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Open Access Research article

A survey of the use of electronic scientific information resources among medical and dental students

Kalle Romanov* and Matti Aarnio

Author Affiliations

Research & Development Unit for Medical Education, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 63, FIN 00014, Helsinki, Finland

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BMC Medical Education 2006, 6:28  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-28

Published: 9 May 2006



To evaluate medical and dental students' utilization of electronic information resources.


A web survey sent to 837 students (49.9% responded).


Twenty-four per cent of medical students and ninteen per cent of dental students searched MEDLINE 2+ times/month for study purposes, and thiry-two per cent and twenty-four per cent respectively for research. Full-text articles were used 2+ times/month by thirty-three per cent of medical and ten per cent of dental students. Twelve per cent of respondents never utilized either MEDLINE or full-text articles. In multivariate models, the information-searching skills among students were significantly associated with use of MEDLINE and full-text articles.


Use of electronic resources differs among students. Forty percent were non-users of full-text articles. Information-searching skills are correlated with the use of electronic resources, but the level of basic PC skills plays not a major role in using these resources. The student data shows that adequate training in information-searching skills will increase the use of electronic information resources.