Print

Print


I have had little personal experience using Grateful Med, but I arrange
for other staff to use the software and there is one problem with it that
bothers some users, and would prevent me from using it.  Since the program
was intended to provide economical access to the Medline database for
nonexpert searchers it allows the searcher to prepare a search offline
which is automatically uploaded to the Medlars computer.  As soon as the
search is executed the user is automatically logged off the system to
review retrieval offline.  There is no opportunity to conduct an
"interactive search."  If the user makes an error and hits the key to send
the search there is no chance to change the strategy.  There is no
provision for narrowing or broadening the search except by revising the
strategy offline and re-executing it.  This is fine for a simple search,
but it becomes frustrating as users become more sophisticated.
 
I recently acquired SilverPlatter's Medline on a trial basis to put on our
LAN for evaluation.  As an experienced searcher I find it provides me with
a lot of flexibility.  For novice searchers there is a Guide to explain
various aspects of the database, and there is a Thesaurus of the MeSH
subject headings including a Tree Structures.  There are some tricky parts
that nervous users can get hung up on, but generally, it is very straight
forward and easy to use.
 
I'd recommend that you ask SilverPlatter to send you the product for a
trial period and try it out.  The Grateful Med software is cheap and I've
heard it is available for downloading from the NLM computer over the Internet.
The only hindrance to trying GM is applying for a password which is just a
matter of paper work.