AltTox at the One-Year Mark: A Users Guide

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In the Spotlight

AltTox at the One-Year Mark: A Users Guide

Published: January 30, 2009
AltTox.org reached its first anniversary last month. We are proud of our usage statistics to date. The website currently receives about 4,000 visits per month. Forum messages have been read nearly 300,000 times, and over 1,400 users currently receive the monthly e-newsletter. Forty-two Way Forward commentaries from invited experts have been published, the most popular having been accessed over 700 times. All in all, not bad for a website devoted exclusively to non-animal methods of toxicity testing and directed toward a niche audience of stakeholders in industry, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations.

The one-year mark is perhaps a good time to survey AltTox’s features, both as a review for dedicated users and as an introduction for newcomers.

There are two main sections in the design of the website: the

Toxicity Testing Resource Center (TTRC)

, with information organized in a conventional website format, and the AltTox Forums, which feature interactive message boards.

The

TTRC

is the place to go for scientific, technical, and policy information on various aspects of non-animal toxicity testing, from testing services, organizations, and events to regulations, toxicity test methods, emerging technologies, and validated alternative methods. You’ll find concisely summarized information relevant to all aspects of advancing in vitro and in silico methods of toxicity testing.

The AltTox Forums are the place to go if you are interested in reading or posting messages to message boards. For convenience, the titles of the three most recent forum messages are listed on the AltTox Homepage.

The Homepage links to the Forums and the TTRC, and also features the following sections:

  • About AltTox: provides a short overview of the website.
  • Get Involved: describes the many ways that users can access content, submit content, participate in the interactive forums, spread the word about AltTox, or provide feedback. In addition, organizations are invited to support AltTox financially.
  • In the Spotlight: contains two new articles per month, highlighting topics relevant to the field of non-animal toxicity testing, including news, events, scientific advancements, and information about the AltTox website. In the Spotlight Archives now contain 23 such articles.
  • Homepage e-mail sign up box: allows readers to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, which highlights new content that has been added during the previous month.
  • Meetings & Events: a comprehensive list of events and grant deadlines relevant to non-animal methods. Please submit your events for free listing to info@www.alttox.org.

We’d like to call special attention to three of the many sections of the TTRC, namely:

  • The Way Forward: a series of invited commentaries written by scientific and policy experts to provide the latest perspectives on strategies and approaches for moving toward the ultimate goal of a completely non-animal approach to toxicity testing.
  • Existing Alternatives: an accessible list of validated non-animal toxicity test methods.
  • Informational Resources: a unique collection of resources, including: journals, websites, databases, training, testing supplies and services, funding sources, and 3Rs awards, provided to assist AltTox users in locating relevant information.