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Bio-Medical Information Retrieval from Net

Yesterday, I made a presentation at Lady Irwin College (New Delhi) on "Bio-Medical Information Retrieval from Net". The Presentation consisted of over 90 Power Point PPT slides keeping in mind the information needs of Bio-Medical Researchers. However it did not cover some good subscription based services like "Web of Science" as the focus was on freely available resources on Net.

The presentation can be viewed or Downloaded from

Presentation starts with an emphasis on the need of having a plan in the form search strategy and evaluation of the retrieved results. The best tool and Internet resource to explore would depend upon the type of information being sought from the net. For general non-scholarly information Internet Search Engines, Meta Search Engines, Web Directories and Subject Guides would be the best way to start with. However there is need to evaluate all such information. Simple criteria - like the authority behind the information; the date of creation and modification and commercial interests if any - can be used to evaluate the authenticity of the information retrieved. Medical websites with "HONcode" logo could be easily evaluated and trusted.

For scholarly literature, researchers are advised to start with Bibliographic Databases. These databases provide references to high quality peer reviewed journals. PubMed and IndMED (For Indian Journals) are best known under this category. The presentation has some interesting pictures to explain the need for "Controlled Vocabulary" like MeSH. Other tools like Scirus can also be used for retrieving scholarly information. Google Scholar can be used to for limited "Cited By" information along with references.

Coming to Full Text of articles, looking for libraries' holdings would be a better strategy. "Union Catalogue" is useful tool to explore collection of neighborhood libraries. Many good journals are now coming out from Open Access Publishers like BioMed Central and PLoS. Some of the good Indian medical journals are also available for free through Internet. NIC's medIND project and MedKnow (an Indian Open Access Publisher) have been instrumental in putting most of them online. Directory of Open Access Journals is a useful tool to find out Open Access Journals in a subject domain. Other resources for finding full text articles are Institutional (like ePrints@IISc ) and Subject Repositories (like OpenMED@NIC). There are now about 1000 such registered and OAI-PMH compliant repositories all over the world. Tools like ROAR can be used to find a relevant repository. These repositories can also be searched through search engine like Google and some special OAI-PMH search engines.

The presentation ends with some special type of resources like Cochrane Library (made freely accessible to Resident Indians through sponsorship by ICMR).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hello...I go through your blog.I am a Biomedical Engineer and found your things share....hop i get so nice things agains.....yahhh nice ppts.