Norecopa, in collaboration with a team of 12 international colleagues, launched a Refinement Wiki, which is embedded in this site, on 16 March 2020. We gratefully acknowledge a donation from the Research Fund of the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance which financed installation of the software to run this Wiki.
The Refinement Wiki can be accessed here: https://wiki.norecopa.no
Discussions about improving animal welfare and experimental design are an everyday part of the lives of all who use or care for animals in research. Many suggestions for improvements are easily accessible in textbooks or scientific papers. However, these suggestions are often more general in nature.
A number of discussion forums now exist, where specific refinements and new ideas can be shared. They allow discussions of techniques which do not warrant publishing as a scientific paper at that stage. However, many forums do not have easily searchable archives, so valuable ideas can easily be forgotten over time.
To bridge the gap between scientific papers and discussion groups, we are constructing a Refinement Wiki. We foresee a number of uses:
- Rapid dissemination of refinement techniques where resources or interest in writing fullscale scientific papers are unavailable
- As a hub where those investigating the effects of a potential refinement strategy in a multi-lab study can identify collaborators
- Creation of pages encouraging colleagues to share experiences or develop new strategies to solve a problem
The contents of the Wiki will not be heavily curated. The quality of the Wiki is determined by registered bona fide members of the research animal community. No one else can add, delete or comment upon material.
The Wiki is an integral part of Norecopa's website. Wiki content is retrievable from Norecopa's main search engine. In addition, the Wiki has its own search engine. We have written a simple instruction manual to keep the threshold for adding new content as low as possible.
We hope that the Wiki will help to accelerate the introduction of refinement methods. It will be up to the community to judge whether this initiative is worthwhile.
Those interested in adding content to the Wiki may contact Adrian Smith for a username and password. Alternatively, material may be submitted to him for inclusion in the Wiki.
A 13-minute presentation of the Wiki, by Adrian Smith at the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use, August 2021.
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