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Clinical Key

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Clinical Key is probably the largest, most comprehensive product currently available for finding clinical medical information. Elsevier is one of the largest medical publishers, and Clinical Key brings together into one bundled package, with one bundled subscription price and without ownership rights, all of their currently published journals and books for the physician, plus content formerly found in MD Consult, Procedures Consult, and First Consult. This medical content can be searched along with Medline records and information with a Google-like search functionality to yield, for most searches, thousands of results in text, image, or video format. Despite some quirks with relevancy ranking, the search engine usually manages to bring key sources such as guidelines, procedures videos, point-of-care information, or systematic reviews to the top of the results. As a one-stop-shopping site for clinical information, its sheer size and breadth are both its strength and weakness. It does not function as well as dedicated point-of-care tools for their simplicity and ease of use at the bedside. But it does allow a user to search a huge number of quality sources for research and teaching purposes. An overall above-average score for content and functionality were brought down somewhat by the lack of pricing options and library-unfriendly contract provisions.

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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