• 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.







  • Other important documents

    If your state has an open documents law, and the institution(s) you areinvestigating are state-funded, you may be able to obtain the followingdocuments by citing the state law in a request letter (if the institutionis federally owned, such as DOD facilities, these should be available underfederal FOIA):

    * Necropsy reports**--these are animal autopsy reports, and can containextremely important information about the care and health of animals atthe institution(s). For example, if the cause of death is septicemia (infection),that can indicate poor veterinary care and living conditions. The attachednecropsy indicates that a chimpanzee died from pneumonia/meningitis thatwas apparently undiagnosed and untreated. This is an extremely damagingindictment of animal monitoring and veterinary care at The Coulston Foundation/WhiteSands Research Center in Alamogordo, NM.

    * Minutes of IACUC meetings--because IACUCs review and approve all researchinvolving animals, it is useful to have the minutes of these meetings. IACUCmembers may also discuss problems with research protocols; in your stateopen documents request, you should also ask for any animal welfare concernsor other problems brought to the attention of the IACUC regarding the project(s)you are investigating, as well as any correspondence from the IACUC to theresearcher(s), and vice-versa.

    * Acquisition records for dogs, cats and primates--these will demonstratewhere the institution(s) obtained the animals, and if they are doing businesswith animal dealers who may be particularly notorious. You may also getan indication of whether or not the animals are former pets obtained frompounds.

    * Internal inspection reports and/or Semi-Annual Reports--IACUCs are requiredto conduct inspections of their laboratories at least once every six months.These are not conducted by the USDA, and can also show a pattern of continuingviolations and neglect.