Appraisal of: Dirnberger D. A guide to efficient keyword, sequence and classification search strategies for biopharmaceutical drug-centric patent landscape searches: A human recombinant insulin patent landscape case study. World Pat Inf 2011; 33(2): 128–1

Short description: 
This human recombinant insulin case study investigated the ability of three different search approaches to identify relevant patents within several selected databases. The search results of a “crude” keyword search strategy and a complex focused keyword search strategy, as well as a sequence search strategy, were compared in terms of recall and precision. The aim of this study was to provide a basic rule set for efficient search strategies for biopharmaceutical drug-related patent information. The study findings showed that the best search results in terms of recall and precision were achieved by combining the focused keyword and sequence search approaches. The authors stated however that restricting the keyword search to the claims rather than searching the title and abstract fields may result in the retrieval of sufficiently complete data.
Limitations stated by the author(s): 
No limitations stated by the author.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
This study is a case study, and therefore the generalisability of the study findings is limited. A major limitation of this study is that the calculation of recall and precision was based on the 543 relevant documents retrieved by the focused keyword search strategy and the sequence search strategy only. The 28 590 documents retrieved by the “crude” keyword search that could not be identified by the two search approaches were not scanned and used for the creation of the gold standard set of records (that was used for calculating recall and precision). This might have influenced the findings of this study. All searches were processed using the STN online database service provider. Other search interfaces may have resulted in different findings. It should also be noted that different databases were used for the keyword searches and the sequence search.
Study Type: 
Single study
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