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IACUC: The 3Rs and the Literature Search

Step 3: Select & Search Databases

After constructing a good search question, the next most important step in literature searches is selecting a good database. Databases vary by the type and number of records they contain, their dates of coverage, the formats of literature they consider (i.e., books, articles, and/or multimedia items), and the scope (or subject area(s)) of the database.

When searching for animal research alternatives, it is very important to look in more than one database. While your first instinct may be to look only in PubMed, there are a wide variety of other options that will usually give you different but just as relevant results. On the following pages we have indexed a number of possible databases from which you may choose (click on a heading to see options in each category):

Specialized Alternatives Databases - These databases are available for free on the Internet. In general, they are small collections of citations that have been either collected by the database provider or have been culled from larger databases such as AGRICOLA. While several are affiliated with U.S. government or academic institutions, many have a more international focus.

Free Online Databases - Unlike the specialized databases listed on the above linked page, these databases tend to be focused on a general subject area, such as medicine, agriculture, and toxicology. PubMed and AGRICOLA are included in this list as well as two databases indexing federally-sponsored research and a number of toxicology indexes.

Subscription Databases - These databases are only available to OSU-affiliated researchers, staff, or students. As with the free databases, most of our subscription databases focus on a general subject area. You may be surprised by the inclusion of computer science databases, but these can be helpful for researchers looking for computer models.

 If you would like assistance with selecting the best databases for your search, please request a consultation with a librarian.

Suggested Databases By Type of Research

Topic Free Databases

Subscription Databases

Alternatives Databases

Biomedical Research

(including Pharmacology)

PubMed

Google Scholar

SciFinder Scholar

Reaxys

Web of Science

ALTBIB

@LTWEB

CCAC 3R's Microsite

Go3R

NIH Model Organisms

eMICE

UC Davis Alternatives Guide

Agricultural Research

Agricola

CRIS

PubMed

CAB Abstracts

Animal Health & Production Compendium

ALTBIB

AWIC

Go3R

FASS Guide

UC Davis Alternatives Guide

Field Research

Agricola

PubMed

Google Scholar

Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide

Zoological Abstracts

Web of Science

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management

CCAC 3R's Microsite

ALTBIB

Go3R

Aquatic Research

Agricola

Toxnet

ECOTOX

Google Scholar

Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts

Fish, Fisheries & Aquatic Diversity Worldwide

Zoological Abstracts

Web of Science

ALTBIB

ZFin (Zebrafish database)

Go3R

UC Davis Alternatives Guide

Behavioral Sciences

PubMed

Google Scholar

PsycInfo

Zoological Abstracts

Web of Science

Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology

ALTBIB

@LTWEB

Go3R

UC Davis Alternatives Guide

Computer Models   

Compendex

IEEE Xplore

ACM Digital Library

NORINA

Go3R

Husbandry and Housing Agricola

Animal Health & Production Compendium

PsycInfo

Zoological Abstracts

AWIC

Refinement & Enrichment Database

UC Davis Alternatives Guide

Pain & Distress Reduction PubMed Web of Science

@LTWEB

CCAC 3R's Microsite

Toxicology

Toxnet

PubMed

ECOTOX

SciFinder Scholar

Web of Science

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management

ALTBIB

AWIC

Go3R

UC Davis Alternatives Guide