
Janna Lawrence
I am Deputy Director of Hardin Library and also serve as Hardin's collection management librarian. Other areas of interest include scholarly communication and evidence-based practice.
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences