The 3Rs Knowledge Sources application

In 1959, two scientists, W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch, put forth three guiding principles for animal testing: replacement, reduction and refinement, the 3Rs [1].

The 3Rs principle has been present in EU legislation in spirit from as early as 1986, when the first EU legislation for the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes was adopted. However, more recently, the Directive 2010/63/EU [2] on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, explicitly spelled out for the first time in EU legislation, the principle of the 3Rs and made it a firm legal requirement [3].

In this context, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) carried out a study [4] of available knowledge on the 3Rs to understand how supply of such knowledge can better meet demand. The study’s findings [5] show that, although much 3Rs knowledge exists, its sharing can be improved through better coordination, communication and outreach, and by more emphasis on targeted education and training initiatives.

As a follow-up, JRC has made publicly available the Inventory of 3Rs Knowledge Sources [6] that resulted from this study, allowing at the same time, the reuse of data by the public under the conditions established by policy of the European Commission [7].

Through our efforts to advance knowledge sharing, Douglas Connect has developed (under the specified EC conditions for data use and access [7]) an online application where all these resources can be easily browsed, filtered and visualised.

If you have any suggestions related to the inventory features or its content, please contact us at