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1

II. Types of Biomedical Literature

a. Tertiary

provide information that is collected and evaluated from multiple types of references and are organized in a useful way

i. Examples: textbooks, lexicomp, Micromedex, clinical practice guidelines

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II. Types of Biomedical Literature

b. Secondary

abstracting and indexing services; allow for efficient access to primary literature. Do NOT interpret the primary literature

i. Abstracting – brief description (abstract) of information with the bibliographic citation information
ii. Indexing – bibliographic citation information only – title, author and citation of article
iii. Examples: pubmed, OVID, cocharaine library, IPA

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II. Types of Biomedical Literature

c. Primary

– introduces new knowledge or enhances existing knowledge on a subject; data are original
i. Examples: case reports, clinical trials, conference proceedings

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III. Systematic strategy to finding literature
a. Considerations when starting a search

i. Type of information needed
ii. Level of detail needed
iii. Availability

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III. Systematic strategy to finding literature

b. General search strategy

i. Start with tertiary literature; then use secondary references to find primary literature
ii. Select and prioritize resources

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III. Systematic strategy to finding literature

c. Choosing the right references
i. Use _tertiary_______ when. . .

• Basic, factual knowledge
• Topic has been studied extensively
• Experts agree
• Ex) hypertention, diabetes

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III. Systematic strategy to finding literature

ii. Use _secondary_______ and primary________ when . . .

• New information
• No expert consensus
• Conflicting evidence available
• Topic needs further study for conclusions to be made
• Ex) rare cancer, looking for a drug that was just approved two months ago

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III. Systematic strategy to finding literature

d. Appropriateness of resources

i. Appropriate
• Well-referenced; evidence-based
• Should be validated or verified (ex. at least 2 references)
• Should be peer-reviewed
• Examples: primary literature, DI Databases (lexicomp,etc), review articles, textbooks, and guidelines
ii. Inappropriate
• Contains no references
• Published by an individual; not peer-reviewed
• Published by a non-expert
• Examples: Wikipedia, Medscape, webMD, class notes, and health blogs
• For class notes, for ex) cardiac changes every year, last semesters note will be different from current

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IV. Focus on tertiary literature

a. Benefits

i. Easy to use
ii. Convenient; familiar to most practitioners
iii. Concise and compact
iv. Usually referenced to primary literature
v. Topic review compiled by expert in the field

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IV. Focus on tertiary literature

b. Limitations

i. Incomplete information
• Space limitations
• Incomplete literature search by author
• Degree of topic importance by author
ii. Outdated (publication lag time)
iii. Author or editor bias and/or errors
iv. Incorrect interpretation of information
v. Lack of expertise by authors

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IV. Focus on tertiary literature


c. Considerations when choosing a tertiary resource

i. Scope of information
• General (pharmacotherapy) vs. specific (the Sanford guide; antimicrobial therapy)
 Example:
ii. Depth of information
• Point-of-care/summary (lexicomp; adverse reactions) vs. detailed (Micromedex; gives your references)
 Example:
iii. Audience
• Consumer/patients (medlineplus or webDM) vs. healthcare professionals (pharmacotherapy)
 Example:
iv. Availability and access
• Print vs. electronic (pediatric injectable drugs) vs. website (lexicomp, Micromedex) vs. mobile app (lexicomp, Micromedex)
 Example:
• Subscription (clinical pharmacology) vs. free (NIH; US national library of medicine)
 Example:
v. Timeliness
• Publication dates and updates
 Ex) 9th edition of a textbook vs 10th edition
 For DI use, use the 5th edition
 Updates; ex) the resources will update the section and let you know