Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Healthy People 2010 added to PubMed Special Queries

A link to the search interface providing searches for published literature related to the Healthy People 2010 focus areas of the HP2010 Information Access Project was added to the Special Queries resource page available from PubMed's blue sidebar.

The National Library of Medicine® and the Public Health Foundation staff have worked together to develop pre-formulated search strategies for selected Healthy People 2010 focus areas. The purpose of these searches is to make information and evidence-based strategies related to the Healthy People 2010 objectives easier to find. Select a focus area and see a list of specialized searches for the objectives. The "PubMed search" icons on the focus area page search PubMed.

Healthy People 2010 is a set of health objectives for the Nation to achieve over the first decade of the new century. It can be used by many different people, States, communities, professional organizations, and others to help them develop programs to improve health.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ovid troubles...

If you're having trouble with the new Ovid search interface in any way, shape, or form, it might be that you need to upgrade your Web browser...especially if you are a Mac user. I know this for a fact because I am a Mac user.

We've put together a page that should help you figure out whether it's your web browser that's the culprit.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Database Highlight: IDDB

Investigational Drugs Database (IDDB) provides validated, integrated and evaluated information about the R&D portfolios of more than 17,000 companies and institutes involved in drug development including:

    • Information about more than 92,000 therapeutic patents, with optional links to the full text of the original patent.
    • Pipeline status of more than 21,000 investigational drugs, with comprehensive drug reports, development histories, bibliographies and expert commentary on the most promising candidates.
    • Over 68,000 chemical structures, fully substructure searchable for easy identification.
    • Approximately 400 meeting reports a year, from about 300 selected scientific conferences, with extensive first-time disclosure of investigational drugs.
    • A growing bibliography of more than 492,000 references, gathered from a diverse range of scientific and commercial publications, with links to abstracts of full text where available

IDDB is available from a single workstation in the Medical Library. Contact Judy Spak or Daniel Dollar to arrange a time for using this resource in the library.

Only those affiliated with Yale University and the Yale-New Haven Medical Center have access to this unique database.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Identifier to be Added to MEDLINE/PubMed Data

NLM will be including the identifier number in MEDLINE records, when that information appears in the original publication. NLM states that this will be added 'about July 2005'. I have been on the lookout for this addition but still can only find two citations with the identified. Still it will be very handy once it is consistently applied.

The reason for this is based the recommendation from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors on the topic of registering clinical trials before publication of the results and that the clinical trial registration number be included at the end of the article abstract.

The data will also appear in PubMed in the Secondary Source ID list in the Citation display, in the SI field of the MEDLINE tagged display, and in the DataBankList elements of the XML display.

An example in the Citation format display would be:

Secondary Source ID:


If there are multiple numbers mentioned in one journal article, all will be added to the MEDLINE record.

In PubMed, the data will be searchable using the [si] search tag; each of the pieces or the entire string is searchable, e.g.:

nct00000161 [si] [si] [si]

Use " [si]" to retrieve all citations to articles listing trial registration in regardless of which particular trial is involved.

For More Information:
Tybaert S, Knecht LS. Identifier to be Added to MEDLINE®/PubMed® Data. NLM Tech Bull. 2005 May-Jun;(344):e13.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PubMed Citation Status Tag

All citations in PubMed with the status tag [PubMed] have had the bibliographic data (e.g.: authors, article title, source information, abstract) reviewed for accuracy. The coverage of this status tag has now been expanded from two to three types of citations.

The newest addition is:
  • A citation for an article in a journal that is not indexed for MEDLINE. These are typically citations to articles from journals that deposit their full text articles in PubMed Central®, but have not yet been recommended for indexing in MEDLINE
The other two types are:
  • A citation for an article in a journal from which NLM regularly indexes articles, but this article is on a topic considered outside the scope of MEDLINE®
  • A citation for an article from issues of journals published prior to their selection for MEDLINE indexing and submitted to NLM since late 2003

To search for citations with the [PubMed] citation status tag use: pubmednotmedline [sb]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New NLM Mobile link in PubMed

This is for all you PDA (Palm OS or Pocket PC) users...

Check out the new link, NLM Mobile, on PubMed's blue sidebar. It's under 'Related Resources'.
The NLM Mobile link provides access to a directory of PubMed tools that are appropriate for mobile devices. These include Palm Powered and Pocket PC handheld computers as well as newer smartphones and Blackberry devices.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Database Highlight: provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. The main purpose is to link patients to medical research. gives information about a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. The information provided on should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals. is a service of the US National Institutes of Health and developed by the National Library of Medicine.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Search Filters: things to think about

Search filters are:

  • Fast, easy to use, and good when focusing on ‘best evidence’ or looking for articles emphasizing therapy, etiology, prognosis and diagnosis
  • Not great for all types of searches; very focused on clinical information and, not all search topics lend themselves to this approach
  • Not good for comprehensive searches – sometimes there is way too much information and sometimes way too little
  • great to analyze for potential subject headings, subheadings, and textwords to use in creating your own search filters. They can also be translated for use in other databases.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Saved Searches in PsycINFO

Ah, this one is not at all easy and convenient. To whet your appetite before I tell you how this works, here's a list of the saved searches that the experts at the American Psychological Association (creators of PsycINFO) provide:

Achievement Measures
APA Journals
Attitude Measures
Developing Nations
Intelligence Measures
Language Disorders
Learning Disorders
Mental Health Personnel
Neuropsychological Assessment
Nonprojective Personality Measures
Psychiatric Patients
Perceptual Measures
Projective Personality Measures
Racial/Ethnic Populations
Substance Abuse
"Talking" therapies
Tests, Measures, Scales

So, now I give you the bad news! PsycINFO provides these as text files and therefore each of them must be transcribed line-by-line into Ovid PsycINFO. Save this as a Permanent Saved Search. When you conduct a topical search and you want to apply a filter, click on the Run Saved Searches button. Select and run the appropriate saved search. Then, using AND, combine the result of your topical search with the final set number of the saved search.

PsycINFO Saved Searches

Friday, August 05, 2005

Clinical Queries in Ovid

The clinical queries in Ovid are exactly the same ones in PubMed but they have been translated into the appropriate Ovid syntax.

How you get to them is what's different.

After choosing to search MEDLINE via the Ovid search interface, conduct your topic search. When that's complete to your satisfaction, click on the Limit button (Hint: it's the target icon). Scroll until you see 'Clinical Queries' box. This box contains three possible filters for each category (i.e., therapy (sensitivity), therapy (specificity), therapy (optimized)). The categories are therapy, diagnosis, etiology, prognosis, clinical prediction guides, costs, economics, reviews, and qualitative reviews. Select the appropriate filter and then click on the red 'Limit A Search' button. The results will be posted to the Search History box on the main search page.

Now a word about the 'optimized' category - which is a category that PubMed doesn't offer. Brian Haynes describes this category as "search strategies that best balance sensitivity and specificity".

As with everything in life, practicing and experimenting with these clinical queries will help you determine when it's best to use them and when it's not.

For more information:
  • Finding the gold in MEDLINE: clinical queries. Haynes, RB Wilczynski, N. ACP Journal Club 142(1): A8, Jan/Feb, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Clinical Queries in PubMed

You can find the PubMed Clinical Queries page under PubMed Services in the blue scan column on the left. But if you want a list of all the topic-specific PubMed queries provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Bibliographic Services Division, check out the Special Queries (appears in the same blue scan column right under Clinical Queries).

The clinical queries page allows you to do three types of searches: search by clinical study category, find systematic reviews, or medical genetics searches.

Health services research study categories include appropriateness, process assessment, outcomes assessment, costs, economics, and qualitative research. Click on Special Queries to get to the health services research filters.

The best way for you to get a feel for how these work is to give it a try!

For more information about the construction of PubMed search filters:

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hedges, clinical queries, search filters

If you haven't used hedges, clinical queries or search filters, then you're missing a powerful searchers' tool.

These predefined search strategies are mostly available in databases based on controlled vocabularies but not always. MEDLINE (both PubMed and Ovid), PsycINFO, and to some degree, CINAHL all provide some form of search filters - and of course, each database refers to them by a different name.

Whatever the name (and henceforth my term is 'search filters'), they compensate for indexing inconsistencies, the vagaries of the English language, and different levels of search skill competence.

In MEDLINE, these search filters focus on levels of evidence (RCTs, systematic reviews, etc.), clinical queries (therapy, etiology, diagnosis, prognosis) , or health services research (costs, economics, outcomes assessment). In PsycINFO, filters cover such areas as: achievment measures, attitude measures, neuropsychological assessment, "talking" therapies and more.

How does it work?
  • Conduct your topical search.
  • Find and run the search filter.
  • Using AND, combine the result of your topical search with the final set number of the search filter.
Tune in again for the gory details (PubMed, Ovid, PsycINFO and CINAHL)!