A comparison of World Wide Web resources for identifying medical information

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A comparison of World Wide Web resources for identifying medical information is a 2008 journal article by P.T. Johnson, J.K. Chen, J. Eng, M.A. Makary, E.K. Fishman and published in Academic Radiology.

[edit] Abstract

The objective is to compare the utility of a search engine, Google, with other medical and non-medical, web-based resources for identifying specific medical {information.This} institutional review board-approved case cross-over study randomly assigned 89 medical student volunteers to use either Google or any other web-based resource (excluding Google) to research 10 advanced medical questions in a multiple choice exam. Primary outcome measures were resource efficiency (inversely related to number of links used to identify the correct answer for each question) and correctness (number of correct answers/total number of questions answered). For Google searches, the sites providing the information in question were also {evaluated.The} most frequently selected {non-Google} resources were Yahoo (n = 531), Ask.com (n = 110), and the interactive encyclopedia Wikipedia.com (n = 74). Google was more efficient than all other resources (1.50 vs. 1.94 mean links, P .0001), with no significant difference in correctness (97\% 756/780 vs. 96\% 747/780, P = .16). After a Google search, the four most common categories of sites that provided the correct answer were dictionary/encyclopedia sites, medical websites, National Library of Medicine resources, or journal websites. Yahoo was less efficient than Google (1.90 vs. 1.54 mean links, P .0001). However, {non-Google} search engines were more efficient than web sites (eg, Wikipedia, medical websites) and {PubMed} (1.87 vs. 2.54 mean links, P = {.0004).Google} is an efficient web resource for identifying specific medical information, by guiding users to an array of medical {resources.All} rights reserved Elsevier.

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