As one of the three poster bloggers, it’s my pleasure to highlight just a few of the many wonderful posters presented today at the Monday poster session.

First up is poster #124 “Integrating Library Resources into an Online Animal Research Protocol” by Ben Harnke and Lilian Hoffecker of the Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.  Ben is on the left and Lilian is on the right.

Two people standing next to a poster, smiling

I primarily spoke to Lilian, as this was quite a popular poster, and Ben was busy speaking to at least two other attendees the entire time I was there.

Lilian explained that the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has recently enacted stricter literature search requirements for researchers wanting to use animals their research.  The use of animals in research must be justified with the three R’s: replacement, reduction, and refinement.  If a non-animal test can be used, it must.  If you can reduce the number of animals tested upon, you must.  If you can reduce the amount of pain or injury caused to the animals, you must.  The researchers must prove that they are fulfilling these three R’s, and this is where the literature search comes in.

Lilian explained that she and her colleague saw an opportunity for the library to help their animal research patrons fulfill this requirement of the IACUC.  Their goals are two-pronged: to make the researchers aware that the library is there to help through the use of an online form and also to create a hedge for researchers to use in this type of literature search.  Lilian stated that she is aware of only one hedge currently available for this type of search, and it is not very strong.

It was a real pleasure to talk to Lilian, and I was inspired by how she and Ben spotted a new opportunity for librarians, thanks to the new IACUC mandates.  Libraries who have animal researchers among their patrons should definitely check out their work and, perhaps, be inspired themselves to seek out these patrons who may not be aware how much the library can help fulfill this need.

You may view the eversion of Ben and Lilian’s poster here.