A search filter for increasing the retrieval of animal studies in Embase

Lab Anim. 2011 Oct;45(4):268-70. doi: 10.1258/la.2011.011056. Epub 2011 Sep 2.


Collecting and analysing all available literature before starting a new animal experiment is important and it is indispensable when writing systematic reviews of animal research. In practice, finding all animal studies relevant to a specific research question turns out to be anything but simple. In order to facilitate this search process, we previously developed a search filter for retrieving animal studies in the most often used biomedical database, PubMed. It is a general requirement for systematic reviews, however, that at least two databases are searched. In this report, we therefore present a similar search filter for a second important database, namely Embase. We show that our filter retrieves more animal studies than (a combination of) the options currently available in Embase. Our search filters for PubMed and Embase therefore represent valuable tools for improving the quality of (systematic) reviews and thereby of new animal experiments.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Experimentation*
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Databases, Bibliographic*
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • Search Engine / methods*