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On-line Data Bases

Mark Toups, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(4):857. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350160227042.
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To the Editor.  —I agree with Haynes et al1 that the physician is faced with massive amounts of published materials. Vendors such as Dialog, Knowledge Index, BRS (Bibliographic Retrieval Service) Colleague, and BRS After Dark have provided data bases like MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica, and Biosis. I have used the on-line data bases for two years and have found, as you suggested, that the cost has been reasonable, the systems user friendly, and information immediately available. The searches may be done at anytime and retrieval of abstracts may be done on-line. Textbooks, eg, Scientific American Medicine, and the newsletter, The Medical Letter, will hopefully be on-line soon. There are now several reviews of the vendors and data bases.2-6 The medical librarians in our region have been supportive, and at a recent convention of the South Central Region of Medical Librarians, they considered the topic of on-line searching by end


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