Develop a search strategy. Consider all the key concepts and keywords associated with those concepts. List possible alternative names for the same concepts.
Keywords might include:
Consider using subject searching along with keyword searching. Because different people use different words to describe the same thing, some databases, such as PyscINFO, have a thesaurus which will allow you to find the exact term that database uses for any given concept. These are called subject terms, index terms or descriptors, depending on the database. Others, such as Web of Science, have descriptors listed in the records for an indexed article. Look at the one of the relevant articles you found and see what descriptors are listed. Try using those descriptors to search for other relevant materials.
Examples of indexing terminology:
Choose databases relevant to your search. You will notice that databases index literature in specific subject area. For example, PubMed primarily indexes literature about medicine and other health sciences, Biological Abstracts about life sciences, and PsycINFO about psychology.
Your search should include more than one database. An animal alternatives search should be comprehensive. No one single database or resource will include all the information that you will need. Although there may be some overlap in resources, since each database focuses more heavily on a particular discipline, you will find different resources in each database.
Be prepared to adjust your search strategy as you go along. If you retrieve too many or too few results, the search terms may need to be adjusted.
If you get too many results:
If you get too few results: