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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

IACUC Alternatives Searching

A literature review for alternatives is a legally required component of a protocol classified as category D or E. This guide will walk you through structuring an effective literature review, selecting databases to use, and provide helpful tips in developi

Selecting Databases

Executing Searches and Translation

Now you should have an effective search string to run through the selected databases. Most abstract indexing databases that the library subscribes to are responsive to the advanced search characters listed in the example search. However, they may not respond in the same way to further advanced techniques like using the near operator to indicate word proximity to one another in the title and abstract. This will require some knowledge of the database-specific features and some manual work in the case that translation is needed from one database to another. Reach out to your librarian for more guidance if needed.

Recommended Databases

Google Scholar?

For this type of comprehensive search, most librarians are going to advise against using Google Scholar, or perhaps against using only Google Scholar. This is because the tool is really more of a search engine than an abstract index. You should expect that Google Scholar will return a number of results so high that you would never be able to look through them all. This is because the search functionality doesn't allow you to be as precise as many library databases, which are consistent in their level of indexing and have increased specificity available in the fields you can search. Google Scholar will automatically cut off your search string if in excess of 256 characters. This is important to be aware of, because Google Scholar is not very explicit about this rule and will simply cut your search string and offer the results to that partial search.

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