Dagg AI. Animal experimentation in cancer research: a citation analysis. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2000; 3(3): 239-51.
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Cancer research involves the use of millions of nonhuman animals and billions of dollars in public funds each year, but cures for the disease remain elusive. This article suggests ways to reduce the use of animals and save money by identifying articles that garnered few citations over the 9 years after they were published. I obtained the citations received by 786 articles in 9 general cancer journals published in 1990 and the number of animals used (where possible) in the 220 animal-based research articles. By calculating the ratio of animal number to citation number, I identified the most effective (those with many citations and few animals used) and the least effective (those with many animals and few citations) articles. Using these ratios, I compared the effectiveness of their experiments/articles for the 9 journals, author affiliations and nationalities, and funding sources. This article recommends ways in which experiments with little chance of being influential can be avoided, thus freeing resources for more worthwhile assaults on cancer.