Objective To determine the efficiency of the major bibliographic databases by assessing the percentage of references among the total literature available that can be retrieved from each database.
We also evaluated the best database combinations to carry out an exhaustive search.
Methods BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, NIOSH-TIC, and TOXLINE were searched on two topics : allergy to latex and asbestos and mesothelioma, in the title, abstract, orkeywords (textwords).
This search was performed for the years 1994 and 1995.
All the records were classified by journal and author's name and were verified for each record whether or not it was indexed in each database.
Statistical analysis was performed with xi2 test.
Results 777 articles in 510 issues were found.
The efficiency of each database (percentage of articles recovered) and of combinations varied between 11% and 63% for one database and between 42% and 86% for a combination of two databases.
The reasons why these differences exist between databases, and within a database, between two different subjects or two different years are reported.
Conclusion Firstly, it is not advisable to assert that a bibliography is complete when only one database is searched.
Secondly, the efficiency of the databases may be quite different.
Finally, it is suggested that the best way to be as exhaustive as possible is to search two or more databases for example, in EM-BASE and TOXLINE, or to a lesser extent EMBASE and MEDLINE. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Toxicologie, Environnement, Médecine travail, Exposition professionnelle, Système acquisition donnée, Base donnée, Etude comparative
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Toxicology, Environment, Occupational medicine, Occupational exposure, Data acquisition system, Database, Comparative study
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0431697
Code Inist : 002B03A. Création : 25/01/1999.