The Six Degrees of Medline

Many view the incessant reliance on Medline and other virtual databases in scientific study as a less scholarly approach toward science. Libraries have been transformed into repositories of digital data rather than the printed word, ready for keystroke experiments. Manuscripts published prior to 1966, the limit of the Medline database, are "virtually" (pun intended) ignored. In many cases, research performed by keywords without cogent scientific rationale leads to tenuous threads holding a manus

Mark Smith
Feb 3, 2002
Many view the incessant reliance on Medline and other virtual databases in scientific study as a less scholarly approach toward science. Libraries have been transformed into repositories of digital data rather than the printed word, ready for keystroke experiments. Manuscripts published prior to 1966, the limit of the Medline database, are "virtually" (pun intended) ignored. In many cases, research performed by keywords without cogent scientific rationale leads to tenuous threads holding a manuscript together. However, such database mining does, in fact, reveal a key facet of science today, namely that any two scientific facts or ideas are linked--linked by the Six Degrees of Medline.
Mark A. Smith, PhD
(mas21@po.cwru.edu)

Arun K. Raina

George Perry, PhD

Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH 44106

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