14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature

B. J. Smith, P. J. Darzins, M. Quinn, R. F. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To review the methods of electronic retrieval of biomedical journal articles; to demonstrate CD-ROM and online searching techniques; and to compare major biomedical databases. Design: A CD-ROM MEDLINE search was made by a medical practitioner, with the assistance of an experienced librarian. An online MEDLlNE/Excerpta Medica search was made by the same medical practitioner after completion of a two-day course in search techniques. The search example covered the period 1983 to 1992, and the topic was 'whether steroid use for asthma/airways disease leads to osteoporosis'. Outcomes: Search duration, article yield and search cost were assessed. Results: The CD-ROM MEDLINE literature search took 60 minutes to find 31 articles (43% of the possible articles). This compared with an online search to the Bibliographic Retrieval Services database in Chicago, which produced the same articles when MEDLINE was searched (but took only 16 minutes) and which also found 47 articles (with an overlap of only seven) when Excerpta Medica was searched. We estimated that the combined MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica search detected 93% of all known relevant articles, based upon an assumed gold standard. Conclusions: Online searching is a fast and powerful alternative to CD-ROM searching. Formal training is necessary for quick and cheap reference finding. Other benefits such as direct transfer from online searching to your own computer bibliography database make online searching of biomedical databases essential to consider.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume157
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Smith, B. J., Darzins, P. J., Quinn, M., & Heller, R. F. (1992). 14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature. Medical Journal of Australia, 157(9), 603-611.
Smith, B. J. ; Darzins, P. J. ; Quinn, M. ; Heller, R. F. / 14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature. In: Medical Journal of Australia. 1992 ; Vol. 157, No. 9. pp. 603-611.
@article{ba87e4f159ed48dc925b31be0a043919,
title = "14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature",
abstract = "Objective: To review the methods of electronic retrieval of biomedical journal articles; to demonstrate CD-ROM and online searching techniques; and to compare major biomedical databases. Design: A CD-ROM MEDLINE search was made by a medical practitioner, with the assistance of an experienced librarian. An online MEDLlNE/Excerpta Medica search was made by the same medical practitioner after completion of a two-day course in search techniques. The search example covered the period 1983 to 1992, and the topic was 'whether steroid use for asthma/airways disease leads to osteoporosis'. Outcomes: Search duration, article yield and search cost were assessed. Results: The CD-ROM MEDLINE literature search took 60 minutes to find 31 articles (43{\%} of the possible articles). This compared with an online search to the Bibliographic Retrieval Services database in Chicago, which produced the same articles when MEDLINE was searched (but took only 16 minutes) and which also found 47 articles (with an overlap of only seven) when Excerpta Medica was searched. We estimated that the combined MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica search detected 93{\%} of all known relevant articles, based upon an assumed gold standard. Conclusions: Online searching is a fast and powerful alternative to CD-ROM searching. Formal training is necessary for quick and cheap reference finding. Other benefits such as direct transfer from online searching to your own computer bibliography database make online searching of biomedical databases essential to consider.",
author = "Smith, {B. J.} and Darzins, {P. J.} and M. Quinn and Heller, {R. F.}",
year = "1992",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "157",
pages = "603--611",
journal = "Medical Journal of Australia",
issn = "0025-729X",
publisher = "AMPCo",
number = "9",

}

Smith, BJ, Darzins, PJ, Quinn, M & Heller, RF 1992, '14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 157, no. 9, pp. 603-611.

14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature. / Smith, B. J.; Darzins, P. J.; Quinn, M.; Heller, R. F.

In: Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 157, No. 9, 01.01.1992, p. 603-611.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - 14. Modern methods of searching the medical literature

AU - Smith, B. J.

AU - Darzins, P. J.

AU - Quinn, M.

AU - Heller, R. F.

PY - 1992/1/1

Y1 - 1992/1/1

N2 - Objective: To review the methods of electronic retrieval of biomedical journal articles; to demonstrate CD-ROM and online searching techniques; and to compare major biomedical databases. Design: A CD-ROM MEDLINE search was made by a medical practitioner, with the assistance of an experienced librarian. An online MEDLlNE/Excerpta Medica search was made by the same medical practitioner after completion of a two-day course in search techniques. The search example covered the period 1983 to 1992, and the topic was 'whether steroid use for asthma/airways disease leads to osteoporosis'. Outcomes: Search duration, article yield and search cost were assessed. Results: The CD-ROM MEDLINE literature search took 60 minutes to find 31 articles (43% of the possible articles). This compared with an online search to the Bibliographic Retrieval Services database in Chicago, which produced the same articles when MEDLINE was searched (but took only 16 minutes) and which also found 47 articles (with an overlap of only seven) when Excerpta Medica was searched. We estimated that the combined MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica search detected 93% of all known relevant articles, based upon an assumed gold standard. Conclusions: Online searching is a fast and powerful alternative to CD-ROM searching. Formal training is necessary for quick and cheap reference finding. Other benefits such as direct transfer from online searching to your own computer bibliography database make online searching of biomedical databases essential to consider.

AB - Objective: To review the methods of electronic retrieval of biomedical journal articles; to demonstrate CD-ROM and online searching techniques; and to compare major biomedical databases. Design: A CD-ROM MEDLINE search was made by a medical practitioner, with the assistance of an experienced librarian. An online MEDLlNE/Excerpta Medica search was made by the same medical practitioner after completion of a two-day course in search techniques. The search example covered the period 1983 to 1992, and the topic was 'whether steroid use for asthma/airways disease leads to osteoporosis'. Outcomes: Search duration, article yield and search cost were assessed. Results: The CD-ROM MEDLINE literature search took 60 minutes to find 31 articles (43% of the possible articles). This compared with an online search to the Bibliographic Retrieval Services database in Chicago, which produced the same articles when MEDLINE was searched (but took only 16 minutes) and which also found 47 articles (with an overlap of only seven) when Excerpta Medica was searched. We estimated that the combined MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica search detected 93% of all known relevant articles, based upon an assumed gold standard. Conclusions: Online searching is a fast and powerful alternative to CD-ROM searching. Formal training is necessary for quick and cheap reference finding. Other benefits such as direct transfer from online searching to your own computer bibliography database make online searching of biomedical databases essential to consider.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0026611034&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 157

SP - 603

EP - 611

JO - Medical Journal of Australia

JF - Medical Journal of Australia

SN - 0025-729X

IS - 9

ER -