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© QMed Knowledge Foundation STRUCTURED APPROACH TO DATABASE / LITERATURE SEARCHING Vasumathi Sriganesh QMed Knowledge Foundation
© QMed Knowledge Foundation QMED KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION l Three year old not for profit trust l Mission: To train and enable healthcare professionals to obtain the best evidence from systematic research l We work with students, faculty, practitioners and libraries in the health sciences domain
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RESEARCH DISCOVERY Four steps l Identify your research problem l Identify types of resources you hope to find l Identify the appropriate search tools to retrieve and organize the information l Carefully and critically evaluate the information you have found
© QMed Knowledge Foundation Identifying the problem
© QMed Knowledge Foundation IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM l Defining the problem clearly l Defining the reason for the information-quest
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RESEARCH PROBLEM l Simple > Complex –Meaning of Osteoarthritis –Information about Kawasaki Disease –Incidence of breast cancer amongst unmarried women in North India –Is bed rest better than being active for low back pain and sciatica
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RESEARCH PROBLEM Reasons l Meaning of Osteoarthritis –I have to show off to my older brother l Information about Kawasaki Disease –Need to prove to the world that I know a lot
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RESEARCH PROBLEM Reasons l Incidence of breast cancer amongst unmarried women in North India –I want to relate the incidence of breast cancer to xxxx l Is bed rest better than being active for low back pain and sciatica l I have to treat a patient with lbp + sciatica and there is conflicting evidence
© QMed Knowledge Foundation Types of Resources
© QMed Knowledge Foundation TYPES OF RESOURCES Traditional l Books –Text books / Monographs l Journals
© QMed Knowledge Foundation TYPES OF RESOURCES Traditional l Other reference sources –Dictionaries / Encyclopediae / Biographical sources –Handbooks / Manuals etc
© QMed Knowledge Foundation TYPES OF RESOURCES Traditional l “Indexes” –Monthly / Cumulative l Directories / Lists
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RESOURCES l Primary – The resource l Secondary – List of resources l Tertiary – List of lists of resources
© QMed Knowledge Foundation IT ERA l Same sources on the web –Formerly in print l New – E-only resources –Based on the above l Search engines –General –Databases with highly featured search engines l Meta-search engines
© QMed Knowledge Foundation Appropriate Search Tools
© QMed Knowledge Foundation APPROPRIATE SEARCH TOOLS l Simple –Google it –Google it l Slightly more complex / important reasons –Know standard resources and search them l Complex / very important questions –Best resources, best search strategies, if needed – all possible resources, with indepth strategies
© QMed Knowledge Foundation APPROPRIATE RETRIEVAL / ORGANIZATION l Web-enabled updating tools like alerts / RSS feeds l Storage in bibliographic managers for easy re-retrieval –Using importing / other tech-based tools
© QMed Knowledge Foundation Evaluating Internet Information
© QMed Knowledge Foundation AUTHORITY OF SOURCE l Author - individual l Institution l Sponsor l Issues to check: –Credibility –Bias –Political or other linking?
© QMed Knowledge Foundation RECENCY OF INFORMATION l When was the site last updated l How often is it updated l Is there any obsolete information l Are there archives to check old information l How quickly is any latest information added
© QMed Knowledge Foundation SITE ORGANIZATION l Ease of navigation l Links –Too few –Too many –Key links from home page l Good index / sitemap / search facility
© QMed Knowledge Foundation PURPOSE l Intended audience l Students / professionals / lay people Objective Inform or persuade? Promotional? Check Is the information original or copied with or without permission
© QMed Knowledge Foundation EVALUATING AT INFO-LEVEL Eg – a Journal article can make a tall claim – “this drug is fantastic”. Need to evaluate l Methodology of study –True randomization / blinding / allocation concealment? –Statistics / calculations – correct? –Other bias – eliminated?
© QMed Knowledge Foundation BACK TO RESEARCH PROBLEMS l Simple > Complex –Meaning of Osteoarthritis –Information about Kawasaki Disease –Incidence of breast cancer amongst unmarried women in North India –Is bed rest better than being active for low back pain and sciatica
© QMed Knowledge Foundation IDEAL SOURCES l Medical Dictionaries / Encyclopedia l Databases –PubMed (index to journal articles) –Cochrane Library (Systematic Reviews) –“Summaries” (UpToDate, First Consult, BEST BETS / Bandolier)
© QMed Knowledge Foundation ABOUT GOOGLE l Brilliant resource, but… (Demo of a google search on prostodin in labor – first shows a blog of a medical intern and his case)
© QMed Knowledge Foundation WHAT DOES ONE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DATABASES? Scope of coverage l What it covers l What it does not l Time span
© QMed Knowledge Foundation WHAT DOES ONE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DATABASES? Availability: Free or paid for? l What is the difference? l When is “free” adequate, and when it isn’t
© QMed Knowledge Foundation CONCEPTS - SEARCHING
© QMed Knowledge Foundation PRECISION & RECALL l Precision –Specific, pinpointed l Recall –Broad-based, generic, related coverage included
© QMed Knowledge Foundation BOOLEAN OPERATORS l AND l OR l NOT
© QMed Knowledge Foundation BOOLEAN – ‘AND’ Malaria Filaria AND = articles on Malaria and Filaria
© QMed Knowledge Foundation BOOLEAN – ‘OR’ MalariaFilaria OR = articles on Malaria OR Filaria OR both
© QMed Knowledge Foundation BOOLEAN – ‘NOT’ NOT = articles on Malaria BUT NOT Filaria Malaria Filaria
© QMed Knowledge Foundation DEMO l Primary –Journals / Clinical Trials l Secondary –PubMed l Tertiary –Hardin Meta Directory –TRIP Database
© QMed Knowledge Foundation DEMO l Synthesis –UpToDate
© QMed Knowledge Foundation ORGANIZING FOR FUTURE l PubMed – Save search / Collections – alerts l Zotero – importing citations l Mendeley – importing citations
© QMed Knowledge Foundation THANK YOU
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