Searching for Animal Research Methodology: The Potential Impact of Differences Between the PubMed Record and Full-text Methods Section

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  • Locating descriptions of methodology is challenging since PubMed does not search full-text. The objectives of this pilot study were to determine how well the title, abstract, and MeSH terms cover the content of the Methods section in in-vivo animal research articles, particularly with respect to procedures, drugs, and animal species used, and to describe how this might impact a search.To identify a reasonable number of articles describing a limited breadth of procedures to review; a PubMed search was conducted to identify articles mentioning the animal model rhesus macaque and commonly abused substances. Other limits included: English, published since 2010, indexed in Medline, and “has abstract.” From the results, a set of articles were randomly selected for inclusion. The title/abstract, MeSH terms, and Methods section of each article were reviewed and details such as: animal species, number of animals, description of housing, description of experimental procedures used, and analgesia/anesthesia were extracted. Data was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
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