Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So you studied at UofT, huh?

Today, I had a library session as part of my Community Health course. This is probably the umpteenth time I've been taught to use Medline via Ovid over the course of my educational career. Still, I suppose it never hurts to have a little refresher on scholarly research and to be reminded of what kind of support library services offer.

Toward the end of the session, a girl in my class stuck up her hand and asked, "So where do you actually go to access Medline?" Holy Mother of Pearl! I thought. Could this girl have not used Medline before... ever?

I brought this up later when Kushima and I were attending a lunchtime session on critical review as part of our participation in the University of Toronto Medical Journal.

Andy: Did you hear that girl during our session who asked where you go to access Medline? That boggled my mind.

Kushima: Oh, yeah I don't know if I could answer that either... Ovid something?

Andy: Wait, you haven't used Medline before?

Kushima: No, what would I use it for? So complicated.

Andy: Didn't you do research this summer?

Kushima: Yeah, but if you need a specific article and you know the title, you can just type it into PubMed. And otherwise, you can just type something into Google and it will usually give you something relevant.

Andy: Really? So you just use Google Scholar?

Kushima: Oh, I don't even use Scholar...

Andy: Wait, you just use Google?! Oh dear...

Scholarly research at its finest.


sandlot said...

Haha. I do exactly what Kushima does in terms of finding research articles. There's nothing wrong with google!

Kushima said...

Haha Andy you should try a poll and see how many people actually use Medline. We could bet on the result too ;P

Michael said...

Putting my name in for Google Scholar. Now, I generally know how to use the rest (comes with working in a biomedical library...) but at UBC, google scholar is linked up to our ejournal & print database, which makes everything super-convenient (I know whether an article exists at UBC, exists and is accessible online or exists in hardcopy right away). Not to mention you can do the "cited by" for some important paper and then follow down those paths till you get precisely what you're looking for =D

Joyce said...

Google Scholar all the way! The "cited by" feature is very useful indeed. (also hooked it up to U of T eJournal access)

i only ever Google papers that i don't have access to (like an uber old paper) in an attempt to find it linked elsewhere. xD;;;

a_ndy said...

Yes, I also rather enjoy Google Scholar for its ease of use. But I think it's really more of a tool to get one or two references, and you may have to play a lot with the syntax.

For a comprehensive review, something like Medline is still the gold standard because they index all the terms. For instance if you have a topic like "addiction", you can retrieve all the papers that are about "addiction" even if the actual keyword used in the article is different because people have gone back and appropriately labelled each article with a uniform syntax.