Searching the Literature and Computerized Services in Medicine: Guides and Methods for the Clinician

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Searching the literature does not have to be a time-consuming and frustrating chore. This paper describes fundamental methods, basic printed guides, and computerized services and tells how to obtain current information on computerized programs and their costs. These guides and services will lead the searcher to journal articles, books, papers delivered at meetings, audiovisual material, and other types of medical literature. They will also help to overcome the language barrier. The searcher for current literature will learn about, among others, the Index Medicus and the Abridged Index Medicus, MEDLARS and MEDLINE, Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Excerpta Medica. The searcher for older material will learn about the “Index-Catalogue,” “Garrison-Morton,” Familiar Medical Quotations, and other helpful guides. Effective and efficient searching of the literature, whether by hand or machine, obtains two valuable commodities for the searcher: information and time.

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