Learning Objectives Summarize the pros and cons and content of common biomedical information resources. Summarize the nature and use of primary, secondary and tertiary information resources.
Every health care case generates questions/ learning issues. Background questions General knowledge on topic Foreground questions Knowledge applying to a research hypothesis or specific patient
Image: Publication Access Cycle
Basic types of resources Primary Original research reports Secondary Reviews of several research reports Tertiary Comprehensive knowledge summaries; Information for non-professionals
Primary resources Good for answering foreground questions Reports based on: Research to answer scientific hypotheses Clinical trials Examining patient medical records (case-control) Studies of groups over time (cohort) I
Secondary resources Also good for foreground questions Reviews/syntheses Systematic Reviews (combining conclusions from similar primary reports) Meta-Analyses (combining data from similar primary reports)
Databases and search engines
PubMed/MEDLINE PubMed: Search interface for MEDLINE database Programmed especially for medical terminology MEDLINE: Indexes thousands of health sciences journals Updated daily Clinical articles Basic sciences articles
Searching PubMed, cont’d
Answer using primary and secondary reports from the basic sciences/experimental literature Foreground for basic research Example from our case:
Other databases ISI Web of Knowledge Available from the HSL homepage Biological sciences database Biosis Previews Link available on the comprehensive Database page, under “resources” on the HSL homepage Both require a subscription
Tertiary resources Textbooks (electronic and hard-copy) “Core-25 Books” – online reference collection Clinical Key; Access Medicine – ebook collection UpToDate – current evidence summaries Websites –.edu,.gov,.org preferred PrimarySecondary
Searching the Web Try limiting retrieval to websites with the.edu,.gov, and.org domains
Wikipedia - to use or not to use? Wikipedia – “trust but verify”
medscape.com Other websites to consider emedicine.com
To review what we’ve talked about in this module: Information is available everywhere, but it’s worthwhile to know about and use the best resources, not necessarily those that are found quickly and easily. Three basic types of information: Primary and secondary sources are used to answer foreground questions. Tertiary sources are good for answering background questions. Primary sources are reports of original, basic, or clinical research.
Secondary sources are reviews or syntheses of primary sources. The best types of secondary sources are systematic reviews and meta- analyses. Tertiary sources are popularizations of the information in primary or secondary sources, or texts written for professionals such as the textbooks available through the Health Sciences Library. These texts are available in print and online. Websites from professional organizations, higher education institutions, and the U.S. government can also be very useful.
Thank you for watching! Questions? Please contact: Stephanie Schulte, MLIS The librarians at the Health Sciences Library are available to meet with you to help you search the literature. Visit us in person or ask questions via the Ask a Librarian form on our website.Ask a Librarian form
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