Google Has a Future in Medicine, According to UBC Librarian

Internet juggernaut Google has customized its search functions for images, blogs, podcasts, mail-order catalogs, maps, and, controversially, books and academic research. So why not evidence-based medicine?

That is what Dean Giustini, biomedical branch librarian at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) wants to know. "Doctors around the world spend a great deal of time talking about evidence," says Giustini. "But they can't find it."

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Google & Medicine

Internet juggernaut Google has customized its search functions for images, blogs, podcasts, mail-order catalogs, maps, and, controversially, books and academic research. So why not evidence-based medicine? That is what Dean Giustini, biomedical branch librarian at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) wants to know.

Why do library professionals keep defaulting to Google to meet the needs of our users? Have we moved past the time where librarians understood information organization and utilization and created appropriate resources? I have no problem with Google, since I use it myself a lot. But, do we really need to sit back and wait for Google to design all our tools?

We also lose all authority controls if we rely totally on Google. Google, at least now, does not assign subject headings, which has been very important in all medical-related searches I have done. Also, when do we need to start worrying that doctors or medical researches start accepting everything they find in Google and not using the controled databases like Medline?

Cough..please wait I am going to look in Google.

Why not a GoogleMed?

I agree on those points entirely. Still, there are some "lost" early treasures on the Google site, namely those special indexes that cover colleges and universities, etc. Google calls them "Special Topics," see http://www.google.com/options/specialsearches.html so Medicine would quality. I've wondered why they aren't doing "more" of these trees and branches. It would be http://www.google.com/medicine and could work via an enhanced index and algorithm to tweak PageRank or other key "secret sauce" to provide the most cited, most linked, and validated information.I think it may be something Google could do. And, other companies or enterprises could attempt something similar today. The whole Web is there; the Invisible Web is there, too. It's all open (except the proprietary "Deep Web") to indexing and parsing by anyone.Best,DrWeb

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