Investigative Procedures


Research methods used in pre-clinical, clinical, and other scientific studies. 


Investigative procedures are the cornerstone of scientific discovery using the scientific method to test a theory, model, or hypothesis. New avenues of investigation bring innovation and efficiency to laboratory, genomic, clinical, and epidemiologic study design. 


Advice from authors on searching for information:

Access to self-reported researcher or administrative/in-house data may be required to locate documentation. 

Resources & Data

Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:

CPT® Codes 
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes describe medical procedures and professional services in ambulatory/outpatient settings. These codes were developed and are maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA).  
Category III CPT® codes are provisional codes for new and developing technology and services and can provide evidence of investigative procedures. The AMA allows up to 5 free searches a day but does require creation of a free account. Paid access to CPT® codes is also available from the AMA.

ICD-10 Codes 
ICD-10 codes define diseases, disorders, injuries and related health conditions. The World Health Organization owns and publishes the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10). The WHO provides a lookup of ICD-10 codes.  
In the US, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center are responsible for maintenance of ICD-10 and coordinate the process for new codes or code modifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides an ICD-10 Code Lookup that can be searched by code or keyword.

Level II HCPCS Codes 
These codes are used by healthcare providers to report supplies, procedures and services not described by the American Medical Association’s CPT codes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services maintains Level II HCPCS codes and they are available for free download.

PubMed provides free access to MEDLINE, the NLM database of indexed citations and abstracts to medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, health care, and preclinical sciences journal articles. See PubMed Help for guidance.

Data Limitations

Challenges you may encounter while searching for information:

Investigative Procedures is a broad topic. Investigative procedures vary by discipline, research area, study type, and type of data. These factors can make general resources difficult to find, while information on specific procedures may be more readily available. 


Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:

Han S, Olonisakin T, Pribis J, et al.  A checklist is associated with increased quality of reporting preclinical biomedical research: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 13;12(9):e0183591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183591.

Savage K, Firth J, Stough C, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):3-18. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5940.

Wieschowski S, Chin WWL, Federico C, et al. Preclinical efficacy studies in investigator brochures: Do they enable risk–benefit  assessment?  PLoS Biol. 2018 Apr 5;16(4):e2004879.doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004879.

Case Studies

Content coming soon!

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