A study of utilization and proficiency in using online bibliographic databases among students and faculty of the College of Medicine in Al Ahsa, King Faisal University

Tarek Tawfik AMIN, Feroze KALIYADAN, Fahad Abdullah Al WADANI


Context: Medical informatics education is becoming increasingly relevant for maintaining the quality of health care. There are few studies that have addressed the utilization and proficiency of using online bibliographic databases among medical faculty and students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Aims: To assess the pattern of use, proficiency and training needs related to online bibliographic databases among both medical students and faculty at College of Medicine, under King Faisal University, Al Ahsa.
Methods and Material: A cross-sectional survey study targeted all teaching faculty and medical students from third year onwards. Response rate was 69.9% (236/376) among medical students and 84.6% (66/78) for the faculty
Results: Eighty six percent of faculty and 71.1 % of students had used online databases in the previous year. Frequency of use for literature searching among faculty was 6-10 times /year in 23.1%, > 10 times/year in 53.8%.For students 38.9% had used online databases 1-5 times in the last year and 18.6% used it 5-10 times in the previous year.
Conclusions: In spite of easy access to the online databases, the proficiency of use is low among medical students in our institution. Both students and faculty need training for optimum use of online databases.


Electronic bibliographic databases; Literature searching; PubMed; Medical students

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