, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 803–823 | Cite as

Development of a semi-automatic bibliometric system for publications on animal health and welfare: a methodological study

  • Marjolaine Gautret
  • Stefano Messori
  • André Jestin
  • Marina Bagni
  • Alain BoissyEmail author


Bibliometrics is a common research instrument for systemic analysis of scientific progress in many disciplines, including veterinary sciences. However, bibliometric analyses are generally biased by limited information included in scientific productions databases. The aim of this study is to propose a method for implementing databases on livestock health and welfare in a bibliometric perspective. By using the detailed classification of the scientific disciplines and the list of keywords of the CAB Abstracts®, queries were first built to combine 120 descriptors related to animal species and 1680 descriptors related to the given thematics. Then, the extraction was done from the Web of Science®. The overall process focused on the research institutes localised in Europe and on publications written in English. To assess the database accuracy, supplementary filters were validated and applied to discard non-specific terms and neighbouring topics. Additional fields for species groups, infectious and non-infectious diseases, welfare components and geographical regions were incorporated according to thematic terminologies specifically established. The final database contains 57,523 articles published over a 12 years’ period (2003–2014). The developed method, based on the complementary use of both the CAB Abstracts® and Web of Science®, can be a reference to allow an adequate semi-automatic retrieval of relevant publications on livestock health and welfare, which will be of use to implement bibliometric study to produce a realistic assessment of tendency for driving science policy. Interestingly, it can be also a model process to be easily applied to implement bibliometric studies for any other scientific thematic domain.


Animal health and welfare Bibliometrics Database accuracy Research coordination 



This study was supported by the European Commission under the ANIHWA ERA-Net project (Seventh Framework Programme, Project No. 291815). The authors wish to thank Christelle Boizeau for her significant contribution in establishing thematic terminologies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Health DivisionINRAJouy-en-JosasFrance
  2. 2.Ministry of HealthRomeItaly
  3. 3.ANSESMaisons-AlfortFrance
  4. 4.UMR1213 HerbivoresINRASaint-Genès ChampanelleFrance

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