The researchers examined the applications of students who were asked to interview for a 2002–2003 internal medicine residency position. They checked publications that were reported on the applications by using several methods. First, they searched a large electronic database of articles that are published in medical journals (MEDLINE). If they did not find the reported article in MEDLINE, they searched other databases and looked for the article in journals that were in the medical library. If they still could not find the article, they searched additional specialized databases and contacted editors of journals and reported coauthors of the articles.