DZF Project Spanish version of InterNICHE book

Spanish version of InterNICHE book from Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse: translation and distribution across Latin America

The 520–page book from Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse (InterNICHE 2003) is the primary resource for teachers, students, ethics committees and others for practical information about realistic alternatives to harmful animal use in higher education. 

The book has 4 major parts:

  • Alternative methods and curricular transformation, providing background and detailing the process of curricular design and assessment of alternatives
  • Case studies of the development and implementation of alternatives, written by university heads of department and deans
  • Alternatives file providing comprehensive details of over 500 alternatives
  • Further resources providing lists of and links to more information
From Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse is currently being distributed in over 50 countries, and the publication continues to receive many positive reviews (eg in ALTEX, ATLA, JAAWS, Animal Welfare). With minor updates to this existing resource made in 2005, translated versions of the book are currently being produced to further globalise its impact. 

 A Spanish version of the book will be extremely valuable for the following reasons:
  • Spanish is one of the top five world languages, with over 350 million first-language Spanish speakers worldwide, predominantly in Latin America, but also in Spain itself (40 million) and the US (over 20 million). The book is being translated into over 10 languages (including Portuguese for Brazil), and Spanish is a priority language that should form part of this group of translations.
  • Many Spanish speakers in Latin America have limited understanding of English, and despite higher literacy at university level, to optimise the impact of the resource the general and scientific terms in the book would need translation to be understood effectively.
  • A commitment to translate such resources is strongly appreciated by people, as it reflects an understanding of people’s needs and respect for cultural diversity. The message and impact of resources is often stronger when available in one’s own language.
  • Action in favour of alternatives by the authorities within a university or at government level is more likely to be supported when argumentation and information resources are available in a country’s official language
Distribution of the translated resource will usually be ensured through direct distribution to the teachers and heads of departments in life science faculties, as well as to students and other interested parties. InterNICHE has several National Contacts across Latin America, in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba; and other key contacts in Peru, Colombia and Chile. The rapidly evolving network continuously brings in new countries and new contacts at the grassroots, and new resources support this growth even more. 

The translated version of the book will also be made available for free download on the InterNICHE website (which itself is being translated into Spanish). A new interactive version of the website is currently being designed, and one important element of this will be a searchable database, opportunities for users of alternatives to submit reviews, and a forum for teachers and others to discuss issues of use and implementation. The Spanish description of the alternatives from Part C - the Alternatives File of the book – will be an essential part of the database and fully integrated into the rest of the new website, along with other Spanish material and regular news updates from Latin America. Currently the InterNICHE website has well over 1 million hits per year, a 100% increase on the previous year, but still a fraction of what we aim to have for the new interactive site. Resources available through the internet will allow for extra distribution that could not have been achieved in conventional ways.