The IACUC is tasked to determine that... "The principal investigator has considered alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals, and has provided a written narrative description of the methods and sources, e.g., the Animal Welfare Information Center, used to determine that alternatives were not available." (9CFR, Part 2, Sec. 2.31 (d) (1) (ii))
There are two distinct purposes for the
database search, both of which are important to satisfy requirements of the Public Health Service Policy, the Animal Welfare Act, and Policy #12 of the Animal Care and Resource Guide:
To ensure that there are no scientifically viable alternatives
to the use of animals
To ensure that the proposed study does not unnecessarily duplicate
previous work .
Both requirements must be met before IACUC approval
can be obtained.
When submitting a protocol request to the IACUC, the narrative of the database search must include the names of the databases used, the date the search was performed, the time period covered in the search, and the search strategy.
At least two independent databases must
be searched. Searches of the PubMed database
automatically include Medline as one of the data sources and therefore
Medline is not an independent database and does not fulfill the
requirement for searching two databases if PubMed is used as one
of the databases.
Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library webpage also contains helpful resources for completing the database search requirements.
Tips on searching for animal alternatives can also be viewed here: 2005 Database Search Presentation