Friday, January 28, 2011

Module 3: Information Retrieval

I conducted a search regarding the use of Erythropoietin in premature infants. Upon conducting the searches through an electronic index (EndNote), guideline index (National Guideline Clearinghouse), and web search (, I found the electronic index to be most beneficial. This area of interest is new and upcoming in this population; therefore I did not obtain a significant amount of results when conducting a search through EndNote. When conducting a search through NGC, I obtained numerous results that did not relate directly to this specific population. A Google search resulted in a large volume of results that were not necessary pertinent to this population. 

I feel as though using a web search such as Google is useful when basic information is needed. If in-depth, detailed information is needed, I believe that more reliable sources should be used. I use Google when I am unsure of the meaning and need a basic definition for a given topic area. The use of web searches typically results in thousands of “hits.” I find it extremely difficult to apply necessary limits in a web search to obtain the most pertinent and reliable sources. The inability to obtain scholarly journal articles through web searches is the largest reason I choose not to use such searches. Many of the scholarly articles published can only be obtained by purchasing through the journal. This is extremely frustrating when you “find” something you have interest and cannot obtain the article because of the cost. 

This was my first experience using a guideline index to search for scholarly information. I found the NGC site to be useful, but not necessary useful for my topic of interest. Upon searching the site, I found numerous guidelines and updates regarding the use of erythropoietin in populations other than my area of interest. This may be due to the lack of studies to support this therapy in this population and lack of necessary research. 

I prefer using EndNote for scholarly searches. The use of EndNote has become a major component of information retrieval thus far in my graduate studies. I feel comfortable using this software and believe that it is extremely easy to navigate. This program also allows for searches to be conducted in reliable databases, such as PubMed. EndNote allows for retrieval of search references and can use easily incorporated into Word documentation.


  1. Excellent comments, yes EndNote although not perfect can be a life saver. Another problem with search engines such as Google, Google scholar is that they are not very easy to filter, you need to have patience which sometimes can be challenge especially with time constraints. I also recommend search engines such as EBSCO Host and ProQuest which allow you to search multiple databases at one time.

  2. Rachel I agree. Google is good just for quick references. It's hard to dig through the many many results. However, when I know exactly what I'm looking for (like the exact name of the article and author's name), sometimes Google can find it for free.