Friday, 27 February 2009

Getting the best out of search filters, University of York, 26/2/09

I attended this one day course with Louise yesterday, as we both wanted to know more about using search filters in our work.

Carol Lefebvre & Julie Glanville are both highly experienced searchers & developers of search filters and ran the course really well, considering it was a new one, and has quite complex content. Overall, Louise & I really enjoyed it, but felt we needed even more time to spend on looking at appraising filters and learning about translating them between interfaces and databases. Our only complaint was that we didn't spend long enough on the exercise trying out the filters and translating them.

I tend to use quite pragmatic filters in my searching, and do it in a very slapdash way, so to learn that the real way is better was no surprise! But I do wonder how much time I would have to really make use of what I have learned. I do hope so.

We found out about the web site belonging to the InterTASC Information Specialists Sub Group, which aims to identify & share best practice in information retrieval for health technology assessments. The web site is a repository for published & unpublished filters, and Carol & Julie encouraged us to add any we may find in the course of our own searching. It also contains guidance on the critical appraisal of existing filters. It looks like an excellent resource, and I am planning to make use of it in the future.

Sarah is attending the Oxford course next week, and hopefully she'll enjoy it as much as we did.