9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P130 - What do users (students of medicine) know about information retrieval?

The object of this work was to assess how much the students of medicine who make use of Pediatrics libraries know about Health Sciences information resources and how they use such resources.
A survey was made of students of Medical Sciences who went either to the Sbarra Hospital (SH) library or La Plata Children Hospital (LPCH) library from October 2004 to March 2005. Answers were given as multiple choice with the possibility to include non-stated information.
Of the 192 students who were evaluated, 180 attend the Chair of Infectious Diseases, 14 are in Surgery, 12 in Pediatrics, and 2 in Obstetrics. Of the 34 Health Libraries in La Plata, SH Library (153), Faculty of Medical Sciences Library (152), LPCH Library (146), and University Central Library (113) are the most frequently used by the students. 60% of the students think library services are 'good', 64% have attended training events on bibliography research (courses, demonstrations, and lectures) organised by Faculty Chairs (7) or libraries (4). Most of the students (94%) have browsed through the Internet themselves, using Medline (158), Lilacs (144), Google (125), scientific publications (103). Problems that are bound to arise include unavailability of whole texts and searches that result in too much general information. The advantage is that they can have access to quality updated information, otherwise unavailable. 86% of the students do not know about the Uniform Requirement for Manuscript Submitted to Biomedical Journal (Vancouver). Nearly half of them (43%) do not know how to write a scientific paper. 93% of the students believe that acquiring this ability will have a positive effect on their future career.
Free resources including databases, medical publications, and general browsers, are the resources most frequently used. Users acknowledge that there is good quality information however it takes them too much money and time to have access to it and they would need more tools to obtain better results.  
It is of great concern that students who will shortly become professionals are not familiar with the guidelines for scientific papers, as well as the fact that 7% of them think this ability will not affect their practice.