Not just another search engine! NERVLINE is a system of organizing articles by keyword tags. Over 25,000 peer reviewed clinical journal articles of neurologic relevance are indexed from a proprietary thesaurus with over 16,000 entries. Distinct from other search engines, this database is cross referenced by our various software products to provide differential diagnosis and literature search in clinical neurology.
A recent article in the BMJ on the use of Google as a diagnostic tool used 26 test cases and claimed a 60% success rate, but in neurologic cases this dropped below 30%. Closer examination by NERVLINE personnel showed that a combination of too many search terms, search terms that were too general for the specialty and too much information returned by Google, contributed to the decreased performance. When searches were repeated, by a Neurologist using NERVLINE with two term pairs derived from the original article, a 70% success rate was achieved.
Based on our observations from the BMJ article and an examination of Google search patterns we have established that the best search practices use the following rules:
- Use no more than two search terms on the initial search. Extra terms mean that your results are filtered on what might be insignificant information. Limit your input to the two most unique factors.
- If the results generated by the initial two terms are too broad, filter from within the results. Choosing terms from within the initial search will further focus the results in a relevant direction.
- Use the right tool for the job. Google Scholar uses peer reviewed sources as opposed to the general Google, which searches all sites, will return more extraneous information. Similarly NERVLINE will return only information relating to clinical neurology.