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The Ohio State University

Health Sciences Library

Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Research Protocols

Writing a research protocol that involves human or animal subjects includes bioethics ideas. It also involves understanding appropriate research methodologies and justifying the need for the research. This page is meant to help you

  • Locate information about specific, common research methodologies in clinical and basic science research
  • Locate resources and help for searching biomedical databases to justify your proposed research
  • Locate resources specific to IACUC protocols: animal alternatives, reducing pain, reducing numbers of animals in a study

E-Books

IACUC Resources

An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a local working group that research facilities must appoint to be in accordance with law.  Some of their primary functions are to:

  • Review and approve proposed activities that will involve animals
  • Inspect animal facilities and study areas every six months
  • Monitor the institutions' program for human care and use of animals
  • Investigate concerns or complaints
  • Suspend an activity involving animals if the activity is not in accordance with the law

To learn more about using animals in research, check out the NABR website below.


Research involving animal models requires that you demonstrate you have sought alternatives to using animals, and have worked to reduce the number of animals included in the study, and have refined techniques used in the study to reduce pain and suffering. There are a number of excellent resources on the web that can assist you with this process.

General Clinical Research Resources

Randomized Controlled Trials

Cohort and Case-Control Studies (Observational Designs)

Cross-Sectional/Descriptive/Survey Studies

Basic Science Protocol Resources

Searching for sources that cover specific protocols for basic science research can be difficult if you have not been immersed in that area of research previously. There are several books and resources in the library collection that cover these types of protocols. To find them, the following searches in the Library Catalog may be a helpful starting point.

Qualitative Research Methods