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Presentation on theme: "SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION STRATEGIES FOR RETRIEVAL HSMP 2007-08."— Presentation transcript:


2 Why? Effective searching for pertinent information All essential, key information Without irrelevant side-tracks

3 What? General information, broad subjects Books, review articles Specific information, recent developments Articles Statistics Websites - reports

4 Resources for the selection Internet search engines Websites of international organizations Bibliographic databases Relevance - Thoroughness - Invisible-, deep web - Integrity - Reliability - Up-to-dateness - Repeatability

5 Some search engines Google: Ixquick: Altavista: Yahoo: Lycos: …

6 Google Scholar - Combines search engine characteristics with database features - Searches scientific literature instead of websites - Relevance ranking, citation analysis - Offers links to the full text (provided you have access rights) -

7 International organizations and agencies WHO: UNDP: World Bank: UNAIDS: CDC: … Integrity, Stability, Currency, Full text documents

8 Databases Cover clearly defined subject areas Structured bibliographic descriptions containing a number of searchable fields (author, title, journal) Search tools comprise thesaurus (hierarchically arranged list of keywords) and alphabetical index(es)

9 Search strategies: 1. Where to start? Select an appropriate database ! Criteria: - scope: time frame and subjects covered - full text accessibility (print, PDF…) - document types included

10 ITM catalogues and databases  Produced by ITM library staff  Relatively small  Focus on Third World issues  Full text is available in the ITM library  All document types are included (books, articles, grey literature…)  Free keywords, no thesaurus

11 Medline/Pubmed  Major database in biomedical sciences and allied life sciences  1966 to the present  Articles only  Anglosaxon bias  Local or Third World journals underrepresented  No relationship whatsoever with ITM collection

12 Search strategies: 2. How much is needed? Reference or location of specific document(s)  strategy A or More or less extensive literature survey on a topic  strategy B

13 Strategy A: Specific document(s) Determine the most specific elements Search for those in the appropriate fields Use the indexes to verify spelling

14 Are following books in the ITM library? If so, where can you find them? Green A. An introduction to health planning in developing countries; 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999: 318 pp. Preker AS, Carrin G, editors. Health financing for poor people; resource mobilization and risk sharing. Washington: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank; Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO); Geneva: International Labour Office (ILO), 2004: 446 pp.  Select the appropriate database  What specific elements distinguish this reference from most others?  Specify the appropriate fields if necessary  Look for the location coordonates

15 Generate a list ITM memoirs since 1995 concerning Rwanda  Open the appropriate database  Rwanda in kw  PY>1995  Click tab « Search History »  Check the appropriate boxes and combine using « and »

16 Find the following references the 1999 article of B. Criel on an insurance system in Bwamanda … a recent article on health care seeking behavior for malaria published in Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene a book on the history of trypanosomiasis in Central Africa published by Cambridge University

17 Strategy B: Literature survey on a topic 1. Describe the topic or research area 2. Start with 1 or 2 essential search terms; use the thesaurus (if available and relevant) and/or the keyword index (ITM databases) 3. Determine the logical relationship between the selected terms and combine those terms or search sets using Boolean operators: and, or, not 4. Evaluate the results: 1. Look for “better” terms if the results are unsatisfactory 2. Add extra terms if the result sets are to large 3. Try broader terms if they are to small 5. Set limits (language, publication year, publication type, availability) where relevant

18 Extra tips Start with the essential, continue in logical steps Do not search terms that are already obvious Some very specific terms are better searched in « free text », other, broader terms through the thesaurus and/or the indexes Think about synonyms and alternative spellings Truncation (*) can come in handy Avoid complex, nested search sets, try combining clear search sets instead Watch out when using « not », some relevant material may be excluded along with the superfluous

19 Find some references on safe motherhood and availability of emergency obstetric care or competent midwives

20 Full text ?  Digital, on the Internet?  On paper, in the ITM library?

21 Electronic journals Most journal websites now offer a digital, full-text edition of the original printed version, but not (yet) all of them do so! Most journal websites are limited in time coverage (e.g. last 5-10 years) Different access policies:  Free for all (possibly excepting recent issues)  Free for print-subscribers  Electronic edition at extra cost  Electronic edition only

22 E-journals lists ‘’ (ITM)  Selected Full-text Journals  ITM’s complete list of over 4,000 full-text journals Various portals: e.g., HighWire Press Free Online Full-text Articles,, …

23 Open access initiatives HINARI – Health Internetwork: special access conditions for developing countries (2 groups: free or ‘low price’). PubMed Central: free access to established journals after 6 months. BMC - BioMed Central: a series of freely available new electronic-only peer reviewed journals, financed by author fees. PLoS - Public Library of Science: ‘author pays’ journals, e.g. PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine,...

24 Linking database records and full-text articles Journal level:  Click “Full Text Options” for a link to the E- journals list (if available) Article level:  NT field (PDF, directly clickable)  PubMed links

25 ITM user codes To access certain databases or electronic journals, use: User Name: itguser Password: itguser Other combinations are available from the ITM Intranet

26 How to locate the (paper) documents at the ITM library? 1. Journal articles  Copy or print all relevant data  ‘SO’ (source field) is essential !  All periodicals are arranged alphabetically  Recent issues: upper floor  Older, bound volumes: lower floor

27 2. Books  Copy or print all relevant data  Bookcode and publication year (‘CD’ and ‘PY’ fields) are essential!  The ITM books are arranged systematically 3. ITM memoirs  Consult the printed lists or the student dissertations database  See series field (‘SE’) for the correct number  To be requested at the library counter (registration!)

28 4. Grey literature  Search ‘ITG Books and Document Holdings’ database  Check series field (‘SE’) for identification  See message field (‘ME’) at the top of the reference for further guidance 5. Statistics, etc.  Consult the reports in the ‘Reference’ section, located next to the public computers

29 Selection of useful websites ITM Library: Databases: - PubMed: - WHO Library Database WHOLIS: WHO publications ( not searchable, you need to know all relevant data ):

30 Full text : - BioMed Central: - Free Medical Journals: - HighWire - Free Access to Developing Economies: - HighWire - Free Online Full-text Articles: - HINARI: - INASP – International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications: - PubMed Central: - Scielo – Scientific Electronic Library Online:


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