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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary J. Jarvis, B.A., M.L.S., M(West Texas A & M University)
Description: The author traces the background of information retrieval in the health sciences, the most effective methods of retrieval, and research in the field. The first edition of this book, with a slightly different title (Information Retrieval: A Health Care Perspective), was published in 1996, while the second edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: This book provides "an understanding of the theory, implementation, and evaluation of information retrieval systems in health and biomedicine." Each of the nine chapters provides an overview of such topics as indexing, retrieval, digital libraries, and system and user research. The emphasis is on the usefulness of retrieval systems in the health sciences.
Audience: The book has two audiences, information specialists and practitioners, and shows both the most effective ways of doing research. The author, professor and chair of the department of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology at Oregon Health Sciences University since 1990, has made significant contributions to the fields of biomedical and health informatics. His publications in the field are numerous and he has participated in the Text Retrieval Conferences.
Features: "This book looks at the broad field of health sciences information - literature, online journals, clinical trial information, images, aggregations, and other similar areas — and gives excellent suggestions for getting to the best information available. Topics include indexing, retrieval techniques, digital libraries, evidence-based medicine, sources of information, and areas for research and evaluation. Tables and screenshots of web pages are extremely useful. "
Assessment: Because of the advances in online information retrieval since the second edition, this is a needed update, to bring both information specialists and researchers the latest in the best research techniques. It will be kept up to date with the website http://www.irbook.info.