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Advantages__and__disadvantages_of_sources

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Advantages__and__disadvantages_of_sources Powered By Docstoc
					         Advantages/disadvantages of information sources

Source                  Advantage                 Disadvantage
Books                    Easy to access           Quickly out of date
                         Scope for greater        Quality of indexing
                          depth of coverage         varies
                          than journal             Time consuming to
                         Overview                  search/scan
                         Portable                 Expensive to buy
                         Familiar                 Storage problems
                         Reduced cost if can      Access to libraries
                          borrow from library       may be limited
                                                   Heavy
Primary journals         More current             Not necessarily an
                         May be available          overview
                          free on-line             Not all titles indexed
                         May be peer              Time consuming to
                          reviewed                  search/scan
                         Easy to access           May not have access
                         Portable                  to all titles
                                                    electronically
                                                   Problems with peer
                                                    review
Secondary journals       Have structured          Summaries only
                          abstract                 Brief results only
                         Comments from            May not have access
                          independent experts       to all titles
                         Critically appraised      electronically
                          evidence                 Don’t cover all topic
                         Methodologically          areas
                          sound studies
                         Strict inclusion
                          criteria
                         Clinically relevant
                          studies
Abstracts and indexes    Broad overview of        Limited depth
                          literature               Abstracts often
                         Generally good            written by authors -
                          quality                   biased?
Reference lists &        Useful pointers to       Subjective selection
bibliographies            related literature on     by another
                          topic                    Unclear criteria
                         Pulls out good
                          quality articles
Supervisors,           Personal, specific for    Bias
colleagues, mentors     your needs                Variability in
                       Easily accessible          willingness and
                       Shared interest in         motivation to help
                        quality improvement       Priorities may be
                       Team goals                 different
                       Encourages                May be large
                        communication              travelling distances
                        amongst teams             Time pressure
Internet               Very up-to-date           No central directory;
                       Valuable/unique            information and sites
                        information                difficult to locate
                       Professional              No censorship or
                        networking                 editing procedures
                        information               No quality
                        exchange                   guarantee/not
                       Full-text                  validated
                       Access to world-wide      Can be slow
                        information                depending on
                       24-hour access             network
                                                  Needs computer and
                                                   ICT skills
                                                  Costs of getting
                                                   addicted-time
                                                   wasted?
E-mail                 Speed of delivery         Attachments can be
                       Documents,                 difficult to deal with
                        multimedia clips can      Electronic junk mail
                        be attached to             (‘spam’) can annoy
                        messages                  Threat of viruses
                       Replies and                within attachments
                        forwarding of
                        messages handled
                        by software
                       Private messages
                        can be encrypted
                       Active web-page
                        address links
Mailing lists          One-to-many               Most people ‘lurk’
                        communication              during discussion
                       Subject specific          Require care with
                       Free to subscribe          ’netiquette’
                        between lists              (etiquette using the
                       Can be set up to           net)
                   receive weekly           Amount of messages
                   digests only              vary
                  Access to wide range     Mistakes sent to
                   of opinion                everybody
                  Very cheap means of      Difficult to sustain
                   dissemination             discussion
                  Can be open or
                   closed to public
                  Central archives
                   have search/browse
                   facility
Bibliographic     Very wide range of       Not fully up-to-date
databases          journals indexed         Only some have
                  Regular updating          access to full text
                  Time saving              Bias (e.g
                  User-friendly?            MEDLINE=US,
                  Free-text (textword)      Embase=European)
                   searching supported      Reflects publication
                  Controlled                bias
                   vocabularies             Not always
                  Fast/sophisticated        accessible
                   search facilities        Sometimes hard to
                                             use
                                            Difficult to acquire
                                             foreign articles
Medline/Pubmed    Universally available    US bias
                  International            Selective journal
                   coverage                  coverage
                  Thesaurus-controlled     Poor indexing
                   indexing
                  Search by
                   publication type
                  Quality filters
                   available
CINAHL            Variety of interfaces    US bias
                   available                Poor indexing
                  Subject orientated       Selective journal
                  Thesaurus-controlled      coverage
                   indexing
                  International
                   coverage
HMIC              UK bias                  Expensive
                  Specific to health       Updated quarterly
                   management               May be difficult to
                    Variety of             access
                     documents indexed
                    Grey literature
                     included
Best Evidence       Full text database     No thesaurus control
                    Inexpensive            Summaries only
                    Disk includes          Full results absent
                     previous years
                    Equivalent of paper
                     version
Cochrane Library    High quality           Some subject areas
                     research data           under-represented
                    Free access in UK      Reviews need
                    International           updating
                     collaboration
                    Medical and nursing
                     literature
                    Well-structured
                     information
                    Saves time
                     searching and
                     appraising

				
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