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Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences

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The Three Rs (3Rs)

The 3Rs were developed in 1959 by Dr. W.M.S. Russell and Dr. R.L. Burch as a strategy for conducting humane animal research studies. The 3Rs refer to:

  • Replacement: Eliminating the use of animals entirely or using animals that are lower on the phylogenetic scale when non-animal alternatives are not a reasonable option. 
  • Reduction: Obtaining comparable data from a reduced number of animals or using the same number of animals to obtain more data.   
  • Refinement: Improving animal well-being through the modification of experimental procedures or animal management and care in order to minimize or alleviate pain, suffering, and distress.

Please visit our DatabasesBooksWebsites and Regulations pages to learn more about resources you can use to support your literature search on the 3Rs.

Need help searching?

VCU Libraries provides free consultations to assist investigators in conducting protocol databases searches necessary to meet the requirements of the US Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences offers a broad range of reference services for VCU investigators such as assistance in:

  • choosing appropriate databases
  • selecting search index terms
  • running database searches
  • completing the protocal database search form with search results

Please contact Karen Gau at (804) 628-2291 or if you have any questions or require assistance with your database search.