also coordinates a national information delivery network of state land-grant universities and USDA field libraries. The substantial resources of the NAL enable the AWIC staff to supply information on a broad array of subjects. Materials commonly accessed for AWIC's clientele cover important technical, ethical, political, and legal issues related to the welfare of animals. The publication Animal Welfare Information Center Scope Notes for Indexers outlines the animals and subject areas considered to be within the scope of the AWIC collection. Subjects that are indexed for use by AWIC include alternatives to the use of animals in research, testing, and education; euthanasia; analgesia; anesthesia; training and education of technicians and investigators; transportation and acquisition of animals; species husbandry; animal behavior; environmental factors affecting animals; laboratory animal management; institutional animal care and use committees; regulations and legislation concerning the humane treatment of animals; and philosophies of animal welfare or animal rights.
As directed by Congress, the AWIC staff emphasizes the acquisition of new materials related to the welfare of laboratory animals. Literature dealing with the welfare of farm animals and wild animals, however, represents a significant portion of the present NAL collection. Literature that involves the use of research animals as experimental units but does not address the welfare of the animals is generally not indexed. This type of information is collected by the National Library of Medicine. Also, because the Primate Information Center, University of Washington, has an extensive collection of primate-related materials, literature involving the use of laboratory primates is generally not indexed by NAL.
To access its extensive information resources, the NAL provides computerized bibliographic retrieval services through its in-house database Agricultural On-Line Access (AGRICOLA). This and other databases enable the staff to develop customized bibliographies tailored to the specific information needs of the patron. Established in 1970, AGRICOLA contains nearly 2.5 million citations covering aspects of agriculture and related subjects such as plant and animal production, food and nutrition, forestry, entomology, biotechnology, and rural development. While there is currently no database specifically for animal welfare, approximately one-fifth of the AGRICOLA database is devoted to citations on animal production, laboratory animal science, veterinary medicine, and animal welfare. AGRICOLA is currently available through the database vendors DIALOG Information Retrieval Service (in files 10 and 110) and the Bibliographic Retrieval Service (BRS)(in file CAIN), or commercially on compact disc. AGRICOLA/CAIN can be accessed from these vendors using standard dial-up computer terminals. The publication Searching AGRICOLA for …Animal Welfare details strategies and techniques for efficiently searching the database for animal welfare topics on both DIALOG and BRS. Other databases commonly utilized by the AWIC staff include the DIALOG files CRIS (60), MEDLINE (154,155), EMBASE (72, 172, 173), BIOSIS PREVIEWS (5, 55), and CAB ABSTRACTS (50, 53).
The staff also maintains vertical files of subjects and organizations related to animal care and use. These provide an excellent source of contact people and information about related organizations, as well as quick reference to current events and popular animal-related topics. The files contain records of acquisitions and clippings from current newspapers and magazines. They also include information about the history of animal welfare, legislation and guidelines pertaining to animal care and use, and organizations involved in