MEDLINE access via Internet?

ROBERT BOOT, HERSTON MEDICAL LIBRARY mail_boot at uqvax.cc.uq.oz.au
Sat Sep 18 01:52:33 EST 1993


In article <f-norman.78.0 at nimr.mrc.ac.uk>, f-norman at nimr.mrc.ac.uk (Frank Norman) writes:
>>> The NLM produce Medline as a quasi-commercial product (albeit heavily 
>>> subsidised).  Access to Medline through the NLM system has always been one 
>>> of the cheapest routes to Medline online.
>>
>>Oh, yes? It is certainly one of the least predictable & understandable. Also
> 
> I never said I liked the NLM's system!  I have used it about 3 times 
> and that was more than enough for me.  Give me Datastar or Dialog, or a 
> CDROM version,  anyday.  

I seemed doomed to disagree with you, Frank. I haven't used Datastar but the
last I heard it used the same software as BRS??? That is fairly good. Dialog,
however, is another story. It's software is *not* particularly suitable for
MEDLINE & I should not recommend it to anyone wishing to make intelligent use
of MEDLINE. The implementation of 'explosions' and subheading handling leavee
much to be desired. For other databases Dialog is OK but to my mind the
software is showing its age.

As for CD-ROMs - the user interfaces are better, the effectiveness of MEDLINE
features varies but for many serious searches they are seriously *slow*. Even
with realatively straightforward clinical searches covering, say the last 5
years the search will take 4-5 times as long as online.

Cheers,
___________________________________________________________________________
ROBERT BOOT                                             R.BOOT at cc.uq.edu.au
HERSTON MEDICAL LIBRARY
The University of Queensland                       Telephone +61 7 365 5354
Brisbane Qld 4072  AUSTRALIA                       Facsimile +61 7 365 5243



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