App pulls 3Rs knowledge together

Inventory of 3Rs Knowledge Sources

Douglas Connect specialises in using knowledge management to support scientific research. Now, the company has released the 3Rs application, a user-friendly online tool that allows both scientists and the general public to consult knowledge sources relevant to the 3Rs principles (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal testing).

“The 3Rs application builds on the exhaustive study carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2016,” explains Dr. Lucian Farcal (Scientific Project Manager at Douglas Connect). “This study compiled available knowledge sources relevant to the 3Rs. Originally, the data was shared with scientists as a downloadable tabular file and at DC we developed this online tool to make it more easily accessible to all.”

The DC 3Rs application provides an intuitive interface for searching and browsing the collection of more than 800 knowledge sources. Its developer, Maja Brajnik, Information Architect at Douglas Connect, is a specialist in information and data modeling and user interface design and development. “The DC 3Rs application is a simple, yet powerful, combination of search and filters that lets users quickly select for the information they need. Resources are categorised according to different criteria and a detailed overview for each is provided,” she explains.

 A new member of the DC safety assessment app suite

In style, the DC 3Rs application is similar to other Douglas Connect apps such as ITS SkinSens, DC Data Explorer, and DC Risk Assessment. ITS SkinSens is a support tool for assessing the skin sensitisation potency based on the previously described approach developed at Procter & Gamble. DC Data Explorer makes scientific data available online in real time, so that users can quickly drill down to find exactly what they need. DC Risk Assessment is based on an ongoing Douglas Connect project to integrate OpenTox’s data-sharing approach with other publicly accessible toxicology data sources and risk visualization tools supporting the workflows of risk assessors.

The DC 3Rs application allows users to make searches, filter the information and follow links to the webpages of the 800 knowledge sources available currently. In the next phase, users will also be able to contribute to development of the knowledge base by adding new sources relevant to 3Rs. “With the help of the community, the information contained in the 3Rs app can extend as the body of knowledge related to 3Rs expands,” explains Ms. Brajnik.   

Using the power of the entire global scientific community fits with Douglas Connect’s conviction that sharing knowledge benefits everyone and will help achieve the 3Rs goal faster. “The DC 3Rs application will be an extremely valuable information system for collecting and sharing knowledge sources about 3Rs,” says Dr. Farcal. “I am really pleased and excited to see the release of this 3Rs resource,” adds Douglas Connect CEO Barry Hardy. “It reflects our values and our commitment to tackling the grand challenge of a Safer World by Design, supported by community mobilisation of knowledge and resources. Such a coordinated effort should help progress the goal to replace animal testing and to develop acceptance of increasingly credible and superior new scientific methods and knowledge.”

The inventory is available at

About Douglas Connect

Douglas Connect manages collaborative projects to achieve goals in scientific research, infrastructure development or service provision. Effective collaboration requires many elements including coordination, culture, communications, common understanding, decision-making and interoperability.


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