In honor of National Medical Librarians Month, let’s bust some information myths with the help of the Medical Library Association!
Myth: The internet is a highly reliable source of information.
Truth: There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, but people still need information training and skills to understand what constitutes valid information. Your medical librarians provide such information training.
Myth: Google Scholar is an all encompassing database.
Truth: Google and other internet search engines access only 7% of available health-related information. Google and other internet search engines cannot perform searches using a controlled vocabulary and extensive limits and do not search databases that reside behind firewalls or sites requiring internal searches.
Myth: Physicians and nurses can quickly find the same information as a librarian.
Truth: Information retrieval is a complicated, time consuming, multi-step process, and librarians are more proficient searchers, reducing the time spent on information retrieval and evaluating search results.
Myth: Evidence-based medicine can be practiced with point-of-care software.
Truth: The purpose of Point-of-Care software is to provide quick reference to summaries for answers to common clinical questions. Complex questions are not appropriate for Point-of-Care software and quality, content and currency varies by product.
In-house libraries managed by qualified librarians provide the most cost effective, efficient means to manage and locate quality medical information. A balance between print and electronic resources augmented by interlibrary loan services will best serve the needs of health care professionals. Librarians are part of the health care team. Finding the right information for the healthcare professional is Mission Critical. The end result is improved patient care.
Stop by your Health Sciences Library today to find out how one of our expert medical librarians can help you find what you’re looking for and save you time!
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Glanville J, Lefebvre C. Identifying systematic reviews: key resources. Evid Based Med 2000;5:68-69.
Henderson J. Google scholar: A source for clinicians? CMAJ 2005;172(12):1549-1550.
Medical Library Association. Myths and Truths About Library Services. https://www.mlanet.org/resources/nml-month/index.html.
Williams L, Zipperer L. Improving access to information: librarians and nurses team up for patient safety. Nurs Econ 2003;21(4):199-201.