Date: May 2000
Creator: Hannigan, Gale G.
Description: Medical educators advocate the need for medical students to acquire information management skills, including the ability to search the MEDLINE database. There has been no published validated method available to use for assessing medical students' MEDLINE information retrieval skills. This research proposes and evaluates a method, designed as the MEDLINE Metric, for assessing medical students' search skills. MEDLINE Metric consists of: (a) the development, by experts, of realistic clinical scenarios that include highly constructed search questions designed to test defined search skills; (b) timed tasks (searches) completed by subjects; (c) the evaluation of search results; and (d) instructive feedback. A goal is to offer medical educators a valid, reliable, and feasible way to judge mastery of information searching skill by measuring results (search retrieval) rather than process (search behavior) or cognition (knowledge about searching). Following a documented procedure for test development, search specialists and medical content experts formulated six clinical search scenarios and questions. One hundred and forty-five subjects completed the six-item test under timed conditions. Subjects represented a wide range of MEDLINE search expertise. One hundred twenty complete cases were used, representing 53 second-year medical students (44%), 47 fourth-year medical students (39%), and 20 medical librarians (17%). Data related ...
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