Literature searching

Our scientists know that a quality risk assessment relies upon quality data. While this may be obtained by commissioning laboratory testing, the associated time, costs and potential use of vertebrates make it critical for our clients to ensure that any relevant existing data are captured first. High quality literature searching can be invaluable, potentially identifying studies in the publicly available scientific literature that negate the need for further, or indeed any, testing. In addition, it can identify or confirm critical data gaps, providing peace of mind in the need for exploring alternative options.

When it comes to searching for (eco)toxicity data, we are ideally placed to help. For decades, we have performed searches of a tried-and-tested series of external databases (including some subscription-only packages) and our in-house database, TRACE, which gives us valuable access to Expert Group and primary reports that are not always identified via standard literature databases. All the documents on TRACE have been selected and indexed by our expert toxicologists, ensuring chemical-specific, reliable and highly efficient retrieval of relevant information. Our searches are a key part of nearly every project we work on, and are detailed in resulting reports with a high degree of transparency.

We have years of experience in selecting and using search terms likely to be relevant to the clients’ areas of interest (e.g. genotoxicity, acute toxicity, inhalation), potentially saving a great deal of time trawling through irrelevant hits. Searches of TRACE, in particular, can be focused with just a few clicks, providing a much more relevant output than comparable external databases.

It is also worth noting that data-poor target compounds may have data-rich structural analogues or metabolites/precursors. Quality data on these read-across compounds

may be sufficient to avoid laboratory testing on the target and our expertise allows us to assess/justify their relevance in providing toxicological insights. We can run parallel literature searches on target and read-across compounds and provide a comprehensive data matrix containing the resultant bibliographic details.

Our literature-searching skills (along with our extensive evaluation expertise) are invaluable in conducting full systematic reviews for any sector, and we have specific tailored strategies in place for:

In addition, for a number of clients we conduct regular searches of a defined set of databases to identify toxicology data on particular compounds or groups of compounds, and then pass on our findings. If you would like us to carry out a specific toxicological data search, or to keep you abreast of the literature on a particular subject at regular intervals, do please get in touch with our expert toxicologists who would be happy to help.


Recent work in this field

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