Step-by-Step Search Guide

• Step 2: Select keywords and concepts

Keywords are typically found in the title, abstract and descriptor fields of a citation. In a Three Rs literature search they will relate to both the scientific topic under study (e.g. cardiology, rats) and possible alternative methods (e.g. analgesia, cellular).

Search concepts are short combinations of keywords (for example relating to the animal model or expected experimental outcome). Non-specific concepts like “animal testing alternative” and “animal use alternative” may not be useful search terms in many databases.

To generate keywords and concepts:

  1. review gathered pre-search information
  2. consider all synonyms and different spellings of keywords (e.g. "liver cells" and "hepatocytes", “anaesthesia” and “anesthesia”, “haemoglobin” and “hemoglobin”)
  3. review one of the following online lists of Three Rs-related search terms:

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