IDA Research Guide OverviewLocating your targets.Obtaining medical school catalogs.Using the World Wide Web to find information.Obtaining CRISP Abstracts.Using the Gopher system.The Department of Defense web site.Freedom of Information Act requests.Obtaining USDA Annual reports.Obtaining USDA Inspection reports.Investigating your targets with Medline.Medline on the World Wide Web.Contacting the National Institute of Health.Other important documents.Reviewing journal articals, grants and other documents.Obtaining professional opinions.Writing a brochure or fact sheet.Regulatory and animal care guides.Attending IACUC meetings.Conclusion.
Research guide resources:Organizations.Common NIH Grant Designations.Sample CRISP Abstract and Indexing Terms.Sample DOD AbstractSample FOIA letter.Sample Necropsy Report.
Once you have decided on the researcher(s) you want to investigate, youshould obtain as many of their published journal articles as possible; ifthey are especially prolific, concentrate on studies published in the lastfive years. To find these articles, you will have to conduct author searchesin Medline, a computerized database that indexes the medical literature.(If your institution has a web site, it may list information on the researcher(s)you are targeting, which may include journal article citations.) Many medicallibraries have Medline on CD-ROM or through computer modem; bring blankformatted disks so you can download the information to the disks, and thenupload to your computer. If you want to make copies as soon as you've completedyour searches, print out at the library the Medline abstracts, which alsohave volume and page number, and then use that to pick out the journalsand make copies of the articles.
If your medical library does not have Medline, or you don't have accessto a personal computer, you can conduct an author search in Index Medicus,the printed version of Medline. The medical librarian will show you howto use Medline and Index Medicus.
Medline is an extremely valuable tool for investigating animal research.You can search Medline by author, subject and textword. In addition, youcan search Medline by institution. This is especially valuable, since researchprojects not funded by NIH -- e.g., those supported by the National ScienceFoundation, the Department of Defense, NASA or private industry -- willshow up on such a search by institution, and these can turn out to be excellenttargets.
In the version of Medline that IDA uses, you want to choose "expert"or "advanced" search mode; "easy" mode will not allowyou to search by institution. You then choose "Individual Fields,"and then "Institution." Medline will then prompt you for the mostimportant words in the institution's name. For Johns Hopkins, put in "JohnsHopkins"; for University of Cincinnati, choose "Cincinnati."The latter will give you all projects whose address on published papersis listed as somewhere in Cincinnati; this can be useful if there is morethan one institution in your city. However, please be advised that searchingby institution in Medline is in no way comprehensive, because the databaseonly lists the address of the first listed author. If the researcher youare investigating is listed on the published paper as the third or fourthauthor, Medline will not list his or her institution. In addition, Medlinemay list authors differently in an author search. For example, to searchMartha Neuringer in an author search, type "Neuringer M"; shemay be listed under that, but also may be listed with her middle initial,"Neuringer MD." To conduct as complete a search as possible, downloadall versions of your researcher's name.
Once you have searched Medline, either by author, subject, institution ortextword, you can also limit the search. For example, in the Medline versionthat IDA uses, you can limit your search to those articles emphasizing animalresearch ("Animal"). You can also further limit by species name,but in the version that IDA uses, primates are not listed. IDA advises thatif you want to limit your search, choose "animal," and then gothrough the list for anything interesting. However, if the sheer volumeis too much, you can limit by species name. To "limit" for primates,you can "Combine." For example, search the subject "macaca,"and then "Explode" the subject term "macaca" so thatall the species of macaque monkey are included. Then "Combine"that search with the author or institution search you just conducted; thatwill give you all published articles using macaque monkeys authored by theresearcher or institution you are investigating. You can use the terms referencedabove for searching CRISP for different nonhuman primates. However, to search"chimpanzees" in Medline, you simply type in "chimpanzees,"and Medline will show "chimpansee troglodytes," which is theirscientific name.
Searching Medline by institution name is an extremely valuable tool forinvestigating DOD animal research. The names of some DOD facilities includeArmstrong Laboratory, Brooks AFB, Texas; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; WalterReed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; U.S.Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground,Maryland; U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, FortDetrick, Maryland. For example, for the latter two, type in "Aberdeen"and "Detrick" when searching by institution in Medline. Althoughnot comprehensive, such a search will reveal extremely gruesome experiments.Examples of such animal research obtained from a Medline DOD institutionsearch include microwave-induced lethal heat stress; sustained high-G exposure;wound research, including shock and head injuries; exposure to lethal nerveagents like soman, sarin and mustard gas, leading to tremors, seizures,convulsions and death; irradiation; exposure to cyanide; inhalation of anthrax,leading to spinal cord hemorrhage; and microwave-induced hyperthermia. Hereis a specific example using the search term "Detrick": researchersexposed male and female rhesus monkeys to the lethal nerve agent sarin tosee if there were differences in response between male and female [Fundamentaland Applied Toxicology, Vol. 23(3), pages 342-347, October 1994].