The use of databases, information centres and guidelines when planning research that may involve animals
In many countries scientists planning research that may involve the use of animals are required by law to examine the possibilities for replacement, reduction or refinement (the Three Rs) of these experiments. In addition to the large number of literature databases, there are now many
specialist databases specifically addressing the Three Rs. Information centres, with a mandate to assist scientists and lay people locate information on the Three Rs, have also been established. Email discussion lists and their archives constitute another, although less quality-controlled,
source of information. Furthermore, guidelines for the care and use of animals in research have been produced both by regulatory bodies and scientific organisations. The growth of the internet has put an enormous amount of data into the public domain, and the problems of accessing relevant
information are discussed. Suggestions are also given for search strategies when using these information sources.