Selective use of online literature searching by a drug information service

L. C. Knodel, N. F. Bierschenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The use of online searching in a drug information center on a regular but selective basis is described. Of 90-100 information requests received monthly in a university-affiliated drug information center located within the health sciences library, five to eight computer searches are performed. All other questions are answered using a manual search. The computer searches are conducted by a medical librarian who works closely with the pharmacist. For each search, the library charges the drug information center for at least 12 minutes of connect time; charges over the library's direct costs only. The drug information center is staffed by a director and assistant director; in addition, Pharm. D. students and clinical pharmacy residents work there. Factors influencing the decision to do an online rather than a manual search include budgetary constraints, how quickly an answer is needed, the success of a preliminary manual search, and the complexity of the request. Considerations for conducting online searches through a library rather than by the staff of the drug information center include requisite search skills, costs, and accessibility to computer search services. The selective use of online searches through a health sciences library is a viable means of accessing online information in a drug information center than cannot support its own online literature-retrieval system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-259
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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