A detailed inventory – compiled by JRC scientists – of 800 knowledge sources relevant to the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (Three Rs) of animal procedures used for scientific purposes is now available online.

The JRC set out to assess the current situation regarding the sharing of knowledge relevant to the 3Rs with a mind to accelerate the development and uptake of non-animal approaches in research and testing. The findings of the report show that although much 3Rs knowledge exists, its sharing, particularly between sectors and communities can be improved through better coordination, communication and outreach, and by more emphasis on targeted education and training initiatives.

As part of this review, these knowledge sources have been described in a way which facilitates their curation and the subsequent analysis of potential knowledge gaps and means of sharing. The inventory covers different types of knowledge sources (e.g. organizations, events, expert groups, etc.) and identifies the ways in which these share information.

The knowledge sources considered for this inventory refer to any entity, tool or event that creates, collects, holds or disseminates knowledge with potential 3Rs relevance for the knowledge source types. The information captured in the inventory cover different knowledge sources with 3Rs relevance, including on-line information systems and specialized websites, expert groups, organizations, social media communities, professional associations and networks, conferences and workshops, industry initiatives and research programs.

Knowledge is captured in many different forms, so in addition to the more typical explicit knowledge sources (e.g. on-line resources, publications and educational materials), other media used for knowledge dissemination and sharing, such as social media and scientific communities or 3Rs relevant research initiatives which may contain more tacit knowledge, were also included.

The data collection for the inventory took place over six months, from March to October 2016. Therefore, the inventory should be considered as a representative selection of the most visible 3Rs knowledge sources during the time of compilation.

The methodology for establishing the inventory and the subsequent analysis can be found in the JRC Report published earlier this year “Accelerating progress in the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal testing through better knowledge sharing”.

(EU Science Hub)