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Medlibbers -
I have an addendum and a question to add to Paul's worthy
commentary on the quality of free services:
 
I have been offering the anesthesiologists an SDI service using Medline
interactive searching. They have been enthusiastically receptive to my
efforts. With the recent contract dispute at NLM I have been attempting
to keep up with the current literature using Carl UnCover. It is a great
stopgap source. It is *not* a great tool for downloading a bibliography.
I have spent hours trying (unsuccessfully) to clean up the screen dumps
in an attempt to present a decent updated list of citations from my
normal six-journal summary of recent literature. I just don't have the
time.
 
So I'm about to spend the big bucks - will concede temporary (I hope)
defeat and to to Excerpta Medica on the Ovid service and get the
high-quality, high-speed printout that my time-stressed responsibilities
require.
 
Does anyone else have an alternative to this strategy?
 
As an aside - whenever the physicians remark upon the excellence of the
PO database, I do point out that the search engine leaves a bit to be
desired. But I think it is *great* that some of them do their own
searches. They know exactly what they want. Cann weed out the chaff
themselves. When they want or need a comprehensive search, I'm certain
that by examining the contents of the journal articles they order via our
ILL services they will realize that their retrieval was not anywhere near
100% of relevant articles. That is where our roles as educators will come
into play. But, in the meantime, we can turn our attention to serving
those without computer skills and the load on a severely overburdened
system is lightened jus a bit.
 
Just my $2.00.
 
Cheri Smith, MLS
Carroll County General Hospital
Westminster, MD 21157
[log in to unmask]
 
On Fri, 26 Apr 1996, Paul Blobaum wrote:
 
> Even IF aol, or POL, or whoever offer "free" access to medline,  so what??
> the search engines are trash!  I had a resident come in the other day with
> over 30 article requests which he got from CARL Uncover's free telnet
> site.   He was raving over how much "better" it was than medline.  Well,
> perhaps CARL is more speedy in indexing journals than medline, but its
> like comparing a Rolls Royce with a skateboard.
>