Databases and search guides

There are databases and search guides that you can use to find methods that can replace, reduce and refine animal experimentation.

There are several different types of databases and search guides that you can use when searching for 3Rs methods – methods that can replace, reduce and refine animal experimentation. Some databases focus specifically on one of the Rs. Others have a broader scope and include methods within all the three Rs. There are also databases that focus on methods within a specific field of use.

We have gathered information about databases, search guides and instructions for literature searches within the 3Rs area.

Databases for 3Rs methods

The 3Ranker project has developed a search algorithm for 3Rs related scientific papers. The algorithm is based on artificial intelligence and currently works for 35 million articles from the database MEDLINE. The project started with animal free methods in certain areas of research and testing but the future goal is to include all three Rs and additional research areas.

The British 3Rs Center NC3Rs has collected all their 3Rs resources in an online library. You will find information and guidance on many different issues such as refined handling of mice in experiments and completely animal-free methods for cell culture.

The Norwegian 3Rs platform Norecopa provides a database called the 3R Guide. This database is a collection of more than 80 other 3Rs databases and aim to provide a 'one-stop shop' for researchers who need to gain an overview of available 3Rs resources.

We have gathered the databases that focus on one R or on a specific area of use in the tabs below.

Databases for methods that can replace animal experimentation


The RE‑Place project collects information on methods that can replace animal experimentation together with contact details for researchers who use and can educate others on the methods. The database is currently specific to researchers and methods located in Belgium. However, researchers and other interested parties from other countries can use it to find information about methods and potential new contacts.

Databases based on systematic literature reviews

The European reference laboratory EURL EVCAM has performed a series of literature reviews to identify non‑animal models that are being used for research in seven different disease areas.

Each study has produced a database of the methods identified, a technical summary of the results as well as a popular science executive summary.

The seven disease areas included are

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • respiratory tract diseases
  • breast cancer
  • immuno‑oncology
  • autoimmune diseases
  • immunogenicity testing for advanced medicinal therapy products.

Database for methods submitted for validation

The EURL ECVAM is responsible for formal validation within the EU and they maintain a database of methods that have been submitted for formal validation. The purpose of the formal validation is to evaluate whether the methods are robust and reliable for their purpose so that they can be used to produce data for safety assessments.

In the database, called Tracking System for Alternative methods towards Regulatory acceptance abbreviated TSAR, you can follow a method through submission, validation and review and access documentation from the different steps.

Databases for methods that can refine animal experimentation

The American organisation Animal Welfare Institute has developed and continuously updates a refinement database. It contains scientific literature, books and other publications where there are examples of methods that can refine animal experimentation.

Databases for 3Rs methods in education

There are databases that collect methods that can replace, reduce and refine animal use in education. One such database is provided by the Norwegian 3Rs platform Norecopa and another by the International Network for Humane Education, InterNICHE.

Guidance on literature searches for 3Rs methods

The European reference laboratory EURL ECVAM has developed a guide for literature searches to find 3Rs methods. The guide includes a seven-step checklist along with lists of scientific journals, databases and organisations that may be particularly important to include in the search.

The Animal Welfare Information Center at the US Agricultural Library has produced a resource for researchers and others who need to conduct literature searches to find 3Rs methods. The instructions contain six different steps and examples of how these have been used in literature searches.

The British organisation Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) has produced information and guidance on literature searches for 3Rs methods.

Contact us

You can contact us at the Swedish 3Rs Center if you want to know more or if you have any questions.

Revision date: 2024-04-10

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