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The publication of scientific articles that receive few or no citations raises questions of the appropriate use of resources as well as ethics. In the case of animal research, the ethics issue extends beyond human patients to nonhuman animals, as the research subjects them to pain and, typically, to death. This study is a citation analysis of animal research conducted at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). Of the 594 publications (1990 to 1995) on animal research by affiliates of HSC, 29% received Iower than 10 citations in a 10-year period. We compare the research history of 13 "best" and 13 "worst" HSC scientists. Worst researchers continue to do infrequently cited research. Recommendations indicate how institutions and researchers can become more effective and accountable.


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