Limits...
Enhancing search efficiency by means of a search filter for finding all studies on animal experimentation in PubMed.

Hooijmans CR, Tillema A, Leenaars M, Ritskes-Hoitinga M - Lab. Anim. (2010)

Bottom Line: This filter was compared with the method most frequently used, the PubMed Limit: Animals, and validated further by performing two PubMed topic searches.Our filter performs much better than the PubMed limit: it retrieves, on average, 7% more records.All in all, by using our search filter in PubMed, all available literature concerning animal studies on a specific topic can easily be found and assessed, which will help in increasing the scientific quality and thereby the ethical validity of animal experiments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Central Animal Laboratory and 3R Research Centre, Geert Grooteplein Noord 29, Route 231, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. C.Hooijmans@cdl.umcn.nl

ABSTRACT
Collecting and analysing all available literature before starting an animal experiment is important and it is indispensable when writing a systematic review (SR) of animal research. Writing such review prevents unnecessary duplication of animal studies and thus unnecessary animal use (Reduction). One of the factors currently impeding the production of 'high-quality' SRs in laboratory animal science is the fact that searching for all available literature concerning animal experimentation is rather difficult. In order to diminish these difficulties, we developed a search filter for PubMed to detect all publications concerning animal studies. This filter was compared with the method most frequently used, the PubMed Limit: Animals, and validated further by performing two PubMed topic searches. Our filter performs much better than the PubMed limit: it retrieves, on average, 7% more records. Other important advantages of our filter are that it also finds the most recent records and that it is easy to use. All in all, by using our search filter in PubMed, all available literature concerning animal studies on a specific topic can easily be found and assessed, which will help in increasing the scientific quality and thereby the ethical validity of animal experiments.

Show MeSH
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms beneath the more general (broader) terms. The black underlined terms are exploded in the search filter for laboratory animals, the grey terms are not exploded
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LA-09-117F1: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms beneath the more general (broader) terms. The black underlined terms are exploded in the search filter for laboratory animals, the grey terms are not exploded

Mentions: Search terms were identified by using the annual report of the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in The Netherlands (VWA – Dutch Inspectorate for animal experimentation)8 and the fifth report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the statistics on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in the member states of the European Union (COM/2007/675 final9). The annual report of the VWA contains information about all the animal experiments performed at licensed institutes in The Netherlands and provided an overview of the animal species used in animal experimentation in The Netherlands. The fifth report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament was used in order to get an overview of the laboratory animal species used in other European countries. Subsequently, we identified relevant MeSH terms in the MeSH database and included all relevant terms in our filter both as a MeSH term and as a single word or phrase in the title and/or abstract [tiab]. The MeSH terms are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms below the more general (broader) terms (see Figure 1). ‘Exploding a MeSH term’ means that its narrower terms are included in the search strategy as well. In our current search filter, almost all MeSH terms were exploded, except for the subject categories/branches that contain the MeSH term ‘humans’ as a specific narrower term somewhere in the MeSH hierarchy. The latter MeSH terms were added with the option ‘Do Not Explode this term’ (‘no exp’; the grey terms in Figure 1). All the subcategories belonging to these terms but not including ‘humans’ were added to the filter with ‘explosion’ (the black underlined terms in Figure 1).


Enhancing search efficiency by means of a search filter for finding all studies on animal experimentation in PubMed.

Hooijmans CR, Tillema A, Leenaars M, Ritskes-Hoitinga M - Lab. Anim. (2010)

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms beneath the more general (broader) terms. The black underlined terms are exploded in the search filter for laboratory animals, the grey terms are not exploded
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3104815&req=5

LA-09-117F1: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms beneath the more general (broader) terms. The black underlined terms are exploded in the search filter for laboratory animals, the grey terms are not exploded
Mentions: Search terms were identified by using the annual report of the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in The Netherlands (VWA – Dutch Inspectorate for animal experimentation)8 and the fifth report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the statistics on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in the member states of the European Union (COM/2007/675 final9). The annual report of the VWA contains information about all the animal experiments performed at licensed institutes in The Netherlands and provided an overview of the animal species used in animal experimentation in The Netherlands. The fifth report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament was used in order to get an overview of the laboratory animal species used in other European countries. Subsequently, we identified relevant MeSH terms in the MeSH database and included all relevant terms in our filter both as a MeSH term and as a single word or phrase in the title and/or abstract [tiab]. The MeSH terms are arranged hierarchically by subject category in the MeSH Tree, listing the more specific (narrower) terms below the more general (broader) terms (see Figure 1). ‘Exploding a MeSH term’ means that its narrower terms are included in the search strategy as well. In our current search filter, almost all MeSH terms were exploded, except for the subject categories/branches that contain the MeSH term ‘humans’ as a specific narrower term somewhere in the MeSH hierarchy. The latter MeSH terms were added with the option ‘Do Not Explode this term’ (‘no exp’; the grey terms in Figure 1). All the subcategories belonging to these terms but not including ‘humans’ were added to the filter with ‘explosion’ (the black underlined terms in Figure 1).

Bottom Line: This filter was compared with the method most frequently used, the PubMed Limit: Animals, and validated further by performing two PubMed topic searches.Our filter performs much better than the PubMed limit: it retrieves, on average, 7% more records.All in all, by using our search filter in PubMed, all available literature concerning animal studies on a specific topic can easily be found and assessed, which will help in increasing the scientific quality and thereby the ethical validity of animal experiments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Central Animal Laboratory and 3R Research Centre, Geert Grooteplein Noord 29, Route 231, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. C.Hooijmans@cdl.umcn.nl

ABSTRACT
Collecting and analysing all available literature before starting an animal experiment is important and it is indispensable when writing a systematic review (SR) of animal research. Writing such review prevents unnecessary duplication of animal studies and thus unnecessary animal use (Reduction). One of the factors currently impeding the production of 'high-quality' SRs in laboratory animal science is the fact that searching for all available literature concerning animal experimentation is rather difficult. In order to diminish these difficulties, we developed a search filter for PubMed to detect all publications concerning animal studies. This filter was compared with the method most frequently used, the PubMed Limit: Animals, and validated further by performing two PubMed topic searches. Our filter performs much better than the PubMed limit: it retrieves, on average, 7% more records. Other important advantages of our filter are that it also finds the most recent records and that it is easy to use. All in all, by using our search filter in PubMed, all available literature concerning animal studies on a specific topic can easily be found and assessed, which will help in increasing the scientific quality and thereby the ethical validity of animal experiments.

Show MeSH