The ECVAM search guide - Good search practice on animal alternatives
The "ECVAM Search Guide" is aimed at untrained database users and will be most relevant, where comprehensive searches are required, as part of authorisation processes for animal experiments and where regulatory requirements mandate the applicationo f the 3Rs. A major challenge to locate relevant high quality information about a proposed field of scientific investigation is the exponential increase of scientific publications in the recent past. Over the last years the electronic resources, originally developed to offer a potential solution to this problem, have shown a similar proliferation. The question arises: how best to search for information specifically on the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal use) in the World Wide Web that is heterogenic, constantly changing and growing? The ECVAM Search Guide provides a systematic step-by stepsearch procedure and user guidance to facilitate the location of the desired information on 3Rs alternatives in addition to an inventory of relevant resources providing an answer to the question: What can I find where? The project has been initiated and sponsored by ECVAM and represents the outcome of a close collaboration with the National German Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiments (ZEBET) and an international project advisory team composed of scientists and representatives of ethical and regulatory authorities in support. Its publication as a handbook and on the Internet by ECVAM isexpected for this year.