Literature Searches for Animal Testing Alternatives
For help completing IACUC protocol applications.
General Search Strategies
- Ask a librarian for help
- The UTSA IACUC Research Librarian is available (free of charge) for individual consultation or group workshops on everything from how to do a literature search to saving your searches using Endnote
- Utilize different databases
- Don't just stick to a single familiar database
- Get to know the database
- Databases treat symbols, operators, and search strategies and terms differently.
- Before starting your search, look for tutorials, “Help” links, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or advanced search options.
- Use the database thesaurus to find better terms and phrases
- Some databases come with their own “thesaurus”, like PubMed’s Medical Subject Headings (MeSH; National Library of Medicine).
- Start out searching more broadly and then slowly narrow your results by adding keywords one at a time
- Add more and/or unique terms to your search statement
- To save time on future protocols, keep a record of your searches either in a citation manager (like EndNote or Zotero) or in a text file (e.g., Word or PDF)
*Not all strategies and operators are applicable for all databases and resources