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THLA Journal Club November 2017

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Pizzeria Via Mercanti

87 Elm Street

Toronto, ON M5G 1X8

Canada

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The air is crisp, the leaves are turning... Is there any better time for a THLA Journal club meetup? Take your sweater out of storage and join us on Wednesday November 15th for our next meeting. We’ll be meeting at Pizzeria Via Mercanti (87 Elm St. Toronto, ON, M5G 0A8). We will start gathering at 5:30 (discussion of the article will begin closer to 6:00).

Tim Tripp will lead our discussion of the following (freely available!) article:

Russell-Rose, T., & Chamberlain, J. (2017). Expert Search Strategies: The Information Retrieval Practices of Healthcare Information Professionals. JMIR Medical Informatics, 5(4). doi:10.2196/medinform.7680

ABSTRACT:
Background: Healthcare information professionals play a key role in closing the knowledge gap between medical research and clinical practice. Their work involves meticulous searching of literature databases using complex search strategies that can consist of hundreds of keywords, operators, and ontology terms. This process is prone to error and can lead to inefficiency and bias if performed incorrectly.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the search behavior of healthcare information professionals, uncovering their needs, goals, and requirements for information retrieval systems.

Methods: A survey was distributed to healthcare information professionals via professional association email discussion lists. It investigated the search tasks they undertake, their techniques for search strategy formulation, their approaches to evaluating search results, and their preferred functionality for searching library-style databases. The popular literature search system PubMed was then evaluated to determine the extent to which their needs were met.

Results: The 107 respondents indicated that their information retrieval process relied on the use of complex, repeatable, and transparent search strategies. On average it took 60 minutes to formulate a search strategy, with a search task taking 4 hours and consisting of 15 strategy lines. Respondents reviewed a median of 175 results per search task, far more than they would ideally like (100). The most desired features of a search system were merging search queries and combining search results.

Conclusions: Healthcare information professionals routinely address some of the most challenging information retrieval problems of any profession. However, their needs are not fully supported by current literature search systems and there is demand for improved functionality, in particular regarding the development and management of search strategies.

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To help you informally appraise the methods and findings of the study, we have put together a list of questions you can use (if you like) for most articles - with no math required.

Did you know?

You can receive accredited CE hours for attending our Journal Club! Here’s how it works:

  • Become a member of THLA for 2017 (or renew your membership in THLA for 2017)

  • Attend one or more THLA Journal Club meetings, held every other month, and sign in

  • At the end of the year, fill in the evaluation form you will receive via email.

  • Your official CE hours certificate will arrive in your email!

See you there!

The THLA Executive

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Pizzeria Via Mercanti

87 Elm Street

Toronto, ON M5G 1X8

Canada

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