This study compared the usefulness of various CD-ROM versions of International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA) and MEDLINE for pharmacy research. Journal coverage as well as the strengths and weaknesses of database structure and contents were considered. The journals indexed in each database were compared to those identified in a survey of the research journals most important to University of Maryland at Baltimore pharmacy faculty and in a similar North Carolina study rating pharmacy journals. In addition, indexed journals were checked against the Institute for Scientific Information's most recent list of high-impact journals in pharmacology and pharmacy. Searches representing a variety of topics relevant to pharmacy were conducted in both databases, and the number and relevance of citations located were analyzed. Results showed that IPA indexed a greater number of pharmacy titles, but that MEDLINE indexed more pharmacy journals designated in studies as significant to the field. There was little overlap in coverage between the two databases. MEDLINE produced larger retrievals for the majority of questions, but many citations retrieved in IPA did not appear in MEDLINE
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