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Awareness, use and opinions of methodological search filters used for the retrieval of evidence-based medical literature

Jenkins, Michelle and Johnson, Frances C. (2004) Awareness, use and opinions of methodological search filters used for the retrieval of evidence-based medical literature. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 21 (1). pp. 33-43. ISSN 1740-3324

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the level of awareness of methodological search filters among health and academic librarians in the UK and Ireland, their use of filters and views on the perceived benefits, limitations and ways to increase usage of search filters. A random proportional sample of health and academic librarians were surveyed by telephone and fax. Overall, 88% (196/224) completed the telephone survey to establish awareness and use of filters. Eighty-four per cent (51/61) completed a fax survey focusing in more depth on usability issues surrounding filters. Results indicate a high level of awareness of methodological filters, but low level of usage. Furthermore, a high level of awareness did not necessarily correlate with a high level of knowledge or understanding. Examination of responses revealed limitations and recommendations beyond those reported in the literature and highlights the relationship between understanding and effective use of filters. Improved dissemination and publication of filters is required to better inform librarians on the concept of filters and how to use them effectively.

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