What is the origin of the term "alternative methods"?         

The term "alternative methods" is often associated with the 3R principle ("Replacement, Reduction, Refinement") and refers to ‘a method (i) that completely replaces the use of a laboratory animal, or (ii) that reduces the number of required laboratory animals in an experiment or (iii) that refines a test procedure in such a way that the inflicted pain and distress in the laboratory animal is minimalized.’

In the RE-Place project, we focus on alternative methods that are categorized as Replacement and Reduction.

What are 'alternative methods' - 'Non Animal Methods' - 'New Approach Methodologies'?

A few years ago, there was an international trend to refer to test methods that do not use vertebrates as ‘Non Animal Methods’. Similarly to 'alternative methods to animal testing', the term 'Non Animal Methods' was mainly used in the field of toxicology and in particular for regulatory applications. However, due to the rapid increase in the number of new methods in biomedical research (e.g. development of organoids), there was a need for a definition that reaches beyond the domain of (regulatory) toxicology. More recently, the abbreviation NAM is therefore increasingly defined as 'New Approach Methodologies' instead of 'Non Animal Methods'. Nevertheless, until today, the three terms are still used interchangeably. As the RE-Place project specifically also aims to collect methods from biomedical research, the term 'New Approach Methodologies' will be mainly used throughout the website.