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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

CARO-ROJAS, Rosa Ángela  and  ESLAVA-SCHMALBACH, Javier H.. Agreement between Medline searches using the Medline-CD-Rom and Internet PubMed, BioMedNet, Medscape and Gateway search-engines. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2005, vol.7, n.2, pp.214-226. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642005000200009.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the information obtained from the Medline database using Internet commercial search engines with that obtained from a compact disc (Medline-CD). METHODS: An agreement study was carried out based on 101 clinical scenarios provided by specialists in internal medicine, pharmacy, gynaecology-obstetrics, surgery and paediatrics. 175 search strategies were employed using the connector AND plus text within quotation marks. The search was limited to 1991-1999. Internet search-engines were selected by common criteria. Identical search strategies were independently applied to and masked from Internet search engines, as well as the Medline-CD. RESULTS: 3,488 articles were obtained using 129 search strategies. Agreement with the Medline-CD was 54% for PubMed, 57% for Gateway, 54% for Medscape and 65% for BioMedNet. The highest agreement rate for a given speciality (paediatrics) was 78,1% for BioMedNet, having greater -/- than +/+ agreement. CONCLUSIONS: Even though free access to Medline has encouraged the boom and growth of evidence-based medicine, these results must be considered within the context of which search engine was selected for doing the searches. The internet search engines studied showed a poor agreement with the Medline-CD, the rate of agreement differing according to speciality, thus significantly affecting searches and their reproducibility. Software designed for conducting Medline database searches, including the Medline-CD, must be standardised and validated.

Keywords : Medline; Databases; PubMed; reproducibility of results; information storage and retrieval; evidence-based medicine.

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