DataBase on ALternative Methods (DB-ALM)
The, includes a unique collection of data-sets providing factual information (not only bibliographic references) presented as evaluated (and therefore ready-to-use) data sheets.
Its rationale is to provide an overall picture on the state-of-the-art of alternative methods in use in all stages of development (including EU Integrated Project results), validation or regulatory acceptance for a given topic area.
The DB-ALM covers:
- Method Descriptions: i) Method-Summaries with information on their objective and applications, scientific rationale and endpoints investigated, advantages and potential shortcomings including their status of development, validation and/or regulatory acceptance, and ii) Protocols providing more detailed technical step-by-step descriptions to allow the method to be transferred to laboratories.
- Study Descriptions: Evaluation and formal Validation Studies,
- Test Results: Substance specific tests are described with their results
- Persons & Institutions active in the field of alternative methods
DB-ALM includes so far reviews for 5 topic areas and individual protocols for 21 topic areas referring, so far, mainly to non-animal toxicity testing of chemical compounds. Its data sheets, based on extensive literature reviews, are subject to periodical updating and revision.
DB-ALM was established in 1996 to achieve a principal objective of EURL ECVAM (the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing): setting up, maintain and manage public databases and information systems on alternative approaches and their state of development (*).
The DB-ALM team operates in collaboration with experts from the European Commission Joint Research Centre and other international experts for the data sheets compilations and has had its own International Advisory Board during the setting-up of the service. The DB-ALM can refer to over 2800 subscribed users from 82 countries.
The ECVAM Search Guide provides search principles and procedures, suggested search terms and user guidance together with an inventory of relevant information resources to support untrained database users in finding high quality information on relevant alternative strategies and methods. This will be most relevant where regulatory requirements mandate the application of the 3Rs.
The Guide has first been published as a handbook in 2012 by the EU Bookshop, where the ECVAM Search Guide was in June 2012 in the top 10 list of the most downloaded publications.
It is being developed as an Internet based application that will be made available online in 2013
* Communication from Commission to European Parliament and Council - SEC(91)1794 and Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, Article 48, Annex VII (2)(d), OJ L Nr. 276/33, 20.10.2010.