Co-occurring Words and Retrieval Efficiency: Finding Information About Alternatives to Animal Testing in Relation to Skin Irritation Testing
Words appearing in abstracts of scientific articles are often useful as search terms, particularly those words and word patterns that are unique to the relevant field of endeavour. In view of the heightened interest in obtaining information about alternatives to animal testing, efforts directed toward enhancing retrieval of pertinent references from the biomedical literature are warranted. Words and phrases, and word–phrase co-occurrences describing methods of experimentation in abstracts about alternatives to skin-irritation testing in animals, were evaluated with regard to retrieval efficiency in the National Library of Medicine database, Toxline™. Precision of retrieval was defined as the number of pertinent references found in the total number of citations retrieved. Retrieval precision values ranged from 0.25% to 100%.