• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of oenvmedOccupational and Environmental MedicineCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Occup Environ Med. Aug 1998; 55(8): 562–566.
PMCID: PMC1757629

Assessment of bibliographic databases performance in information retrieval for occupational and environmental toxicology

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficiency of the major bibliographic databases by assessing the percentage of references among the total literature available that can be retrieved from each database. We also evaluated the best database combinations to carry out an exhaustive search. METHODS: BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, NIOSH-TIC, and TOXLINE were searched on two topics: allergy to latex and asbestos and mesothelioma, in the title, abstract, or keywords (textwords). This search was performed for the years 1994 and 1995. All the records were classified by journal and author's name and were verified for each record whether or not it was indexed in each database. Statistical analysis was performed with chi 2 test. RESULTS: 777 articles in 510 issues were found. The efficiency of each database (percentage of articles recovered) and of combinations varied between 11% and 63% for one database and between 42% and 86% for a combination of two databases. The reasons why these differences exist between databases, and within a database, between two different subjects or two different years are reported. CONCLUSION: Firstly, it is not advisable to assert that a bibliography is complete when only one database is searched. Secondly, the efficiency of the databases may be quite different. Finally, it is suggested that the best way to be as exhaustive as possible is to search two or more databases-for example, in EMBASE and TOXLINE, or to a lesser extent EMBASE and MEDLINE. This seems to be the best compromise solution between time consumed for searching and efficiency.

 

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (130K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cox JJ, Dawson KJ, Hobbs KE. The electronic information revolution and how to exploit it. Br J Surg. 1992 Oct;79(10):1004–1010. [PubMed]
  • Ludl H, Schöpe LH, Mangelsdorf I. Searching for information on toxicological data of chemical substances in selected bibliographic databases--selection of essential databases for toxicological researches. Chemosphere. 1996 Mar;32(5):867–880. [PubMed]
  • Hersh WR, Greenes RA. Information retrieval in medicine: state of the art. MD Comput. 1990 Sep-Oct;7(5):302–311. [PubMed]
  • Greenhalgh T. How to read a paper. The Medline database. BMJ. 1997 Jul 19;315(7101):180–183. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Biarez O, Sarrut B, Doreau CG, Etienne J. Comparison and evaluation of nine bibliographic databases concerning adverse drug reactions. DICP. 1991 Oct;25(10):1062–1065. [PubMed]
  • Thirion B, Darmoni SJ, Moore N. Costs of medline and CD-ROM searching. Lancet. 1992 Aug 1;340(8814):308–308. [PubMed]

Articles from Occupational and Environmental Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...