NEWS

African postgraduate doctors regularly use free online journals

Medical researchers and doctors in training regularly use online journals, even if they have to do so from their local internet cafe, according to new research published in BMC Health Services Research.

A research team from five countries in Africa and the UK surveyed over 300 postgraduate doctors and research scientists to determine their use and awareness of online medical information and free-access initiatives. They discovered that 66 per cent had used the internet for health information in the last week, although text books were still the main information source for 70 per cent of respondents.

Most postgraduate doctors had heard of PubMed (90 per cent) and the BMJ website (78 per cent) but fewer had heard of the Cochrane Library, BioMed Central or the World Health Organization’s HINARI initiative. Users also reported problems with getting passwords from their librarians in order to use HINARI and other password-controlled services. The use of PubMed without a password was popular.

The authors of the paper 'Access to electronic health knowledge in five countries in Africa: a descriptive study' (in press) added that power interruptions and inadequate computing facilities continue to limit online journals’ use in Africa and awareness of free access to journals remains variable.

Twitter icon
Google icon
Del.icio.us icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Feature

As scholarly publishing edges closer to open access, industry players are devising radical ways to cut costs. Rebecca Pool reports

Feature

The need to organise information efficiently and reliably is more important than ever, argues Allan Gajadhar

Feature

The scholarly publishing community will descend on the ExCeL Centre for a two-day event in December, writes Clive Snell

Interview

Pinar Erzin is founder and president of Accucoms

Feature

 Suzanne Kavanagh, director of marketing and membership services at ALPSP, outlines what delegates can expect at their annual conference this September