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IACUC: The 3Rs and the Literature Search

Suggested Keywords for Searches

In addition to searching for research similar to your own, you will need to look for literature that mentions alternatives involving reduction, refinement, and replacement of animals in laboratory research. The University of North Carolina Health Sciences Library has compiled the below list of keywords; note that since keywords for reduction and refinement overlap by quite a lot, these areas are combined.

Reduction and Refinement

Analgesic, hypnotic, sedative, tranquilizer
Anesthesia, anaesthesia
Assay, technique, method, procedure
Enrichment (behavioral, behavioural, environmental)
Experimental design
Handling, housing, husbandry, caging

Invasive, non-invasive
Monitoring device
Positive reinforcement
Postoperative, postsurgery
Reduction, refinement
Restraint, restrict, immobilize
Train, educate, teach, instruct
Welfare, pain, stress, distress


          Algae, fungus, hydra, plant
Anesthesia, anesthesia, anaesthesia
Animal testing alternatives, alternative
Artificial intelligence system, AI
Assay, technique, method, procedure
Autopsy, biopsy
Bacteria, microorganism, protozoan, single-celled organism, yeast
Cell, cell line, cellular
Computer aided instruction, computer assisted instruction, CAI
Culture (cell, tissue, organ)
Digital imaging
Environmental enrichment
Fish, cephalopod
Insect, invertebrate
          Isolated (cell, tissue, organ)
Mannequin, manikin, manikin
Membrane, organ, organelle, slice, tissue, tissue equivalent
Model (animal, cadaveric, interactive, mathematical, statistical, theoretical), modelling
Physicochemical systems
Replacement, surrogate
Simulation (computer)
Structure - activity relationship
Train, educate, teach, instruct
Virtual (surgery, reality)
Vitro (AND method, model, technique)