I am a computer consultant with a medium-large pharamaceutical
company. The Drug Safety (Toxicology) department has members that are
wondering about the utility of Internet in general as a research tool.
While Usenet groups help in the exchange of ideas among the
scientific community, my question is what other items on the Internet
would be useful for them. For example:
1) Free-text/keyword searching of medical journals. While
I have been able to connect to the NLM
they seem only capable of handling searches for books, not
for journal articles. (NLM = National Library of Medicine).
Have I missed something?
2) So we have gopher for menu searching, archie that can
locate any file on all these systems, ftp to transfer these
files, and now Mosaic to provide the ultimate in user
interfaces (or so I am told). These are great for computer
jocks but what use are they for the researchers. If they
need new software they can just call PC Support and request
it (never really knowing what software will be ultimately
selected for them). For that matter, if they need a
specific search on an article, they can always contact the
corporate library and request a search (and in a few days
maybe get a couple of articles that may vaguely resemble
what they asked for). Is speed of 'information feedback'
they critical arguement for individual Internet access?
What is the consensus here? What else do the subscribers
here find useful?