Comparison of Bibliographic Databases in Retrieving Information on Telemedicine

Authors

1 Associate Professor, Department of Health Information Management, School of Medical Management and Information & Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Candidate, Department of Health Information Management, School of Medical Management and Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics and Mathematics, School of Medical Management and Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Medical Informatics Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Abstract

Background & Aims: Some of the main questions which can be of importance for those researchers who intend to perform a systematic review in a field of science are: ‘What databases should I use for my review?’; ‘Do all these databases have the same value?’; and ‘Which sourcesretrieved the highest of relevant references?’. The main aim of this work was the identification of the best database for retrieving information on telemedicine by comparing the percentage of relevant references among the total literature available that can be retrieved from each database. Methods: Databases (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) were searched on the topic of telemedicine and education, telemedicine and cost benefit, and also telemedicine and patient satisfaction. Results of analysis and accuracy coefficient, sensitivity, uniqueness, and the overlap of databases were calculated. Results: The number of studies retrieved from each database varied for each topic. PubMed with 50.7% in accuracy and 61.4% in sensitivity was the most effective database for retrieving information on the abovementioned topics. Databases with the highest proportion of unique records in retrieved relevant references varied between the 38% for PubMed to 3% for CINAHL. The largest overlap in the four databases was between PubMed and the Web of Science (18.6%). Few papers (0.7%) were indexed by all four databases. Conclusion: Our analysis suggeststhat information scientists, librarians, and researchers who want to access the best references on telemedicine should start by searching PubMed. Searching PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, respectively, will provide about 90% of the relevant available literature.

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