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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dolores Zegar Judkins, MLS, AHIP (Oregon Health and Science University)
Description: This book includes general information about searching the Internet for health information as well as selections of specific sites to use.
Purpose: This book is designed to teach good searching skills when looking for health information on the Internet as well as directing readers to selected sites that are considered to be the best sites in a number of different areas. It is "intended as an introduction to finding healthcare information on the Internet ... [and] emphasizes how to search efficiently for quality information."
Audience: The book is written for librarians and healthcare consumers, but it would be useful to any healthcare practitioner.
Features: This book includes chapters on the use of the Internet at the reference desk, searching techniques, MEDLINE interfaces, and subject specific sites. The subject specific chapters include the URLs of a variety of web sites, as well as how these web sites can be used effectively and efficiently. The MEDLINE chapter includes a section on evidence based medicine searching techniques. Sections on evaluating health information on the Internet are repeated in a few of the chapters.
Assessment: This book is an excellent compilation of information on using the Internet to find health information. It is one of the few books available on health information on the Internet that not only lists sites, but also includes discussion on evaluating, searching, and effectively using the sites. The editor does not purport this to be a comprehensive catalog of health web sites, although sites are listed that the contributors think are particularly good. The method of including the URLs within the text in some of the chapters makes it hard to easily use the book as a guide. Also, some of the consumer sites listed, such as Cliniweb, are more appropriate for health practitioners than consumers.