In general, when searching PubMed or one of the other MEDLINE interfaces it is a good idea to use the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to find relevant articles. PubMed includes a searchable MeSH Database to help you identify the best terms for your search. There are a number of MeSH terms that apply to a literature search for alternative research methods in animal studies. Whenever one of these terms is used, be sure to include the [MESH] notation so that the system is triggered to look for the term as a subject heading and not a phrase.
Sample standard MeSH terms (click on the keyword to see the MeSH definition, if available):
"Animal Use Alternatives" [MeSH]
"Animal Testing Alternatives"[MeSH]
"Animals, Laboratory" [MeSH]
"Laboratory Animal Science"[MESH]
These terms can be combined to produce generalized searches for major topics in animal testing, including the health, welfare, and housing of animal subjects.
Sample Searches Using MeSH
Pain and/or Stress Prevention and Control: ("stress, physiological/prevention and control"[MESH] OR "pain/prevention and control"[MESH] OR "stress, physiological/veterinary"[MESH] OR pain/veterinary"[MESH]) AND "animal welfare"[MESH] AND ("animals, laboratory"[MESH] OR "research design"[MESH]) Search!
Laboratory Animal Welfare: "animal welfare"[MESH] AND "animals, laboratory "[MESH]) Search!
Housing, Including Cages and Caging: ("animal husbandry"[MESH] OR "animal welfare"[MESH] OR "housing, animal"[MESH]) AND "animals, laboratory"[MESH] AND (caging OR cage* OR "housing, animal"[MESH]) Search!
Prepared searches are from Chilov, Marina, Matsoukas, Konstantina, Ispahany, Nighat, Allen, Tracy Y. and Lustbader, Joyce W.(2007)'Using MeSH to Search for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Research',Medical Reference Services Quarterly,26:3,55 — 74. PMID: 17915631, as reproduced by Duke University's Medical Center Library & Archives.