Friday, March 31, 2006

UBC Library Says Goodbye to CINAHL and PsycINFO on Ovid

The University of British Columbia Library has decided to go with EBSCO for CINAHL and PsycINFO in lieu of Ovid. Dean Giustini said, "This will be a shock to some end-users, but medical search has been destablized by Google Scholar and open access journals. Why should libraries pay big bucks for any tool when cheaper (or free) alternatives are on offer?"

What are your thoughts about expensive databases (not just Ovid) and Google Scholar and open access?

iPod and Podcasting Potpourri

I discovered a few interesting articles and blogs on iPods and podcasting that kind of all fit together as a iPod/podcasting melange. (Hospital train staff with iPods. BBCNews) Voicemap software allows hospitals in the UK and Australia to use iPods to train staff. At NHS Greater Glasgow staff are trained listening to iPods on topics like superbugs, moving patients, and coping with violence. The iPods are also being used in operating rooms at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and in the labor ward and neonatal unit at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.

It would be interesting to find out if these training podcasts are audio or video podcasts. Couple this with the increase in podcast programs by medical schools and residency programs that I mention on my updated podcast list post, and you have another method of medical and employee education that is starting to gain momentum in the hospital world.

People have asked me about whether people are willing to sit down and watch a movie/video on a 2.5 inch screen. All I can say is that I think there are willing people. I recently flew to Chicago for a friend's birthday and almost everyone I saw in the airport had some sort of MP3 player. The vast majority of people had iPods, in fact it was more noticeable if somebody was listening to a generic MP3 player. But what really caught my eye was on my flight alone I saw 3 people watching a video/movie on their iPods. Three people may not be a lot, but on a plane just bigger than a crop duster going from Cleveland to Chicago where you can almost touch both sides of the plane if you stretched your arms, it is noticeable. In fact as I tried to ignore the garlic breath of my neighbor, it hit me, there was once a time when I would see a couple people with the portable DVD players (especially since the flight was really delayed and they had plenty of time to go rent them), but all I saw were video iPod people.

However, if you feel 2.5 inches of screen is just too tiny, it looks like iPod is getting ready to release a "true video iPod" where the whole front of the player will be a screen and the click wheel navigation will be touch activated on the screen. (Analyst says Apple's 60 gig iPod 'at risk.' CNNMoney) It is thought that the wide-screen video iPod with Bluetooth headphones could be ready as early as the June quarter. For a concept picture you might want to check out Random Good Stuff's post, New iPod video full screen feature. Granted it is a bigger screen, but somehow if you are reluctant to watch a movie on a 2.5 inch screen, 3.5 inches of iPod viewing space ain't going to be doing it for you either. I will be devising a way to convince my husband (and myself) that I MUST HAVE this new iPod. The Bluetooth headphones mean no more choking myself with the earphone cord as I work out, and so far I am young and nearsighted so the tiny screen won't bother me.

Of course with the spending all this time hooked up to my iPod I just don't have time to read any more. Never fear, with NaturalReader I can convert my journal articles and any other text I need to read into an audio file to listen to. NaturalReader converts text files into MP3 or WAV files to be listened to on iPods, CD players, and PocketPCs. In fact there a couple of programs that can do this such as 2nd Speech Center and Text Sound and Cool Speech. Some products offer a free trial and most only cost between $29.95-$39.95 for a personal version.

Finally, after I updated my medical podcast list, I had a few people inquiring about medical libraries podcasting. Good news there some innovative libraries and librarians looking at podcasting in the medical library. Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries Podcasts are podcasts directed at learning about the library's collections, services, people, tips for making the most of your library. Bart Ragon, Assistant Director, Library Technology and Development, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library is presenting a poster at MLA '06, Podcasting with Purpose: Transforming a New Technology into a Useful Service for Library Patrons. The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and The University of Virginia School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education Program sponsor the annual History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series which are now available as podcasts. Andrea Y. Griffith, Reference Librarian, University Libraries, and Elisa Cortez, Reference Librarian, University Libraries, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA are presenting a poster at MLA '06, Extending Customer Service and Instruction Through Podcasts. Cortez and Griffith look to determine whether podcasting is a "practical and realistic technology for creating online instructional support material for both on-campus and distance education students." I guess this is similar to the Johns Hopkins library podcasts, but unfortunately I can not find a website with Loma Linda University Library's podcasts.

See a nice little potpourri of podcasting to read before the weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

MLA 2006 Local Assistance Committee Blog

If you are planning to attend MLA this year don't forget to check out the MLA 2006 Local Assistance Committee Blog for information.

You can find the latest information on hotels (rapidly booking up), restaurants, etc.

(from the MLA 2006 Local Assistance Committee Blog)

Due to high demand for accommodations at MLA '06, the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Wyndham Phoenix and SpringHill Suites are sold out over Saturday/Sunday nights.

To accommodate attendees, MLA has added a block of rooms at the Holiday
Inn Express, 620 N. Sixth St. Phoenix, AZ 85004.

To make a reservation at the Holiday Inn Express, call 602/452-2020.
Be sure to specify you are with the MLA group. The special MLA group rate is $99 to $109 per night, plus applicable state and local taxes.

Holiday Inn Express is located a few blocks from the Phoenix Civic Plaza and Convention Center, site of MLA'06. (Mapquest shows the distance as .52 miles).

Background Paper on the Subheading Proposed Revision

The proposed changes to subheadings in MEDLINE by the National Library of Medicine has created quite a stir. (Krafty Librarian post March 27, 2006) The Senior Technical Information Specialist, MeSH - Medical Subject Headings Section of the US National Library of Medicine forwarded a background paper on the topic to MEDLIB-L.

(forwarded from MEDLIB-L)
A background paper which also contains the lists of proposed qualifer arrays, qualifers to be deleted with proposed mapping, and alphabetic list of all qualifiers has been made available at

The period for comments regarding the change has been extended to April 14, 2006.

Harrison's Online en Espanol

Harrison's Online en Espanol is now available from McGraw Hill. It is available via desktop computer or PDA.
Some of the feature of Harrison's Online en Espanol include:

  • Fast access to the entire text and images of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Edition
  • Daily updating with recent medical advances, including information from clinical trials, reviews and editorials on hot topics, new trends in therapy, and the latest research.
  • Interactive self-assessment, based on more than 800 multiple-choice questions.
  • An emergency medicine photo gallery to assist with visual diagnosis.
  • Grand Rounds: (audiovisual) lectures by Harrison's expert authors, focused on many new aspects of high-prevalence disorders.
  • Direct links to PubMed (U.S. National Library of Medicine) digital archives providing access to evidence-based information.
  • Free content downloads to a handheld device
For more information go to

Is Athens the Answer for Off Site Access and Hospital Libraries?

Athens is an Access Management system for controlling secure access to web based resources. Many libraries use it to provide secure off site access to their web resources. Athens was developed in the UK and has become a popular amoung many education and health instituions in that country.

It was Patti Reynolds recommendation on MEDLIB-L about Athens that drew my curiosity. Reynolds, the Director of Bishopric Medical Library at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Florida, said, "The Athens format is easy to use, the staff are great to work with, the convenience is just amazing. I finally feel that I have some control over our users and usage. She continued to say that she has had "nothing but rave reviews from our doctors who absolutely love the service."

For many academic libraries, users are usually able to get remote access to the campus network and use many of the library's resources and services. However, many American hospitals do not allow remote access to their intranet or network. Hospital libraries could have a wealth of resources available on the intranet for their users, but since the intranet is inaccessible from outside the hospital, many of those resources are more difficult or impossible to acces. Some resources may be available through user names and passwords, but usually there are multiple passwords for the various databases, leaving patrons to either remember all the various user names and passwords or travel with a cheat sheet listing them. With Athens access users only have to remember one user name and password....their own, the one they created.

As I said this could be quite help for hospital libraries trying to improve off site access to their resources. For more information check out Athen's FAQ

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Top Ten Technologies for Librarians in 2006

OPAL presents Ten Top Technologies for Librarians in 2006
Thursday, April 6, 2006
3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
2:00 Central
1:00 Mountain
noon Pacific
7:00 p.m. GMT

Cost: Free
Duration: Approximately 1 hour

What trends should librarians be watching? What's the next big thing? Join librarian and Tame the Web blogger Michael Stephens for a discussion of ten technologies to be aware of in 2006 and beyond. It will touch on user-centered planning, changes to integrated library systems, conversations, communities, and the Cluetrain. Sponsored by the Alliance Library System. This OPAL event will be held in the Auditorium.

To attend, go to the OPAL auditorium at
Type your name and click enter to go into the online room.
A small software applet will download to your computer as you enter the room. All you need to participate are an Internet connection, sound card, and speakers. If you have a pc microphone, you can interact via audio, but it is not necessary as you will be able to text chat.

Medicine and Health Portal Craze

Dean Giustini's UBC Google Scholar Blog has an interesting post, Google Health and/ or Medicine - Has the Portal Craze Begun?

"Health librarians take note: Google is considering a health portal similar to what I
described here. Adam Bosworth has been appointed chief architect for a Google spinoff known only as Google Health. But be aware - according to sources, we are entering a whole new search era, and this is just the start of the vortal craze."

Do you think consumers or researchers even want a health search engine/portal? Or are they just happy to be using generic Google or Google Scholar to look for medical and health information? Or do you think that there hasn't been a "good" (I use that term very loosely) medical/health portal to lure consumers in great numbers yet, and that is why many just plug away at the traditional search engines? Once a "good" one is created they will go to it, sort of the Internet version of Field of Dreams, "if you build it they will come." Of course there are medical/health portals out there like MammaHealth and HealthLine and I have yet to see any great migration from traditional search engines to these sites. So do you think it might be, "If Google builds it they will come?"

I am not saying there isn't medical/health portal craze, because these sites are starting to pop up like spring flowers all over the Internet. I am just wondering how much of the general public searches them compared to searching regular search engines for medical information. Just curious.

Microsoft CMS

The other day somebody emailed me asking why I did not like Microsoft CMS. I thought I should give my reasons why I don't like the product, so that others who make decisions to purchase these types of products will know why one user does not like this one.

Things to keep in mind. I know HTML and CSS, I have designed many sites using various editors such as Dreamweaver (my favorite) and FrontPage. I use Photoshop and Fireworks to help create a lot of the web page aesthetics. I know some JavaScript and I have had the pleasure (sarcastic tone) of designing and branding an OPAC's (online library catalog, for you non-librarians) web pages. I do not claim to know everything about web programming and design, but I would like to think I know more than the average person.

I do not like Microsoft CMS from an end user designer. I do not work in IT and I have no experience setting it up and working with it from an IT perspective. My experience is from the point of view of a fairly savvy web designing librarian who is trying to create dynamic usable web pages for her library on her company's intranet. The company uses Microsoft CMS so that their whole intranet has the same look and feel.

Each smaller site within the larger site is called a channel. For example the library home page is is a channel to the institution's intranet page.

My frustrations with designing in Microsoft CMS:

It is very similar to a Microsoft Word. In fact somebody in my IT department described it as MS Word for web design (that should have been my first warning). The tool bar is a strip down version of Word. For anybody who is used to using Dreamweaver or even FrontPage, the tool bar is woefully inadequate and doesn't have nearly as many features as one wants/needs when designing web pages. What is VERY frustrating is that the tool bar does not stay permanently at the top or bottom of your page while you are designing. It stays at the top and if you design anything with any length the tool bar disappears and you must scroll up to get to it. This is very poor planning. For example: Every time you want to add a hyperlink you must highlight the word, scroll up to the tool bar, click on the add url button, add the link, then scroll back to where you were and continue where you left off. Just imagine typing in MS Word and the top tool bar disappears as you begin the second page and you must scroll up to bold a word in your document. Now you see how frustrating that can get with web page design.

There is no global search and replace function for channels. It can get extremely frustrating if a link you feature extensively through your site changes and you must update it. If you need to change some text or a URL that appears on multiple pages (channel pages) you must go to each page scroll to find every occurrence and manually change each one. You can easily forget or an occurrence, leading to dead links on the page.

No search box within channels. You can have a search box for the whole site, but you can not have a search box just to search your channel's pages. What good is having a online library web site listing various databases, resources, and electronic collections unless you can search them? Why can't a library have a search box on the library pages to search for books instead of a link bringing them to the library's online catalog.

Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, IM, and flash tutorials can not be incorporated into channel pages. Wouldn't library users like to know about the latest medical news or perhaps classes? How about a nice easy flash tutorial on how to download and upload citations into your citation manager?

Administration must set the hierarchy and delete pages. I cannot delete any of my pages! I can inactive them and make them unavailable, but I cannot delete them. Of course I am still not sure if inactive pages show up in the institutions overall search box. You must get admin. to create your site hierarchy. For example: I create a library resource page which links to two other pages 1. ejournals, 2.ebooks. If I do not contact admin. those pages will be displayed equally on the site map. You can not show that the ejournals page and ebooks page are merely branches of the resources page, admin must set that up each time. (This is kind of hard to explain without seeing, I hope I didn't confuse anybody)

The biggest problem. There is no way to toggle back and forth between the GUI editor and the HTML code. I have yet to use a web editing program that you did not need to jump between the graphic interface and the code every once and a while. There are just times when the graphical interface is not doing what it should or what you want it to. I other programs when that happens you hit a button and jump into the code and fix the problem. Designing users cannot do that in Microsoft CMS. Unfortunately, Microsoft CMS has about as many quirks and bugs in its GUI editor as FrontPage, perhaps more. I can't tell you how many times I have changed the font color for a word (for a heading or something similar) and then correctly change it back to black to continue typing yet the program still continues on in the other color. This is also very problematic when you cut and paste something from another website or within your website. For some reason it treats the pasted selection differently from what you have already typed and you must constantly try and fix the formatting so it doesn't look like you created it with two different styles. You can try and use the Format Stripper button, but it doesn't always help and sometimes it makes things worse.

CSS Styles are interesting if not frustrating. As far I can determine, the only CSS styles allow are font styles. Things like headings, comments, etc. However, I can not say whether this is a flaw within CMS or whether those are the only styles my institution allows me to use.

There you have it, the reasons why I hate using Microsoft CMS. Since I only use this product as an end user designer I can only speak from that perspective. I also do not know how many of these criticism are of the product itself or if there was some customization on my institution's part that created or exacerbated these problems.

I see the need for these types of programs to be used company wide, particularly on an institution's Internet. On the Internet, having the same look and feel for the entire site can be very beneficial and is ideal in web design. However, one design does not always fit every site, and you must make exceptions to the rule. In my humble opinion, if your company wants to have the same design on the Internet and intranet site and if they decide to use a product like Microsoft CMS they should have adequate procedures and protocols when that design/program will not work for a department within that site. Perhaps that department can design their own site to look and feel very similar to the institution's site without using the content management program.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Updated Medical Podcast List

As it gets closer to MLA when I present my poster Integrating and Promoting Medical Podcasts into the Library Collection I have been trying to keep a more up to date list of the medical podcasts out there. It is my goal to have as up to date a list as possible for when I attend MLA. As I mentioned in my previous post from Feb 7, 2006 there is no good authorative resource listing medical podcasts. You have to do a lot of web searching and a lot of sifting through iTunes, leading me to create a list of medical podcasts.
Here is the new link for the updated list

At the list's inception, I originally looked for any biomed science/medical/health podcast. It didn't matter to me whether the target audience was medical science professionals or the general public. What mattered was that I was able to determine who produced/authored the podcast and that entity was somewhat reputable. I tend to err on the conservative side, which means that there were/are probably some good podcasts (intended for professionals or the public) that got left of the list because they were sloppy and did not provide any information, credentials, URLs, etc. that allowed me to determine they weren't snake oil salesmen.

When I first started on this endeavor I found eight podcasts, five months later the list grew to 34 podcasts, seven weeks later I have a list of 52 podcasts. This is growing at rather large rate.

Things I have noticed in a month since the previous update:

  • I am to the point where I need to make a decision and decide whether to focus on podcasts for medical professionals or for general public. The list went from 34 to 52 podcasts in 7 weeks. At this rate I am not sure I will have the time able to look for both types of podcasts.
  • The most recent growth seems to come from medical schools. A lot of programs are podcasting their didatic lectures to residents and fellows and other course lectures. Perhaps this is a result of iTunesU? I don't know.
  • Authority seems to be getting a little better. More places are taking the time to list who is producing or authoring the information or linking to a web site that provides that information. Perhaps people are getting better at listing this information or perhaps I noticed this because there seems to be more academic medical podcasts, and academia always seems to do a pretty good job at listing the authors.
  • Additionally, more people seem to have better web sites with program and content information. NEJM has beefed up their information within iTunes listing the featured articles and interviews. Although it is still miserable to scroll sideways for the complete information. Their web site archive has improved greatly as well, however, it is not easily found off of their main page.
  • More and more sites are offering video podcasts. Still frustrating are the sites (CTisus, ASHP Advantage, etc.) that require you to download images, graphs, charts, etc. to your computer. The whole point of a podcast is that you aren't tied to your computer. Offer video podcasts if you have slides and images!

I hope you enjoy the new list and can use it. For all you have linked to the old list please update it. This is by no means a complete list. If I left a great podcast off this list, let me know about it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cool Tools Update for Webmasters

In my previous position, I was the library's intranet and Internet webmaster. Now with my current position I am forbidden to create an intranet page. Ok that isn't entirely true the region allows me a "site" using their crummy Microsoft CMS (Content Management Server) but I am no longer allowed to "create" web pages. I can't even put a simple search box on my library's intranet page. (Stupid... I know, especially, when you consider that even though I changed jobs, I still work for the same hospital system as my previous position.) Basically, I have a glorified bulletin board serving as the library's intranet page. No blogging allowed, no RSS feeds about what is new in medicine, no IM reference....just a static page with links and no search box.

Fear not. I am still interested what the cool tools are for librarian webmasters. Fresh from the Computers in Libraries conference (CiL) Darlene Fichter and Frank Cervone have a PowerPoint presentation, Cool Tools Update for Webmasters. Fichter and Cervone present some tools for you (working smarter) and tools to help your users.

Not all of the tools might be applicable to medical libraries, for example many hospital library IT deparments probably already have a program/method for you determine the most popular pages within your site. However somethings might work great for your institutions. You will learn a lot by just going to the URL's listed on the slides.

Some things I thought might be cool for a medical library:

  • If you have a library blog, adding a MultiRSS link to your site will allow visitors to add your feed to over 30 newsreaders of their choice.
  • Wink is a tutorial and presentation software allwoing you to create tutorials for software or programs. Wink allows you to capture screenshots, add explannation boxes, buttons, titles, etc. You can easily create a tutorial on how to download and import citations from PubMed/Ovid (whatever) into a citation manager (RefWorks, RefMan, etc.).
  • Are you a medical library that has an Internet page that you want to be used more? Google Site Map Builder helps you generate Google SiteMap XML which you can place into your root directory for Google to index your web site.
  • Would you like to add interactive directions directly to your Internet page? By modifiying a little bit of code you can offer your users a personalized map and directions to your library courtesy of Google Maps.

There are a lot of other neat things in their presentation, take a look and see how it can help you and your users.

NLM Proposed Subheadings Change

Recently on MEDLIB-L (Schmidt comment, Fishel comment) there has been some controversy over the National Library of Medicine's proposal to delete 42 subheadings in MEDLINE. According to the announcement (reprinted by Schmidt), "The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has developed a restructuring of subheadings (qualifiers) within the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) vocabulary. The new, streamlined list of 42 replaces the existing complement of 83 topical qualifiers." Here are the proposed changes (reprinted from MEDLIB-L).

The announcement states that many of the two million daily PubMed searchers are untrained users who did not receive the "intensive training in all aspects of the vocabulary and its use." The reduction of subheadings is an attempt to help first-time or infrequent users have the greater likelihood of a successful search retrieval. "The goal of MeSH continues to be a vocabulary that is useful, reproducible, and understandable."

I disagree with NLM's rational for eliminating the subheadings. I would guess that 90% of the "first-time" or "infrequent" PubMed users aren't even using the subheadings. Heck, I would say that the majority of your "first-time" or "infrequent" users aren't even searching using MeSH. If I was a betting librarian (huh, good blog name) I would say that the majority of new/infrequent PubMed users are doing Google type searches within PubMed. You know what I am talking about, phrases with quotations, incorrect boolean, etc. Considering they are probably doing this type of searching, I highly doubt they would even know that are subheadings. Eliminating the subheadings would do nothing for these type of searchers. In fact if you want to use that same rationale, why not eliminate MeSH. I am pretty certain that many of the new PubMed users aren't using MeSH and infrequent users are often confused by it. I don't care what NLM's goal is, MeSH is not useful, reproducible, nor understandable by the new or infrequent PubMed user, that is why they have generic looking search box that does the behind the scenes mapping of search terms.

I agree with Whitneydt that 83 subheadings is an awful lot of subheadings, and perhaps Cindy Schmidt's own subheading proposal would be more appropriate for NLM to consider. There should be some definite clean up and deletion of some subheadings. But NLM's rationale for this is flawed, unless they have statistics or some other sort of proof to indicate that this change is indeed needed.

What are your thoughts? If you wish, comments may be sent to Stuart J. Nelson, MD, Head, MeSH Section, NLM [email protected] before April 10, 2006.

Friday, March 24, 2006

MLA Bloggers Wanted

I am going to be at MLA this year. But, even though my son says that I am "kind of like a super hero," I have not yet mastered the ability to be in mulitple places at the same time. So, I am asking for help. I am looking for people who are going MLA and who would be interested in submitting their thoughts, opinions, and summaries of the programs/meetings they attend.

It doesn't have to be too formal. Just take notes and email me the brief write up. Last year, Genevieve Gore, Coordinator of Web Site Development, McGill University Library submitted her insights from the MLA Conference. She did a great job and I think it provided a nice insight to the conference for those of us who weren't there.

If you are interested please email me.

Talking with Elsevier

T. Scott was invited to speak to executives at Elsevier regarding library realtions and how the company might improve their relationship with librarians. He as returned from his trip and he blogs about the meeting and his opinion that if things are going to change, it will happen one person at a time.
It is interesting and it illuminates how companies need to keep in touch with their users and reach out to them. I know we all can think of a few companies who could work on their relationship with with librarians.

Go to: Talking with Elsevier

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Harriet Lane Handbook Available for Handhelds

Skyscape has launched an updated version of The Harriet Lane Handbook for handheld devices featuring, new interactive flowcharts, built-in medical calculators and integrated pediatric drug dosing tools.
The Skyscape version of the handbook integrates various interactive tools to aid in the medical professional at the point of care.

These new tools are exclusive to the Skyscape version of the handbook, and they include:
  • Almost 600 built in weight-based drug dosing calculation tools. In a single step users can review a drug, calculate the dose and administer. There is no need for a separate drug dosing program.
  • Iinteractive flowcharts that transform complex algorithms and protocols from static images into dynamic step-by-step decision support tools.
  • More than 100 full color images.
  • Built-in medical calculators providing access within topics to relevant medical calculators including: Body Surface Area: Pediatric; Creatinine Clearance - Measured; Fick - Cardiac Output; Glasgow Coma Scale; Head Circumference: 0-36 Months; Ideal Body Weight (IBW); Stature:Weight Ratio; Water Deficit; and more.
  • Skyscape's patented smARTlink to easily cross-index handbook entries with any of Skyscape's other 300+ medical reference titles.

Skyscapes' version of the Harriet Lane Handbook, 17th Ed. for handhelds and smart phones is available for $39.95. Free trial versions are available, for more information go to:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Harvard medical students learn with their iPods

Once again I am updating my list of medical podcasts and I ran accross this article, Harvard medical students learn with their iPods.

Previously, I mentioned how the University of Michigan School of Dentistry uses the iTunes service to deliver recordings of most of the school's courses. Well, it looks like Harvard is joining the medical classpodding.

According to Harvard Medical School, 68% of the students already have iPods. Since medical journals are already using podcasting, Harvard thought medical education podcasting was the next step. Students can view videos of the lectures online, which are sorted using searchable tags. The tags are added through voice recognition software and allow users to skip specific parts of the lecture. John Halamka, Harvard Medical School's associate professor of medicine and chief information officer, said "It's (podcasting) the education device of the future."

While MyCourses at Harvard Medical School requires a username and password, you can take a tour to see how it works.

New Search and Display Options Available in the Journals Database

(from the NLM Technical Bulletin)
The Entrez Journals Database will soon include new options for searching, an additional display format, and an expanded full format. The new search options are Subject Terms and Currently Indexed in MEDLINE. These new options will be searchable from the Limits screen, Preview/Index, or directly in the query box. An XML format will be available as a display option. The Full display format has been given a new look and also expanded to include the Subject Terms and additional information available about the journal displayed in "Continuation Notes."

For more information go to:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Major Upgrades to EBSCOhost

EBSCO revised the EBSCOhost interface, adding many advanced features: clustering of search results, RSS feeds for alerts, expedited access to full text, grouping of databases by subject for federated (cross-file) searching, alternative citation format outputs, improved personal account maintenance, context-sensitive help, and a new Visual Search option. Some of the advanced features have already appeared in subject-focused subsets of EBSCO's content base. EBSCO has also introduced citation searching for clients licensing its business, communications and mass media, nursing and allied health (CINAHL), and sociology files.

The formal introduction of all the improvements will take place at this week's Public Library Association meeting in Boston. So I would say, look for it also to be officially introduced at MLA as well.

The new features include:
  • Clustering. Users can select up to 10 options in a Result List on the left side of the screen to sort or cluster results. Options include subject, author, or journals and the display order. See a sample view (top right).
  • RSS. Users can convert Alerts created within EBSCOhost into RSS feeds viewable within an RSS Aggregator or fed directly into intranets or onto Web sites, using EBSCOhost's persistent links. Libraries supply the authentication modes for Web access.
  • SmartLinks. Users can reach full-text records quicker through new SmartLinks. The records appear as HTML or PDF documents in EBSCOhost, but the SmartLinks can also reach any licensed subscription full-text records linked through CrossRef identifiers.
  • Grouping of Databases. The Find fields on the Basic and Advanced Search screens now show a drop-down list of databases (a feature once found on EBSCO's CD-ROM services and occasionally requested for the Web). Librarians administering EBSCOhost can also make their own subject groupings with their own assigned names. Administrators can even assign more than one name to a single database. Soon options will include the ability to sort the order in which databases are presented. The "Choose Databases" tab still allows users to name the file(s) they want. See a sample view.
  • Citation Format Options. Searchers can have results automatically reformatted to specific popular citation styles: AMA, APA, Chicago/Turabian: Humanities, Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date, Modern Language Association, or Vancouver/ICMJE. The service works for printing, e-mailing, and saving cites.
  • Personal Accounts. The "Personalization Activity Report" subtab under the Reports and Statistics main tab in EBSCOadmin lets administrators track My EBSCOhost activity, e.g., total numbers of search alerts, journal alerts, or personalized accounts institutionwide.
    Context-Sensitive Help. Question mark icons appear to supply users with relevant help in context. See a sample view.
  • Tutorials. The online help manual carries links to popular tutorials on EBSCOhost, EBSCOadmin, and other interfaces. The 2- to 4-minute tutorials use Macromedia Flash with audio narration and matching screen test.
  • Visual Search. Provides visual maps that use color, shape, and size to enhance the display of categories and subcategories of topics. The top 10 concepts are extracted from the top 250 relevance-ranked search results. Users can click through concentric circled topics and subtopics that carry concept labels. Larger circles indicate larger data content. Links to subtopics/subcircles extend all the way down to square displays tied to specific citations. Users can also filter results by keyword, publication date, and full text. Navigating the maps should take a little learning, but there is a lot of enthusiasm for this kind of visual search aid. See the sample view (bottom right).
An overall view of the new changes to EBSCO host can be seen from their tutorial.

CINAHL Will Be Gone From Ovid

Last week I asked, Where Can I Get CINAHL in 2008? I had mentioned that Ovid sent a letter out to their CINAHL customers saying they were in negotiations to extend their CINAHL contract with Ebsco. Later I had received a call from my Ebsco rep. informing me Ovid will no longer be offering CINAHL after 2007. I was a little confused.

Well, I just received an email from Scott Bernier, Director of Communications EBSCO Publishing, explaining the situation. As his letter indicates, it looks like all of us who use CINAHL must get it through Ebsco.

(reprinted email from Scott Bernier, Director of Communications EBSCO)
Ms Kraft:

I wanted to contact you "officially" on behalf of EBSCO Publishing to offer clarification with regard to CINAHL. I’m sending this email after having read your "here can I get CINAHL" post from March 13, and your question, "who should I believe?". Hopefully the following will answer any lingering questions.

As you are likely aware, EBSCO acquired CINAHL in 2003. Because of this, I can speak from a definitive standpoint regarding the availability of CINAHL via platforms other than EBSCOhost (and more specifically, Ovid).

EBSCO's contract with Ovid (allowing for CINAHL's availability via the Ovid platform) will expire in 2007 and will NOT be renewed. Ovid can fulfill subscriptions processed through the end of 2007, which means someone could technically keep access to CINAHL via Ovid through December 31, 2008 if they ordered a 2008 subscription in 2007. However, because EBSCO owns CINAHL, we have established compelling reasons for CINAHL access to be of more value to users if accessed through EBSCOhost. EBSCOhost CINAHL is a lot more current, due to the availability of PreCINAHL. PreCINAHL provides current awareness of new journal articles, and includes a rotating file of limited bibliographic information (no subject indexing) that is available to searchers only while these articles are being indexed. This enables users to gain access to article citations that otherwise would not be available.

For several months now, EBSCO has provided an expanded version of CINAHL called "CINAHL Plus". Additionally, we have created full text versions of each of these indexes (CINAHL with Full Text and CINAHL Plus with Full Text). Again, these are only available via EBSCOhost.

Additional information regarding CINAHL options via EBSCOhost can be found on the following page:

I hope this provides clarity as to the future availability of CINAHL. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,

Scott Bernier
Director of Communications
EBSCO Publishing
(800)653-2726 ext. 278[email protected]

Monday, March 20, 2006

NLM Technical Bulletin Has An RSS Feed

You can now get an RSS Feed of the NLM Technical Bulletin. If you subscribe to the feed you will be notified when a new article is published on the NLM Technical Bulletin Web site.

For more information on RSS Feeds and the NLM Technical Bulletin go to:

To subscribe to the NLM Technical Bulletin feed use the following URL:

Tagging Medical/Scientific Literature

It seems more and more people are using the social bookmarks and tagging their own personal collection of online things, but the medical and scientific community seems to have a hard time wrapping their minds around use of tagging within their work. However, we are starting the medical and scientific community using social bookmarks as another tool in their research.

Recently Nature announced the release of Connotea, (Nature's own social bookmarking service to scientists) as a way to organize references, share them with others and discover new leads. Well, Timo Hannay in his post, Linking Up Research Papers Using Tags, describes how one can using tagging in institutional repositories with a newly released code that works with EPrints. The University of Southampton's Electronics and Computer Science Department has now put this code on their institutional repository.

As Hannay notes, one of the problems with institutional repositories is that the content can be difficult to locate. Using social bookmarks offers one method finding and retrieving relevant material.

Health Search Engines...Who is Using Them?

A reporter emailed me the other day about an article on health related search engines that she is writing for the Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately because I am a medial librarian (not the average consumer) she is not interested in my opinion (or that of other medical librarians I am guessing) on the resources like HealthLine and Mamma Health. She is primarily interested in regular health care consumers and whether they have used specific health/medical search engines and whether they have found them to be helpful.

I do not have a consumer health library so I don't see that many patients or consumers. My knowledge of whether the general public is using these health search engines is limited.
So I am asking medical librarians in consumer health libraries and public librarians....Do you notice the public using health related search engines? What sort of health search engines are they using? Would you personally direct any users to these engines? Why or Why not? What do you think consumers get from these engines and are they satsified with the results?

I am just curious. I probably have not used Mamma Health or Healthline other than to evaluate them. My health search engine of choice for me and consumers would be MedlinePlus. But do you think regular consumers even know about these other search engines, or do that just "Google it?"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Movers and Shakers

Library Journal just released their Movers and Shakers of 2006 list. It is interesting to see what innovative librarians are doing. The even better thing is that there are some medical librarians listed as this years movers and shakers. Congratulations.

Medical librarian, Merle Colglazier, founded JournalShare to collect donated medical journals and books to ship to many overseas medical libraries that couldn't afford them. Later he developed the PubZilla as an inexpensive way for libraries to exchange or purchase back volumes and issues of medical journals.

Laurel Graham, American Dietetic Association, came up with the idea of Free for All (FFA), a collaboration among medical librarians to provide free articles from the medical literature to “health science professionals in countries whose libraries have been decimated by war and poverty.”

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Google Scholar Incompatible with NLM's Loansome Doc

Dean Giustini mentions how Barbara Quint's article, Google Scholar Adds Pay-Per-View Delivery from The British Library, has raised some issues regarding how doctors will find and order articles. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (in response to questions from the UBC Google Scholar) said they have no plans to work with Google to implement Loansome Doc within Google Scholar.

As it currently stands NLM's Loansome Doc would not work with Scholar because requests are sent to the nearest owning library. The partnership between the BL Direct (the British Library document delivery system) and Google Scholar has had a good response. However, Giustini suggests that despite the fact NLM will not partner its Loansome Doc up with Google Scholar, "nothing is stopping individual medical libraries from making agreements with Google for such a service."

I am not sure what Giustini means exactly. Does he mean that there is nothing stopping individual libraries from partnering with Google Scholar to provide links to their library collection (which some libraries are already doing), or does he mean a document delivery service complete with fees and copyright?

What's in a Name?

STATRef is looking for a new name and they have contest to help them choose a new name.

The best name will be chosen by July 1st and the winner will receive a $1000.00 (US) American Express Travel Cheque Card.

Why are are they changing the STATRef name?
They wish to have a new name.....
To prevent the misperception that STATRef is a statistics product.
To improve immediate recognition and understanding of the product.
To support diversification of our products and customers.

So medical librarians, get your thinking cap on and go for it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AHA Journals, Ovid, and Lippincott....They're Baaaack

Oh just when you think it has faded away, the AHA Journal/Ovid debacle rears it's ugly head.

I have been blogging about this problem for well over a year now (Feb 28, 2005, Ovid and LWW Titles).

For over a year, I asked why can't LWW, Ovid, and AHA (three major organizations)get this issue right and stop the confusion.
Ovid, LWW, AHA Journals Saga Continues May 25, 2005
Lippincott, Ovid, and AHA Journals Continued Problems May 24, 2005
AHA Journals, Ovid, LWW, Highwire April 12, 2005
Access LWW and Online Journals...Must We Use Ovid? March 15, 2005

Why is it that there are still rants on MEDLIB today (March 15 2006) regarding access to Circulation?! I was told by my Ovid rep. that libraries can get access to the AHA journals through Highwire, Ovid, or both.

Then why are librarian's complaining that their calls to AHA regarding online access leads them all to the same frustrating point, "Access to the AHA journals must go through Ovid." After a year of dealing with this problem, AHA, Ovid, and LWW can't seem to educate their employees on the situation! Is it gross incompetence and apathy on AHA, Ovid, LWW's part? Or is it money?

I have blogged previously about how I believe Ovid's electronic journal access, subscriptions, and pricing are quite possibly becoming an outdated method of ejournal acquisition and usage (Ovid and Electronic Journals Aug. 23, 2005). I do not buy an electronic journals from Ovid, unless I am forced to because they are LWW titles. My users LOATHE accessing full text articles from Ovid, they would much rather easily browse and use Highwire. Ovid's system is too complex, has too much going on, and is still cumbersome for the average busy doctor to use to browse and print a specific article (not my words, my user's). I must also pay for concurrent user access to Ovid's journals. What an expensive pain the neck. In most cases it is cheaper to pay for online access to a journal hosted on Highwire and get unlimited institutional access rather than pay Ovid a couple hundred dollars for 1 user license.

After all let's be honest. If the journals were available for the same price directly from LWW's website, we wouldn't be getting them from Ovid.

In the past, before Highwire and the explosion of electronic journals on the web, perhaps Ovid's ejournals were the way to go. With the advent of journals now freely (or cheaper than Ovid) available on the web is Ovid stuck holding the handbag to a sub-product that most libraries are weaning away from? I suspect as more and more journals became available online from the publisher's own website or through a third party (Highwire, Ingenta, etc.), librarians began to drop access to the journals through Ovid. I know we did.

While the number of journals online grew, Ovid should have looked at creating a sub-product that provided access and management to those online journals. After all, the people (and librarians) wanted full text access right as they were searching. Had Ovid created a product to access and manage online journals would we have run to products offered by Serials Solutions and Ebsco? Sure, Ovid did finally get on the OpenURL resolver bandwagon with their LinkSolver and Links@Ovid. But that was too little, too late. Instead Ovid is forced to support access to a third party's product (Serials Solutions, Ebsco, etc.) so that libraries can link to their full text collections (which they were previously buying directly from Ovid). Had they created and OpenURL resolver product sooner and it became the dominant product (like Serials Solutions) then would they have moved their LWW titles over? We will never know.

Scopus Review

(courtesy of medinfo)
Here is another review of Scopus.
Scopus database: a review (free open access article)
Judy F. Burnham
Biomedical Digital Libraries 2006, 3:1 doi:10.1186/1742-5581-3-1
Published March 2006

The Scopus database provides access to STM journal articles and the references included in those articles, allowing the searcher to search both forward and backward in time. The database can be used for collection development as well as for research. This review provides information on the key points of the database and compares it to Web of Science. Neither database is inclusive, but complements each other. If a library can only afford one, choice must be based in institutional needs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Social Software in Medical Libraries

I was recently asked the question, "What would you say are the three most important social software applications for serving patrons in medical libraries and why?"

That got me thinking. Would there be a difference as to what an academic medical librarian and a hospital librarian feel would be the most important social software application? Academic medical librarians tend to have more freedom with their university IT departments to experiment and explore certain web and social software applications. Hospital librarians may not have those freedoms and may be more restricted as to what they are allowed to do by the hospital IT department. Yes, there are some hospital librarians that have some control over their web and social software applications and not all academic medical librarians have carte blanche access, but sometimes there can be a digital divide between the two types of medical librarians which created by their IT departments.

Does this digital disparity truely exsist between the two type of medical librarians and how if so how does that effect their usage of new web technologies such as online reference (IM, VoIP, etc.), blogs, wikis, RSS, tagging, and other programs?

What would a hospital librarian say is the most important social software for serving their patrons? What is a hospital librarian's most important software (in general) for serving their user groups?

What would an academic medical librarian say is the most important social software for serving their patrons? What is an academic medical librarian's most important software (in general) for serving their user groups?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Where Can I Get CINAHL in 2008?

I am an Ovid subscriber. I got this little Dear Ovid customer letter March 1st.

Dear Ovid customer,

For years Ovid has provided you with quick, easy access to CINAHL, one of the world's leading sources of international literature for nurses and allied health professionals; and through our contract with EBSCO, Ovid will continue to accept renewals through December 31, 2007, providing access through December 31, 2008. However, since we understand that CINAHL is a critical piece of your research information solution, we are currently negotiating to extend the contract beyond 2007.

As you may be aware, your Ovid CINAHL subscription now includes exclusive access to the full text and tables of contents of more than 40 highly cited nursing journals (through 2003) from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. In fact, you can't find this full text anywhere else! Plus, you can link to more than 50 free and open access journals via Ovid's exclusive CINAHL Database Link Package. That's full text from nearly 100 professional nursing journals!

In addition to offering evidence-based content from the world's leading publishers, Ovid is a trusted source for powerful information search and discovery tools that give your researchers, nurses, and students unbeatable search options:

* Clinical Queries Tools for CINAHL designed by Brian Haynes, MD, at The Health Information Research Unit of McMaster University to aid in the retrieval of scientifically sound and clinically relevant study reports. (Ovid version only)
*Advanced mapping/suggest feature - Accurate matching to or suggestions of the most appropriate Index Terms in CINAHL.
* 56 searchable indexes - Includes CE Module Information and CINAHLexpress Document Delivery.
* More Full Text Access articles from more than 160 journals!
*Find Citation - Retrieve a full citation and link to an article using merely partial data.
* Find Similar - Select a record and retrieve other similar articles (based on advanced query analysis and ranking).
* Find Citing Articles - Provides links to articles that have cited the CINAHL record.
* eResource Management Tools Using Ovid SearchSolver and Ovid LinkSolver , you can provide an end-to-end precision search solution for your patrons. They can search across multiple resources, refine their search, and link directly to full text.

Ovid also has a wide range of premier nursing full text to complement your CINAHL subscription. Ask your Ovid representative about great offers for nursing collections.

And your Ovid subscription assures you the best technical support in the industry. Ovid's technical services team has received certification as a "Center of Excellence" from BenchmarkPortal, a leading source for customer relationship management (CRM) information and best practices, and part of The Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University. In fact, only 10% of organizations that apply receive this distinguished award. So you can count on Ovid for excellent service when you need it.

Scott MacFarland
Vice President, Publisher Relations & Content Operations

Honestly, I didn't think much of the letter. In fact, I briefly looked at and deleted it (only to dig through my my email trash to find it for this post). Well friday, (March 10th) I received a call from my Ebsco rep. regarding CINAHL. He told me that after 2007 the only way to get CINAHL will be to get it through Ebsco because Ovid will no longer be able to offer it.

I can't help but think, "Thanks for the advance notice, but let's get our stories straight." Ovid's letter implies they are doing standard contract renewals for CINAHL. It does not mention that Ovid subscribers will have to shop elsewhere for CINAHL in the future. Perhaps they hope this is not the case. However my Ebsco rep. made it sound like it was a done deal. After 2007, nobody can get CINAHL unless through Ebsco.

Who should I believe? I realize this will happen quite a bit into the future, but when you have three other hospitals in your Ovid consortia, it can take a bit of time to get decisions and approvals for products.

Top Five Podcasting Articles in Medicine

Dean Giustini compiled a list of the top five articles discussing podcasting in medicine and health. Giustini noted that while PubMed has quite a lot of literature on handhelds in medicine, there is still very little on podcasting. In addition to listing the top five articles he also has a link to his 2006 CHLA/ABSC Conference (Vancouver, BC) poster abstract, "Podcasting: the future of staying current in medicine?"

I am very interested in their poster, I just wish it was going to be at MLA next to my poster, "Integrating and Promoting Medical Podcasts Into the Library Collection."

Top Five Podcasting Articles - compiled by Jeremiah Saunders & Dean Giustini
(Please go to Giustini's blog for the direct link and brief synopsis of each article)

  1. Walton G et al. Using mobile technologies to give health students access to learning resources in the UK community setting. Health Info & Libraries J 2005 22 (Supplement 2): 51-65.
  2. Maag M. Podcasting and MP3 Players: emerging education technologies.
    CIN: Computers Informatics Nursing 2006 24(1): 9-13.
  3. Thomas K. Moveable feast. Information World Review (January 2006): 19-20.
  4. Gordon-Murnane L. Saying 'I Do' to podcasting: another 'Next Big Think' for librarians? 2005 Searcher 13(6): 44-51
  5. Schuerenberg BK. Mobile images music to radiologists' ears. Health Data Management 2005 13(5): 78; 80; 82.

Friday, March 10, 2006

MLANET usability Survey

The MLANET Editorial Board is interested in improving MLANET to increase functionality and access to content. The board is seeking input on enhancing the site from users.

The board seeks to determine how the site is used, most important resources, and future improvements and enhancements. In addition to survey (complete before March 24, 2006), the board will also conduct several focus groups during MLA '06 in Phoenix to gather additional information from the MLA membership.

I encourage all medical librarians to fill out the survey and think about what you would like to see on the web site. Think out of the box and think about what MLA could do to make it the indispensable resource that you just have to check/use on a regular basis.

Cambridge Acquires ScienceDirect Backfiles

(via Peter Scott’s Library Blog)
Cambridge University Library has acquired complete set of Elsevier ScienceDirect backfiles. The collection has more than 7 million articles, and is equivalent to 4 km of shelf space for print volumes. Each title is available electronically from the first volume and issue of publication, complementing the current subscription.

Access to the backfiles is available through a number of routes:

  1. the Elsevier ScienceDirect web site
  2. individual ejournal entries in ejournals@cambridge
  3. individual ejournal entries in the University Library Newton Catalogue

Access on campus does not require a password. Off-campus access requires an Athens username and password.Information about coverage, including links to spreadsheets of titles for each subject area, is available on the ScienceDirect backfile information pages.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Evaluating OpenURL Resolvers

I am slowly bringing my little medical library up to the 2oth century. In one year I have gotten my library collection into an online catalog, activated access or added links to over 200 online journals, and beefed up my library's anemic intranet page. Everybody talks about Library 2.0 and I feel like I am still beta testing Library 1.0. I still have a long way to go to get the library up to my standards, but you have to learn how to walk before you can run.

Right now I am in the process of evaluating link resolvers. I am looking at Ebsco and Serials Solutions. I admit I am a little biased towards Serials Solutions. I fell in love with Serials Solutions as I used extensively at my previous library to help us make sense of the gazillion OhioLINK e-journals available to us.

However, right now I am favoring Ebsco a little bit because they allow you to use the full product during the trial period. I am learning about a lot of things in Ebsco's LinkSource. Unfortunately Serials Solutions, does not allow you to use the full product during the trial period (a serious sales tactic flaw, I might add). It has been over a year since I last touched Serials Solutions. How do I can accurately compare the two products when one product is not the "full" version? I recently took a webinar class to learn more about the product and I discovered a lot of features that I found to be interesting. I also thought some features were cumbersome compared to my experience with Serials Solutions. But of course since Serials Solutions does not give you a full functioning product to play with, how am I to know if my rapidly deteriorating year old knowledge is still good?

Price is not going to be much of a determining factor because there is only $1000 difference between the two products. I am curious to hear from librarians who have used both products, what product they prefer.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Elsevier and Library Relations

T. Scott has an interesting post about the relationship between Elsevier and librarians. He has been invited to speak to 100 senior managers of Elsevier who are hoping that he will be able to say something that will affect the their relationship with the library community in a positive way.

While he thinks financial transparency regarding journal pricing would go a long way to help heal the relationship, he also notes that it might be difficult and counter intuitive in the business world (remember Elsevier is a business and is beholden to its stock holders).

While Scott was writing about Elsevier, I could not help but think of UpToDate and their relationship (or lack of) with libraries and librarians. UpToDate's pricing structure and their corporate attitude of "we don't care if you have our product or not" is really off putting for many. I wonder as the competition heats up for UpToDate if they will have to start some damage control and improve their relationships with institutions as Elsevier is trying to do.

Scopus, World of Science, Google Scholar and Quality

Marydee Ojala, Editor of ONLINE looks at Scopus, World of Science and Google Scholar.

It seems to me you can compare subject coverage, date ranges, interface design, search functionality, number of journals, type of format (citation, abstract, full text), number of hits resulting from a search, and cost. What you can't systematically determine is quality of results. For that, we only have anecdotal evidence. Here's one small anecdote.

Ojala decides to search for herself in both Scopus and WoS and then uses Google Scholar to verify and look at the articles that cited her.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ovid's Database of the Month

Ovid's March Resource of the Month are EmBiology and AMED Allied and Complementary Medicine. These databases are free of charge for the month of March, you just have to register to use them.

EmBiology Comprehensive
Covers non-clinical bioscience literature of more than 2,800 non-clinical biology journals and trade publications published globally. Many titles indexed are unique to EMBiology including 1,800 not covered in EMBASE. EMBiology currently has more than 4 million records with 250,000 added annually.

Click here for more information on EmBiology.

AMED Allied and Complementary Medicine
Covers a selection of journals in complementary ("alternative") medicine, palliative care, and several professions allied to medicine. AMED covers relevant references to articles from aapproximately 512 journals, the majority of which are in English and a large number of these titles are not indexed by any other biomedical sources.

Click here for more information on AMED

Endeavor to Replace LinkFinderPlus

Endeavor announced they will be expanding their partnership with TDNet to offer an OpenURL and non-OpenURL resolver called Discovery Resolver.

Discovery Resolver is a replacement for Endeavor's current LinkFinderPlus product, current users of LinkFinderPlus will be migrated to Discovery Resolver.

Utilizing technology developed by TDNet, Discovery Resolver will provide context-sensitive linking from OpenURL enabled sources to full text sources. In addition, Endeavor customers will will be able to access the company's multi-disciplinary Knowledge Base, which currently consists of more than 100,000 weekly updated unique titles - including eBooks. Additional functionality includes the ability to repair partial citations and the creation of links to resources that are non-OpenURL compliant.

According to Endeavor and TDNet, Discovery Resolver offers a number of new features that have been requested by Endeavor customers.

Improvements include:
  • Ability to handle moving walls and embargos, as well as more complex holdings
  • Support for exposing holdings and link resolving in Google Scholar
  • Synamic A-Z listing of resources accessible through Resolver
  • Ability to export OpenURL citation- to-citation manager packages such as EndNote
  • Enhanced statistics, including Counter-compliant reports
  • Ability to perform basic customizations via a Web interface, such as editing text on a linking screen and adding a local logo.

For more information go to Endeavor:

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hospital and Corporate Blogging

Just the other day (Feb. 9, 2005), in my post Hospital Blogging Policies, I asked whether any hospitals or hospital libraries have created any policies or guidelines regarding blogging. Well, on eHealth (a blog and selection of RSS feeds devoted to eHealth and Healthcare Information Technology by John Sharp) wonders how corporate blogging policy apply in healthcare.

Blogging policies need to be created in health care primarily becasue of confidential information and HIPAA protections. Do the corporate blogging policies by Charlene Li of Forrester or Allan Jenkins apply in this context? Certainly avoiding conflicts of interest and citing sources are expected. Because of the litigenous nature of healthcare, extra caution must be taken. An avoiding activities which might interfere with work, especially for those providing clinical care is essential. So where are the positives of corporate blogging in healthcare? Certainly engaging in a dialog with healthcare consumers makes sense. Inviting comments - maybe. More to come on this in the future as these types of blogs are initiated.

Interesting to see that we (librarians) are not the only ones in healthcare looking at the value of blogs.

For John and others, here are some examples of blogging hospitals.

High Point Regional Health System -Offers patient blogs. The hospital introduced the blogs after hospital research showed that writing helps patients feel less anxious. Bloggs are reviewed to make sure it is relevant before posting it to the hospital's site. Readers can add their comments, patients can write about any negative experiences they have at the hospital, and they can post blogs from home.

Akron Children's Hospital -A blog by Ellen Kempf, M.D., director of the Oak Adoptive Health Center at Akron Children's Hospital, on her educational journey to a Chinese orphanage through this online diary.

WindberBlog- (link on left of the main page) The official weblog of F. Nicholas Jacobes, FACHE -President & CEO of Windber Research Institute and Windber Medical Center.

I wonder what kind of intranet blogs can be done at hospitals. Obviosly a blog from the CEO keeping employees informed would be helpful.
Here are some other ideas:
  • HR blog during benefits enrollment time, or as other policies are created or changed
  • Quality Management blog facilitating the achievement of hospital accreditations and other quality management programs
  • Research blogs where labs share and update data

PubMed Updates

(From the NLM Technical Bulletin)

PubMed Online Training features a 5 minute "Quick Tour" on how to Search for a Journal. Is available on the PubMed Online Training page (on the Tutorials link on the PubMed sidebar) and on the Distance Education Program Resources page.

The PubMed Limits page will soon be redesigned. It will provide an improved interface to limit your search by age group, gender, human or animal studies, languages, publication types, dates and other limits.

New limit features will be to limit searches by full text ("Links to free full text") and the ability to choose one or more selections under categories such as Languages, and a search builder for authors and journals.

For more information go to:

UpToDate 14.1 and Evidence Grading

UpToDate 14.1 has been released and users will not start to see topics with "graded" recommendations. This is in response to a subscriber survey which indicated evidence grading was desirable.

The grading system was developed in with UpToDate's Evidence Based Medicine Advisory Group. Currently only a few of the topics have grades (150), and the recommendations are found in the Summary and Recommendations section. Grades are comprised of two components: a number and a letter. The number (1 or 2) reflects whether it is a strong or weak recommendation, and the letter (A, B, or C) reflects the quality of the supporting evidence of the topic. The grading is subjective and based on the clinical expertise of authors, editors, and peer reviewers. However, they encourage feedback regarding the grading system or about a specific graded recommendation on a topic.

1 = Strong Recommendation, "We recommend..." -Benefits clearly outweigh the
risks and the burdens (or vice versa) for most, if not all patients
2 = Weaker Recommendation, "We suggest..." -Benefits and risks closely
balanced and/or uncertain

A = High Quality of Evidence -Consistent evidence from randomized trials,
or overwhelming evidence of some other form
B = Moderate Quality Evidence - Evidence from randomized trials with
important limitations, or very strong evidence of some other form
C - Low Quality Evidence - Evidence from observational studies,
unsystematic clinical observations, or from randomized trials with serious

In addition to their new grading system, UpToDate offers two new educational courses for CME; Using UpToDate for Evidence Based Answers at the Point of Care (a case based interactive session designed to train medical staff on how to use UpToDate) and Evidenced Based Answers at the Point of Care (an interactive case based session demonstrating the use of a number of evidence based resources, including UpToDate, to solve clinical questions during the course of patient care). Both courses are free of charge to current subscribers (institutional, no mention of individual).

For more information check out UpToDate's newsletter.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Doody Core Titles Looking for Selectors

(reposted from Medlib)
Doody Enterprises is seeking qualified collection development specialists OR subject specialists from the medical library community to serve as final selectors for Doody's Core Titles 2006, the third edition of this collection development tool. These individuals will work collaboratively with the publisher's editorial staff and with up to two other librarians to make core title selections in their specialty areas. The work will take place between March 24 and April 21, 2006.

Specifics of the work flow are as follows:
1. Librarian selectors will be working with an initial list of content specialist-selected core titles in each specialty for which they will be selecting and scoring titles.
2. Librarian selectors will be able to add titles to the list provided by the content specialist and then will be asked to score five characteristics of each core title on a 3-point scale. Finally, each librarian will select what they would consider the "Essential Purchase" titles for a small library.
3. The entire selection and scoring process will done online in a user-friendly system designed by Doody Enterprises staff exclusively for the purpose of getting expert input from library selectors in an extremely time-efficient manner.
4. Library selectors will be acknowledged as members of the Editorial Board of Doody's Core Titles.

Doody's Core Titles 2006, featuring core title selections in 121 basic, clinical, nursing and allied health specialties, will be published on May 12, 2006.

If you are interested in participating as a librarian selector, please contact Anne Hennessy, Editor-in-Chief at Doody Enterprises ([email protected]) and indicate in which specialty(ies) you are qualified to select core titles.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hospital Blogging Policies?

I received an email from a medical librarian asking about protocols and policies regarding blogs and their production by hospital library staff. In this case, there is staff person who wants to do a stroke blog, BUT (the big but) the information management group decided the hospital should have written guidelines "to control or police" blogs from departments or staff.

The medical librarian has done some research and really hasn't found anything specifically relating to blogging policies within a hospital setting. She has drafted a blog policy but she would like to ask if there are any readers out in the medical blog world that already have a policy that she can compare with her policy. If so, she and I would greatly appreciate it if you leave a comment or email me.

Wow, first I want to say I applaud the IT guys for being open to it and also saying that a policy is needed. I can tell you many many stories of hospital IT departments squashing innovative uses of technology and web applications (ironic, I know), it is refreshing to see them be open to the idea. A good policy can help prevent some very bad problems in the future, as many technology corporations already know. Personally, I would start looking for policies and protocols common within the business and technology industries. These industries were the first to look at the blogging phenomenon and proactive companies quickly adopted guidelines. Other not so proactive companies adopted guidelines only after there was a problem.

Once you get some ideas from the business world I would look at the hospital's current Internet guidelines and policies and adapt some of them for blogging. For example, some hospitals have very strict policies about medical information on their web site being always kept current. If you have a blog that contains medical information, treatments, therapies, drugs, etc. you may need a policy saying it must be continually updated or else removed.

This whole issue has brought a question to my mind. What libraries have actual guidelines and policies regarding blogging and what are those guidelines? What companies or institutions (with libraries) have blogging policies and what are they. I see a whole lot of blogs in the academic and public library world, do these libraries follow an established set of guidelines or is it just the personal guidelines of the blogger? Should there be an official blogging policy for your work place, if not why not?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Medical Librarian Blogs

Previously I asked the question, "What would you like to see here" and I got many responses. I am thankful for all of the responses I have received. It was nice to hear your thoughts suggestions.

One comment asked for more medical library related blogs.

"On your blogroll, I would like to see a list of blogs maintained by medical librarians (as opposed to those maintained by librarians in fields other than the medical). Yours and UBC Google Scholar Blog are the only medical-library specific blogs that I know of. I have learned so very much from those two blogs that I would like to learn what other medical-librarian operated blogs are out there."

I looked at my little blog roll and realized the listing of medical blogs is kind of small and needs some updating. However, I am going to be moving my blog in the next couple of months so I am loath to change everything just before I move. So, I have decided in the mean time to list them here in this post for now.

This is a list of blogs created by medical librarians or related to medical librarianship. I wanted only blogs where medical librarians would/could be readers, not where medical library users would be readers. Therefore, I tried not to include any medical libraries that are doing blogs. This is by no means a top ten list, it is just a list of ones that I have found. If you know of a good site add it in the comments section.

One last note, I tried to include only blogs that are still updated. I did list a few blogs that have not been updated since 2005 (noted in the list). It is my small attempt to possibly jump start those authors into publishing again. These were once very good blogs or blogs that seemed to fill a niche and it is a shame to see them slowly die.

Browsing -Things that caught the eye of: Keith Nockels, Clinical Sciences Library, University of Leicester (England - UK). Primarily lists medical news.

DLnet -Digital Libraries Network, for health librarians and trainers in the UK, interested in promotion and training.

Dragonfly -News from the Pacific Northwest Regional Medical Library

The Handheld Librarian –Information on handheld computer news, ideas, and opinions from librarians and others interested in libraries. Not specifically a blog on medical libraries but deals with technologies used within many medical libraries.

The Health Informatics Blog - A blog for the lastest on goings in the field of health informatics. *Last update Dec. 19, 2005.

HealthLINE - A blog for medical librarians in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Hospital Library Advocacy – Resources related to hospital library advocacy: standards and their promotion, making the business case for library services, promotion of the library within the hospital and outside organizations, etc.

Le blog de la Bibliothèque Universitaire de Médecine – French medical library blog.
*Last update Oct. 11, 2005.

Librarian Loose on the Web -medical library blog by a NSW Health Librarian

Librarians' Rx -Items of possible interest to Canadian Health Sciences Librarians
*Last update Dec. 1, 2005.

Library Link -A weblog prepared by the staff of the Moody Medical Library about trends in scholarly publication, information technology and library service.

MDMLG -Blog for the Metropolitan Detroit Medical Library Group, it is for professionals, paraprofessionals, and students who are interested in biomedical libraries.

medinfo weblog –German medical library blog

MLA 2006 Local Arrangements - A guide from the Medical Library Association's Local Arrangements Committee for the 2006 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

NN/LM MAR Blog -The NN/LM MAR blog provides news for Network Members in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania

nn/lm scr blog - items of interest for SCR Network members

Open Access News –News from the Open Access movement

OA Librarian – Open Access resources by and for librarians

T. Scott –Director of Lister Hill Library Of Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, MLA Board of Directors. Not always medical library related, but always very interesting.

:31 Librarian – Items of interest to Whitney DT. Not always medical library related, but always looking at new ways to do things and provide services in libraries.

Tom Roper's Weblog - by Tom Roper, Information Resources Development Coordinator, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

UBC Google Scholar Blog -Blog by Dean Giustini "to observe, document and comment on the evolution of search in medicine"

UMN: Bio-Med Library -Information and Resources by Chad Fennell, Public Health Liaison. Information for University of Minnesota Bio-Med Library and other health/medical information
User Education Resources for Librarians - by Teresa Hartman, McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Wireless Librarian The purpose of this blog is to advance the use of wireless local area networks (WLANs) in libraries. Not specifically medical in nature, but as many hospitals are getting wireless networks, this blog might be of interest.

Women's Health News - Women's health news and information from a medical lbrarian-in-training.

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: