author={Jeroan J. Allison and Catarina I. Kiefe and Norman W. Weissman and Jerome Carter and Robert M. Centor},
  journal={International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care},
  pages={281 - 296}
The current medical environment makes information retrieval a matter of practical importance for clinicians. Many avenues present themselves to the clinician, but here we focus on MEDLINE by summarizing the current state of the art and providing an innovative approach for skill enhancement. Because new search engines appear rapidly, we focus on generic principles that can be easily adapted to various systems, even those not yet available. We propose an idealized classification system for the… 

Research Paper: Identifying Diagnostic Studies in MEDLINE: Reducing the Number Needed to Read

This study constructed and validated better search strategies to identify diagnostic articles recorded on MEDLINE with special emphasis on precision and measured the sensitivity, precision and the number needed to read (1/precision) of every candidate term.

Taking advantage of the explosion of systematic reviews: an efficient MEDLINE search strategy.

This search strategy identified most systematic reviews without over-whelming users with numerous false-positive results and a "single-click" filter based on this strategy is now available as part of the Clinical Queries feature of PubMed.

Searching the MEDLINE Literature Database through PubMed: A Short Guide

The application of Medline search tools and how the use of the controlled vocabulary of ‘Medical Subject Headings’ (MeSH) will influence the results in comparison with the fast and simple approach are shown.

Accessing the Literature: Using Bibliographic Databases to Find Journal Articles. Part 1

  • H. Marlborough
  • Medicine
    Primary dental care : journal of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners
  • 2001
The article differentiates between sensitivity (maximum recall) and specificity (relevance of recall), and suggests how to identify a manageable number of relevant citations, how to save the citations, and how to obtain the full text.

Diagnostic research in perspective: examples of retrieval, synthesis and analysis

The identified search terms offer the choice of either reasonably sensitive or precise search strategies for the detection of diagnostic accuracy studies in EMBASE, useful both for busy health care professionals who value precision and for reviewers who value sensitivity.

Networking an evaluation of clinical literature searches: a preliminary report

The results of a project conducted by the reference teams at the University of Otago medical libraries to develop appropriate measurement systems for evaluating the quality of literature searches conducted for library clients are reported.

Searching the health care literature efficiently: from clinical decision-making to continuing education.

Techniques for searching MEDLINE efficiently are illustrated, both as a means of answering particular clinical questions and for generating periodic updates on topics of general interest.

Identifying diagnostic accuracy studies in EMBASE.

The identified search terms offer the choice of either reasonably sensitive or precise search strategies for the detection of diagnostic accuracy studies in EMBASE, and are useful both for busy health care professionals who value precision and for reviewers who value sensitivity.

Evaluating publication trends in clinical research: How reliable are medical databases?

The exploratory factor analysis leads us to question the consistency of MEDLINEs indexing procedures and also the rationale for MEDLINE's choice of descriptors, which assumes that expert opinion is biased and therefore relies heavily — virtually exclusively —on critical analysis of the peer-reviewed literature.

Using Medline to achieve an evidence-based approach to diagnostic clinical biochemistry

The goal is that users can improve their literature search technique by employing a structured approach and asking relevant questions before starting a search is essential.



Research Paper: Performances of 27 MEDLINE systems tested by searches with clinical questions

There were substantial differences in the performances of competing MEDLINE systems, and performance was affected by search strategy, which was conceived by a librarian or by clinicians.

Research Paper: Developing Optimal Search Strategies for Detecting Clinically Sound Studies in MEDLINE

The retrieval of studies of important clinical topics cited in MEDLINE can be substantially enhanced by selected combinations of indexing terms and textwords.

Understanding and using the medical subject headings (MeSH) vocabulary to perform literature searches.

The structure and use of MeSH are reviewed, directed toward the nonexpert, and how MeSH may help resolve a number of common difficulties encountered when searching MEDLINE are outlined.

Assessment of methodologic search filters in MEDLINE.

The performance of methodologic MeSH terms and textwords varied greatly in MEDLINE and changed from 1986 to 1991, and more complex search strategies may be required to optimize retrieval.

Use of MEDLINE by physicians for clinical problem solving.

To understand the ways in which computer-mediated searching of the biomedical literature affects patient care and other professional activities, the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE database "makes a difference" in what physicians do when confronted with a medical problem requiring new or additional information.

Does the medical literature contain the evidence to answer the questions of primary care physicians? Preliminary findings of a study.

  • P. Gorman
  • Medicine, Political Science
    Proceedings. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care
  • 1993
Searching the medical literature to answer the questions of primary care physicians was successful in retrieving recent, relevant information, and often provided "a clear answer" to the question, but the cost of using bibliographic retrieval was high, and fewer than a third of the articles retrieved contained high quality evidence.

MEDLINE: the options for health professionals.

  • E. Wood
  • Computer Science
    Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
  • 1994
The bibliographic database MEDLINE, produced by the National Library of Medicine, is a computerized index to the world's biomedical literature and contains 6.8 million records.

Online access to MEDLINE in clinical settings. A study of use and usefulness.

Self-service access to the medical literature database, MEDLINE, into clinical settings is feasible with brief training and affects clinical decisions, however, inexperienced searchers miss many relevant citations and search inefficiently.

Locating and Appraising Systematic Reviews

The second article in this series on systematic reviews has two purposes: to describe tools and techniques that can help locate systematic reviews effectively and efficiently and to suggest a method

A program to enhance clinical use of MEDLINE. A randomized controlled trial.

A program of assigning preceptors and providing feedback on individual searches did not enhance the quantity or quality of searches and soon after a basic introduction to searching, clinicians in both groups improved their search performance.