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Access Part I Accessing Health Information Through the Internet.

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Presentation on theme: "Access Part I Accessing Health Information Through the Internet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Access Part I Accessing Health Information Through the Internet

2 Access Overview Part I: Introduction and Searching Part II: Population and Health Resources

3 Introduction Basic terminology Why has the Internet become so important? What can you use the Internet to do? Common frustrations Navigating websites Credibility

4 Basic Terminology Internet: complex system of computers and networks that are connected through a common electronic language and work together to share information World Wide Web (www): graphical Internet service used to distribute information through text, images, and sounds Electronic mail (e-mail): message sent from one computer to another via a network of computers

5 Basic Terminology (cont.) Listserv: list of e-mail addresses for a group of people interested in the same subject Portable document file (PDF): file that retains the layout of the original document Uniform Resource Locator (URL): the Internet address of a particular website, for example: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): the computer language used to create web pages

6 Why has the Internet become so important? Key communication tool Easy to share information Breaks down barriers of time and distance Large amount of information is available to a greater amount of people

7 What can you use the Internet to do? Send mail to colleagues around the world Share documents, presentations, datasets Join discussion groups Receive news announcements Request information Research best practices Read online journal and newspaper articles Participate in online courses

8 Common Frustrations Connections can be slow Searching can be time consuming Information overload Services are expensive Services are unavailable Difficult to find information you need Sites are not in local language Not all information is available free of charge (journals)

9 What if you only have e-mail or browsing is too slow or expensive? Websites can be received via email: Text in the body of the email message Website content in the body of the message

10 Navigating Websites Going to specific websites directly Using links to go to other pages Using favorites (bookmarks) Saving and printing web pages Viewing pages offline

11 Navigating Websites (cont.)

12 Credibility of Online Information Source: Author? Organization? Message: Timeliness? Perspective? Related Literature? Accuracy? Usability: Information easily accessible? Links?

13 Searching Search directories and search engines Plan a search strategy Search techniques

14 Searching the Internet Internet is a valuable resource for finding information However, being able to find the information you want can be difficult and time consuming Search directories and search engines can help locate and narrow information

15 Search Tools Search Directories Yahoo! Search Engines AltaVista Google Copernic Agent Basic

16 Plan a Search Strategy Define topic in one sentence Ask questions to clarify your topic Identify similar search terms or synonyms for main keywords Determine how you are going to find the information

17 Define topic in one sentence Funding for best practices to control multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in East Asia

18 Ask questions to clarify your topic Who: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Harvard Medical School, World Health Organization What: tuberculosis, model DOTS, drug-susceptible TB, grant Where: China, Vietnam How: DOTS-Plus

19 Identify similar search terms or synonyms for main keywords Tuberculosis TB Multidrug-resistant TB Drug susceptible TB Funding Grant Best practices Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Harvard Medical School World Health Organization WHO Model DOTS DOTS- Plus China Vietnam

20 How are you going to find the information? Search directory? Uses general categories and sub-categories for structured search with some knowledge of the topic Search engine? Uses keywords and phrases requiring some knowledge of the topic Specific database? May be a better choice for collecting data and statistics

21 Search Techniques Wildcard matching Phrase matching Boolean searches Inclusive/Exclusive operators Filters Site specific searches

22 Wildcard Matching Attaching an asterisk * to the stem of a word conducts a search on variations of word SEARCH: program* (for program, programs, programme, programmes, etc.) Widens your search Recommended sites: AltaVista or Yahoo!

23 Phrase Matching Narrow your search by including quotation marks around words to match words in exact sequence SEARCH: Asia-Pacific Population Journal (name of journal) SEARCH: family planning Recommended sites: AltaVista Advanced, Google, or Yahoo!

24 Boolean Searches AND, NEAR, AND NOT, OR infant mortality child mortality infant mortality AND child mortality (narrows) infant mortality NEAR child mortality (narrows) Infant mortality AND NOT child mortality (narrows) infant mortality OR child mortality (widens) Recommended site: AltaVista Advanced

25 Inclusive/Exclusive Operators Including a plus sign (+) in front of a word requires that word to be in the search Including a minus sign (-) in front of a word will prohibit that word from being in the search (similar AND NOT) +maternal +health +programs +asia -africa –europe (narrows) Recommended sites: AltaVista Main only, Google, or Yahoo!

26 Filters Limit the type of sites a query will search By date: restricting search to webpages updated since a certain date By using host: all webpages from a particular host are found, By using link: all webpages linked to a particular site are found, Recommended sites: AltaVista, AltaVista Advanced

27 Site Specific Searches The techniques discussed are also useful when searching specific websites using their local search engine If a site doesnt have a local search engine, use Google Advanced. In the field Domain: choose only return results from the site or domain _________ and type in the URL for the site you want to search.

28 Tips Pay attention to correct spelling Include alternative spellings Keep construction of searches simple Limit the number of concepts in a search to three or four with a limit of six to eight

29 Review Navigating Evaluating Searching –Directories vs. Engines –Plan a Strategy –Techniques (Wildcard, Phrase, Boolean, Inclusive/Exclusive Operators, Filters)

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