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Advantages/disadvantages of information sources - disadvantages of formal education



Advantages/disadvantages of information sources

|Source |Advantage |Disadvantage |
|Books |Easy to access |Quickly out of date |
| |Scope for greater depth of coverage than |Quality of indexing varies |
| |journal |Time consuming to search/scan |
| |Overview |Expensive to buy |
| |Portable |Storage problems |
| |Familiar |Access to libraries may be limited |
| |Reduced cost if can borrow from library |Heavy |
|Primary journals |More current |Not necessarily an overview |
| |May be available free on-line |Not all titles indexed |
| |May be peer reviewed |Time consuming to search/scan |
| |Easy to access |May not have access to all titles |
| |Portable |electronically |
| | |Problems with peer review |
|Secondary journals |Have structured abstract |Summaries only |
| |Comments from independent experts |Brief results only |
| |Critically appraised evidence |May not have access to all titles |
| |Methodologically sound studies |electronically |
| |Strict inclusion criteria |Don’t cover all topic areas |
| |Clinically relevant studies | |
|Abstracts and indexes |Broad overview of literature |Limited depth |
| |Generally good quality |Abstracts often written by authors -biased?|
|Reference lists & bibliographies |Useful pointers to related literature on |Subjective selection by another |
| |topic |Unclear criteria |
| |Pulls out good quality articles | |
|Supervisors, colleagues, mentors |Personal, specific for your needs |Bias |
| |Easily accessible |Variability in willingness and motivation |
| |Shared interest in quality improvement |to help |
| |Team goals |Priorities may be different |
| |Encourages communication amongst teams |May be large travelling distances |
| | |Time pressure |
|Internet |Very up-to-date |No central directory; information and sites|
| |Valuable/unique information |difficult to locate |
| |Professional networking information |No censorship or editing procedures |
| |exchange |No quality guarantee/not validated |
| |Full-text |Can be slow depending on network |
| |Access to world-wide information |Needs computer and ICT skills |
| |24-hour access |Costs of getting addicted-time wasted? |
|E-mail |Speed of delivery |Attachments can be difficult to deal with |
| |Documents, multimedia clips can be attached|Electronic junk mail (‘spam’) can annoy |
| |to messages |Threat of viruses within attachments |
| |Replies and forwarding of messages handled | |
| |by software | |
| |Private messages can be encrypted | |
| |Active web-page address links | |
|Mailing lists |One-to-many communication |Most people ‘lurk’ during discussion |
| |Subject specific |Require care with ’netiquette’ (etiquette |
| |Free to subscribe between lists |using the net) |
| |Can be set up to receive weekly digests |Amount of messages vary |
| |only |Mistakes sent to everybody |
| |Access to wide range of opinion |Difficult to sustain discussion |
| |Very cheap means of dissemination | |
| |Can be open or closed to public | |
| |Central archives have search/browse | |
| |facility | |
|Bibliographic databases |Very wide range of journals indexed |Not fully up-to-date |
| |Regular updating |Only some have access to full text |
| |Time saving |Bias (e.g MEDLINE=US, Embase=European) |
| |User-friendly? |Reflects publication bias |
| |Free-text (textword) searching supported |Not always accessible |
| |Controlled vocabularies |Sometimes hard to use |
| |Fast/sophisticated search facilities |Difficult to acquire foreign articles |
|Medline/Pubmed |Universally available |US bias |
| |International coverage |Selective journal coverage |
| |Thesaurus-controlled indexing |Poor indexing |
| |Search by publication type | |
| |Quality filters available | |
|CINAHL |Variety of interfaces available |US bias |
| |Subject orientated |Poor indexing |
| |Thesaurus-controlled indexing |Selective journal coverage |
| |International coverage | |
|HMIC |UK bias |Expensive |
| |Specific to health management |Updated quarterly |
| |Variety of documents indexed |May be difficult to access |
| |Grey literature included | |
|Best Evidence |Full text database |No thesaurus control |
| |Inexpensive |Summaries only |
| |Disk includes previous years |Full results absent |
| |Equivalent of paper version | |
|Cochrane Library |High quality research data |Some subject areas under-represented |
| |Free access in UK |Reviews need updating |
| |International collaboration | |
| |Medical and nursing literature | |
| |Well-structured information | |
| |Saves time searching and appraising | |

Why is formal education so important? ”(Smith) Formal education contributes greatly to a child’s development because this is how the child will learn the sciences and arts. It helps people acquire the skills they need for such everyday activities as reading a newspaper or managing their money.