• IDA Research Guide Overview
  • Locating your targets.
  • Obtaining medical school catalogs.
  • Using the World Wide Web to find information.
  • Obtaining CRISP Abstracts.
  • Using the Gopher system.
  • The Department of Defense web site.
  • Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Obtaining USDA Annual reports.
  • Obtaining USDA Inspection reports.
  • Investigating your targets with Medline.
  • Medline on the World Wide Web.
  • Contacting the National Institute of Health.
  • Other important documents.
  • Reviewing journal articals, grants and other documents.
  • Obtaining professional opinions.
  • Writing a brochure or fact sheet.
  • Regulatory and animal care guides.
  • Attending IACUC meetings.
  • Conclusion.

    Research guide resources:

  • Organizations.
  • Common NIH Grant Designations.
  • Sample CRISP Abstract and Indexing Terms.
  • Sample DOD Abstract
  • Sample FOIA letter.
  • Sample Necropsy Report.

  • Using the Gopher system

    GOPHER2. Search the Internet with a personal computer,using the NIH Gopher site. This option is much quicker and allows you morecontrol over the search. Internet access is often available through localcolleges and universities; commercial providers can charge as little as$20 per month.

    The gopher site address for your web browser is:


    Once you've reached the NIH Gopher, choose whatever Fiscal Year you areinterested in searching (as of March 1997, Fiscal Years 1972 through 1996were available). Remember that getting a financial history of the grant(s)you are investigating is important, so once you have decided on a target(s),you should check the monetary amounts for each Fiscal Year that the granthas existed. Also, be advised that the information you obtain from CRISPis for direct costs only. The institution will also receive "indirectcosts" -- overhead -- that usually amounts to at least 50% of the directcosts.

    After choosing the Fiscal Year(s), you will then see a prompt that says"Words to search for." Enter the name of the institution. Narrowit down to one word; for example, Johns Hopkins University would be "Hopkins,"and Hershey Medical Center would be "Hershey." Unfortunately,some names of institutions can bring up many unrelated projects. Any ofthe words in "New York University" would bring many unrelatedprojects, and using "NYU" may exclude some projects that may belisted under the name "New York University," but not "NYU."In this case, you may want to use an unusual street name, or some otherword specific to the institution that will narrow down the search. Otherwise,you will have to wade through unrelated projects.

    You may also want to limit your search to cats, dogs, rabbits and nonhumanprimates, because it is an unfortunate fact that the public generally careslittle about rats and mice. To search for research on dogs at Johns HopkinsUniversity, you would type:

    Hopkins AND dog <enter>

    To search for cats,

    Hopkins AND cat <enter>

    To search for rabbits,

    Hopkins AND rabbit <enter>

    Searching for nonhuman primates is somewhat trickier; you have to includethe name of the species in the search. For macaque monkeys (including rhesusand cynomolgus), the most common nonhuman primates used in research, youwould type:

    Hopkins AND macaca <enter>

    For baboons:

    Hopkins AND baboon <enter>

    For squirrel monkeys:

    Hopkins AND saimiri <enter>

    For chimpanzees:

    Hopkins AND pan <enter>

    These searches should bring up all of the projects at Johns Hopkins Universitythat use dogs, cats and the most commonly used nonhuman primates. Afteryou have entered your search terms, you will see one or more projects listedlike this:

    1. R01DK29930 Neuringer, Martha D. Essentiality of Dietary..

    You should look at the CRISP Abstracts by moving your cursor over the desiredproject and hitting <enter>. Download each relevant Abstract, eitherby using the Gopher's download command if your Internet provider allowsit, or by using your modem software's "screen capture" or "openlog file" command.

    You can also search the National Science Foundation gopher for animal researchprojects. The address for your web browser is:


    Searching the NSF gopher is somewhat trickier than CRISP. For example, NSFdoes not comprehensively list "macaca" as a search term for everyproject using macaque monkeys. Therefore, you should try "primate,""primates," "monkey," "monkeys," "baboon,""baboons," etc. to search for projects using nonhuman primates.In addition, you must capitalize the "AND" in your search, e.g.,"Hopkins AND cat." NSF does not fund nearly as much animal researchas NIH, but some NSF projects can be quite esoteric, and can therefore betargeted easily for human applicability questions. NSF Abstracts are differentfrom CRISP Abstracts, but they still give you the relevant information tofurther your investigation. Moreover, in some cases, researchers may besimultaneously funded by both NIH and NSF, which would be another pointto raise in your campaign.