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A new generation of tools for search, recovery and quality evaluation of World Wide Web medical resources

Isidro Aguillo (Head of the Internet laboratory in the Department of Bibliometrics and Document Analysis in Science and Technology, Centre of Scientific Information and Documentation, Madrid, Spain.)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



Although the Internet is already a valuable information resource in medicine, there are important challenges to be faced before physicians and general users will have extensive access to this information. As a result of a research effort to compile a health‐related Internet directory, new tools and strategies have been developed to solve key problems derived from the explosive growth of medical information on the Net and the great concern over the quality of such critical information. The current Internet search engines lack some important capabilities. We suggest using second generation tools (client‐side based) able to deal with large quantities of data and to increase the usability of the records recovered. We tested the capabilities of these programs to solve health‐related information problems, recognising six groups according to the kind of topics addressed: Z39.50 clients, downloaders, multisearchers, tracing agents, indexers and mappers. The evaluation of the quality of health information available on the Internet could require a large amount of human effort. A possible solution may be to use quantitative indicators based on the hypertext visibility of the Web sites. The cybermetric measures are valid for quality evaluation if they are derived from indirect peer review by experts with Web pages citing the site. The hypertext links acting as citations need to be extracted from a controlled sample of quality super‐sites.



Aguillo, I. (2000), "A new generation of tools for search, recovery and quality evaluation of World Wide Web medical resources", Online Information Review, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 138-143.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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