IACUC, Animal Welfare, Literature Reviews: Home

Find information to help search for alternatives (aka the "3Rs") mandated by the Animal Welfare Act and required for IACUC protocols (Breeding, section 6; Research, section 7; Instruction, section 2g) for Virginia Tech. Use the tabs below to jump to any s

The "3Rs" for Alternatives

REDUCE: minimize how many animals are used.

REFINE: use techniques/procedures that minimize distress and pain to animals.

REPLACE: substitute animal models with non-animal techniques or lower organisms.

Adapted from: Russel, WMS and RL Burch (1959). The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. Universities Federation of Animal Welfare: England, 238p.

More info:
National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research

General Requirements

Below is an overview of the required pieces of information listed under the "alternatives" literature search sections for the IACUC protocols at Virginia Tech:  

  • Names of the databases searched
  • Keywords used and the number of hits
  • Date(s) the search(es) were performed
  • Years included in the search criteria
  • Identification of any 3Rs that were found
  • Justification if an alternative was found, but not used

See more information under the "Getting Started with Searching" tab

Key Resources to getting started

To find out more about 3Rs and locate additional resources available about alternatives:

Virginia Tech:


  • IACUC.org (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, national organization through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science - AALAS)


  • CCAC (Canadian Council on Animal Care)
  • EURL EVCAM (European Union Reference Laboratory European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Method)
    • DB-ALM (Database services on alternative methods to animal experiments / create a free account to search / search options directly under main banner) 

Librarian Liaison to the IACUC

Profile Photo
Kiri DeBose
Vet Med Library
245 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

A little about what I can do for you

As the University Libraries' liaison to the IACUC, I am here to help you with adhering to the literature review searching protocol.  Please contact me if you have any questions!

Additionally, I offer workshops on how to effectively search resources through PDN or by request.