Friday, June 30, 2006

Haworth Press Offices Flooded

Haworth Press offices are located in Binghamton, New York near the Susquehanna river where recent rains have caused flooding throughout the Northeastern United States.

An email sent to SERIALST from Bill Cohen, Publisher & President of Haworth Press describes the situation.

"All electricity in Binghamton is shut down because of the floods. Our computer had battery-backup, but the telephone lines collapsed and the computer powered down. I doubt
if the T-1 lines would have worked anyway. We are now pumping out the water, and have arranged for office space on higher ground. Our server should be back in operation in several days. We are searching for better catastrophe planning. In addition to an automatic a gas generator & gasline supplies, we will see if a "dish" operation could continue internet service
in a natural disaster in the future."

No Posts Monday and Tuesday

Due to the 4th of July holiday weekend, I will not have any posts Monday or Tuesday. Have a good weekend. :)

Conference Blogging

As some of you might know ALA's conference is in New Orleans right now. The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) blog has a group of volunteers who are blogging about sessions, topics of interest, and other events at ALA.

It is a great conference blog. There is a schedule with a list of programs for the volunteer bloggers to sign up and cover. However, bloggers are not restricted just to that schedule. They are welcome to blog on other programs and multiple blog entries on an event is acceptable.

For more information take a look at their very nice conference blog and see what an organization can do.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

RSS Feeds and Medical Libraries

Tame The Web: Libraries and Technology by Michael Stephens has a long but interesting (and long) post of how a medical librarian is using RSS feeds for current awareness search for physicians.

I think it is great that this medical librarian is utilizing new technologies to help and serve our patrons. Too often we read and see new technologies but we wonder how it applies to libraries or specificially medical libraries. I think there are three types of people in the world. The visionaries, those who actually created blogging technologies, RSS feeds, podcasts, etc. They are often on the bleeding edge of technology and are the orginial adopters of those technologies. The adapters, those who can see the emerging technology and create a use for it that can be easily applied other technologies, situations, and life. They are the ones who often make that all important connection betweent the technology and its practical use in medical libraries (or business or education). Finally, the implementors are the ones who take the information or application and install it or implement it into their workplace. Some people are more of one type of person than another, but the beautiful part is that the world needs all three types of people.
However, there are a few bones I have to pick about this issue (not with Michael Stephens nor the medical librarian). Specifically, with RSS feeds and full text. The medical librarian specifically mentions signing up the doctor for Google Reader. I checked out Google Reader and Bloglines (my own feed reader) and I am still unimpressed with how PubMed citations are displayed in the RSS feeds. There are some links to the full text of the article, BUT the library LinkOut icons DO NOT come over in the feed. Only the publisher's icons are displayed. This is not good. As you know medical libraries have multiple ways of providing the full text of an article to their users. For example Lippincott Williams and Wilkins journals are NOT available from LWW's site to institutional subscribers. Institutional subscribers must access those journals through Ovid. Most of your library users are going to click on the full text icon from the publisher (because the library icon isn't there) and be disappointed when they are met with a message to pay for the article. Worse yet some might pay!

The answer to this is NOT to have the user just email the wanted article citation to the library staff to get. That is not a technological advancement that is a step backwards. That is just like the user doing a PubMed search and then emailing the library for all of their articles when the full text is available with just a click of a mouse. The library icons should be right there next to the publisher icons so that the user never needs to ask the library for the full text. The only time the user should need to ask for the library's help is when the article is not available.

Inquisitive users and librarians will note that in Bloglines users just have to click on the title of the citation and are brought to the actual PubMed citation where the library LinkOut buttons are displayed. In Google Reader, users can click on the citation title or "show orginal item" and are also brought to the PubMed citation with LinkOut buttons. But the fact is most users aren't going to do that, they will most likely click on the publisher's icon to get the full text. If the publisher's icons can come into the feed reader with the citations then the library LinkOut buttons should as well.

I am slightly bothered to promote RSS feeds when PubMed email alerts allow my users quicker and easier access to the article. They LIKE not asking for articles we own. They LIKE clicking on the LinkOut icon and immediately seeing the full text of the article. I know some of my users would be extremely disappointed with RSS feeds because they wouldn't be able get the full text of the article. To them that would offset and benerfits they might get with using a feed reader.
We are almost there. We are so close we can taste it. But we need RSS feeds from PubMed to include the library links to full text, or else we won't be able to provide the seemless access to full text imformation that many of our users want.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Stroke Guidelines

The YSN Library blog reports on the new American Heart Association and American Stroke Association stroke prevention guidelines. The guidelines now advise physicians take a "patient-oriented approach to stroke prevention," which is a change from previous guidelines advocating a population-based approach.

The guideline published in the June issue of Stroke is:

Primary Prevention of Ischemic Stroke: A Guideline From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council: Cosponsored by the Atherosclerotic Peripheral Vascular Disease Interdisciplinary Working Group; Cardiovascular Nursing Council; Clinical Cardiology Council; Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism Council; and the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group: The American Academy of Neurology affirms the value of this guideline. Larry B. Goldstein, Robert Adams, Mark J. Alberts, Lawrence J. Appel, Lawrence M. Brass, Cheryl D. Bushnell, Antonio Culebras, Thomas J. DeGraba, Philip B. Gorelick, John R. Guyton, Robert G. Hart, George Howard, Margaret Kelly-Hayes, J.V. (Ian) Nixon, and Ralph L. Sacco Stroke 2006 37: 1583 - 1633

DOCLINE 2.8 Action Items

DOCLINE 2.8 was released yesterday. There are some action items (LinkOut and Loansome Doc) that NLM suggests following. For more information go to the DOCLINE 2.8 Action Items information page or check out the DOCLINE 2.8 post on Dragonfly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

No Posts Monday and Tuesday

No posts for Monday 6/26 and Tuesday 6/27. I will be in the sweat box of city known as St. Louis to visit my family and to take my son to his first major league baseball game to watch the Cleveland Indians play the St. Louis Cardinals. Thankfully, I just saw that Albert Pujols played yesterday against the White Sox, so hopefully he is off the DL and we will get a chance to see him. Go Cards!

AbstractPlus on PubMed

NCBI and NLM have launched AbstractPlus on PubMed. The look is a little cleaner and fresher. Perhaps the rest of the PubMed site will evolve to this new look (who knows, pure speculation on my part). Dean Giustini did a sample search on his blog, just click on the Display pulldown box and highlight AbstractPlus.

There are already some comments from some medical librarians floating around Medlib-l, so far the main concern seems to be over the location of the publisher and library full text icons. The publisher icon is on the right side of the citation and the library icon is at the very bottom of the citation, below the abstract. I have to agree with the other librarians on Medlib-l, this is a bad arrangement. The library icons should be "above the fold" as the newspaper industry says. It should not be lost below the abstract. I think it would be nice if it was located just left of the publisher's icon. That way users get the idea that you want to go the library's access before you try the publisher.

As with all new designs things take a little tweaking to get right, hopefully those in charge will take note.

Any other critiques or design changes you see that need some changing?

News on UpToDate

(courtesy of UpToDate newsletter)
Soon you will begin to see new material in UpToDate on three new specialties: Emergency Medicine (adult and pediatric), Allergy and Immunology, and Neurology.
Individual subscribers will notice some changes in the CME system. Individual subscribers will be able to request CME credits online and print an electronic copy of their certificate They will also be changing the way CME credits are earned based on AMA guidelines.

If you are using UpToDate on CD-ROM it is important to note what computer you are running the program on. Soon, older operating systems such as Windows 98, Windows ME, Mac OS8, Mac OS9, and computers with limited memory or processing power will not be able to run UpToDate.

New enhancements have been made to the PocketPC version of UpToDate. The new version includes: 8,000 images have been added brining the number of images to 19,000 (the same as CD-ROM and online users) and a new Lexi-Comp search interface is available.

Palm users will be happy to know they are currently beta testing a version of UpToDate for the Palm operating system. The new version will work with LifeDrive, Palm TX, and Treo 650 models.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another Medical Library Blog

The Greater Midwest Region has transitioned from their newsletter to blog on the website. The Cornflower, the Blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region can be found online at:
Like ESources, The Cornflower features news and articles on topics of interest to members of the GMR.
Earlier issues of ESourcesand its predecessor, 3Sourcesare available in the newsletter archive:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

PubMed and LinkOut

While I am a die hard Ovid Medline user, I use PubMed as well. I use PubMed and Ovid just like my cars. I know how to drive a stick shift and automatic and I choose which I want to drive depending on my mood and type of trip (weather, distance, rush hour, fuel economy, etc.) So while I choose to use Ovid Medline for some things, I am also quick to jump on PubMed for other things.

Yesterday I took "Making PubMed Work for You " CE class taught by Holly Burt. It was a great class for to refreshing my PubMed skills re-familiarizing myself with My NCBI.

One of the tips I learned was how to use My NCBI's alert service to send TOC alerts to my users. The only thing I could not figure out was how to preserve the LinkOut links so that when the email comes to my users they can easily and quickly click on the link to get the article.

While working on this I noticed a bizarre problem with my institution's LinkOut. Some of my journals that I correctly set up in LinkOut are not displaying the online full text icon when I search for articles.

For example:
New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA are set up in my LinkOut holdings to display the online full text icon. My LinkOut Utility shows both journals 1998-2005 through Ovid, and 2006-present through Highwire Press. However, when I do a search (using our institution's PubMed URL) I only get the online full text icon for JAMA articles NOT NEJM articles.
At first I thought this might be a problem with NEJM providing information to PubMed. To check this I did the exact same search using another library's PubMed URL. Guess what, their online full text icon shows up both on NEJM and JAMA.

Now why does it not do display the icon for my institution. I double checked my settings in LinkOut Utility and there is no problem they should be displaying the icon for those journals from 1998-present. Both journals have the exact same set up, yet only one displays the online full text icon. That is when I discovered this is more than just a problem with NEJM, some of my other journals have this problem. For some reason some of my journals display the online full text icon, and others do not. Very frustrating.

I sent an email to LinkOut customer service, but their response was less than helpful and just as frustrating.

(LinkOut customer service email)
Please see:
Why are there no full-text links for this journal?
For each journal, you can check LinkOut available providers at:

Thank you for your interest in NLM products and services.

Uh, guys you didn't really read my help email. The first URL you provide talks about the provider not participating in LinkOut which is NOT the case with NEJM. NEJM is a provider as shown on your list which your second URL provides.

While I am waiting to here back from LinkOut customer services, does anybody have any ideas as to why this is happening?

Do Physicians Use Practice Guidelines

There is an interesting article in the Psychiatric Times, Do Physicians Use Practice Guidelines. For the past 25 years clinincal practice guidelines have been considered to be the gold standard of care for physicians to treat patients. However, are doctors using these guidelins when they are treating their patients?

This article looks at the barriers physicians encounter to using clinical practice guidelines, possible problems with quality of the guidelines themselves, and finally resolving the barriers to clinical practice guideline use.

Some statistics you might find interesting:
  • In a survey of 1878 Canadian physicians, only 52% resported they used practice guidelines at least once a month.
  • More than 25% of those Canadian physicians had concernse over the guidelines' source and that they were too rigid.
  • A survey of 34 general practioners in England found that some physicians did not think the data used for the guideliens applied to their patients.
  • Other reasons for not using practice guidelines were they were thought to be outdated, lack of ownership toward the guidelines, lack of knowledge about the guidelines, or financial pressures made treatment using the guidelines a low priority.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Search engines increase online journal use more than open access

The UBC Academic Search Google Scholar Blog, brought my attention to the article in June 10th BMJ, Search engines increase online journal use more than open access (not free, subscription required), BMJ 2006;332:1353.

While open access publishing does increase readership and usage, Researchers at the Center for Publishing at the University of College London, say that online search engines increase the usage more.

The researchers followed one specific journal, Nucleic Acids Research, between January 2003 and June 2005. In June 2003, Oxford University Press (publisher of the journal) allowed search engines and robots (Google, Yahoo, etc.) to access their website. The journal saw a 143% rise in usage from 2003 to 2005. According to the publishers the introduction of the open access publishing (in January 2005) only showed a 19% increase in usage.

Ok I have no doubt that opening your site up to search engines and robots will increase your site's usage, I do doubt the the actual percentage of increase.

Oxford opened up the journal's site to search engines in June 2003 and the difference in usage from Jan 2003 to May 2003 was compared to June 2003 through June 2005. According to the researchers open access publishing did not begin with Nucleic Acids Research until January 2005. However, they stopped monitoring usage after June 2005. Now I am not a statistics guru but wouldn't you think that one should compare data the first six months of the search engine data to only the first six months worth of open access data? Compare like to like. Comparing almost two years worth of data to 6 months worth of data just doesn't seem right.

This is a very brief article, and there is not much information on their methods for tracking the usage other than that they used a "deep log analysis" which collected "digital fignerprints of users specific internet sites" to track usage. It would be interesting to read more about their methods to learn more about importance of these statistics.

eBooks announced that 11 new publishers will make their content available to libraries as a subscription. The new publishers are: Demos Medical Publishing, Facts on File (perpetual access only), Helicon Publishing, Hentzenwerke, International Research Development Center (IRDC), IOS Press, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Syracuse University Press, Thieme Medical Publishers, the University of Minnesota Press and Humana Press.

Previously, traditional medical databases were the provider for online textbooks (MDConsult, StatRef, Ovid), a few medical publishers even ventured out to offer full text access to their published collection (AccessMedicine from McGraw Hill, and ScienceDirect books from Elsevier). Now here is what appears to be more of an ebook provider (not a traditional medical database provider) with a collection of medical/health books available (for a price).

Their medical/health collection while one of their smaller collections, already has a nice list of medical/health contributing health publishers: BIOS, BMJ, CABI, Cambridge University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, Marcel Dekker, Springer/Kluwer, Karger, etc.

Libraries can either subscribe to a whole collection or pick and choose books and libraries can subscribe using a single user access model for a title or multi user license model for a title (no prices listed).

I feel like I have been living under a rock because, until now I really haven't heard of ebrary. Perhaps that is because they market themselves more to academic libraries, who knows. Maybe there is a medical librarian more familiar with them who can provide us with some more information. With the list of contributing medical/health publishers, this might be another nice ebook provider option for medical libraries.

Friday, June 16, 2006

To Get Your AHIP Or Not...That is the Question

An anonymous reader made a comment to my post, Recruitment, Careers, Leadership. Anonymous asked, "You mentioned AHIP. Do you think getting this credential has paid off? I'm debating about whether I should bother with it or not. At my institution, no one really knows what it is. But, it might be respected for tenure purposes (I'm guessing)."

I have been mulling that question about in my head for a while now. Thinking of how I should respond and what I really think.

Hospitals and Academia are two work environments that seem to be particularity focused on credentials. So much so that I often joke with my husband that hospital badges have to get bigger to accommodate the ever growing string of initials following people's names. That being said, I think MLA and medical librarians (as a whole, not individually) have done a less than stellar job of educating and informing our work society (doctors, nurses, administrators, etc.) of our credentials. As a result mostly only medical librarians know what your AHIP means. Heck most don't even know you have an MLS, but that is for another post.

So if you go for getting your AHIP because you expect to get a better salary, promotion, job, recognition, job security, etc. you are out of luck. Unfortunately it ain't gonna help with that, and in that way, having your AHIP credentials does not pay off.

HOWEVER, the things you do towards getting your AHIP (continuing education, publishing, serving the profession, teaching, attending conferences, etc.) does pay off. Those are the things that will eventually help you to get a better job (if you seek it) with better pay (possibly) and can give you more recognition within the medical library community (which could open other doors professionally). The AHIP quickly signifies that the person who bears those letters has done some professional activities above and beyond somebody else without their AHIP. After all we tend to go to board certified physicians because we know the specialized training and knowledge they accumulated towards getting the board certification is what is important not the actual paper saying they are board certified.

However, there are plenty of medical librarians out there who do not have their AHIP but have done way more professionally in one year than I could ever hope to do in my life. And there lies the problem with AHIP. Because it has such little recognition many medical librarians feel that their activities (continuing education, publishing, teaching, etc.) already speak for themselves so they do not feel the need to pay the Medical Library Association for a bunch of letters that nobody knows about anyway. So it trust it like a board certification in medicine won't work.

So, if it is the things we do to get our AHIP like taking continuing education classes and participating in the library community that helps us, then why even bother plunking down the money to pay for those little letters when they are so unknown outside of medical libraries? Good question and one that you are just going to have to answer for yourself. For me, I decided to get my AHIP because at the time I thought it was the next logical step for me, sort of summing up my last five years of medical librarian knowledge. Who knows five years from now whether I will think it is still worth it.

Do I wish that it was more recognized by the outside world? Heck, I just wish it was more recognized within the medical world and within the other library disciplines. It is frustrating to have my MLS and AHIP yet still have certain doctors treat me like I am their secretary (and get paid less than some of their secretaries)? To have the outside world recognize it would be a miracle. Because it is definitely frustrating and humiliating to have your husband's co-worker ask you what you do and then comment, "You're kidding? I am surprised they haven't replaced you with Google." (side note: That actually happened and it was at a company function so I could not go all postal librarian on him. I had to be polite, not eviscerate him and stomp on his entrails as was my first thought.)

So go for it, do the things that are important towards getting your AHIP, then decide if it is worth it to you to pay for the letters. Because the work behind it is what is going to make the difference in the end.

For more information as to what librarians think about AHIP, try reading the article:
Health sciences librarians' attitudes toward the Academy of Health Information Professionals
by Lynda M. Baker, Marge Kars, Janet Petty
J Med Libr Assoc. 2004 July; 92(3): 323–330.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Google Government

Google U.S. Government Search,, is primarily targeted towards government employees and is intended to "replicate its mainstream consumer success at the local, state and federal levels." Google Gov has a customizable interface and offers users the ability to search for public documents and government and commercial new sources. Users can configure the layout of the page and add content to the site from a searchable directory that includes information on government and general topics. News from other web sites can be added using RSS feeds. "Google is promising that its product will make government employees more productive, and give the public better access to government services."

The FDA and the National Park Service are among those already using Google search solutions. What will be interesting is how the Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, FedStats, and other sites frequently used by medical libraries will work with Google Gov. A possibly more interesting question is how would information from sites like NIH, NLM, MedlinePlus, and PubMed be retrieved in Google Gov ? I briefly did a rough test by looking up flu. The term flu did retrieve things from the CDC, MedlinePlus, and many other government sites including state government sites. If there were any results retrieved from PubMed in my quick and dirty Google Gov flu search they were listed well past the first 5 result pages. However, I think it does pick up PubMed results. I did a quick and dirty advanced search on flu limited to only results from and I did retrieve a bunch of PubMed citation results. These were quick and dirty searches, so those of you who are more knowledgeable about search engines, Google, and searching can explore this much further and to more intelligently than I. Obviously Google Gov is not the best way to look for PubMed articles but since they (Google) said that it was a search engine to provide better access to government data and services, I was just curious as to how it would perform with the different types of medical information produced by or available from the government.

Government employees aren't the only beneficiaries of Google Gov. Consumers are considered a secondary target user group of the search service. JupiterResearch Analyst Sapna Satagopan was interviewed by TechNewsWorld believes both the legal industry and the medical industry could find Google of value in its ability to search across internal databases. Satagopan said, "Google is looking at a particular niche audience and I can see how it could get other industries thinking about similar services."

Legal Google and Google Med?!? ....Hmmmm I am not too sure.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Teaching Students About Plagiarism

Ah plagiarism....that dirty little word. It seems we as a society are seeing more of it: the student author from Harvard whose published book plagiarized popular author Meg Cabot, the controversial Ann Coulter accused of using copied sentences in her book, Stephen Ambrose habit of continually omitting quotations in his historical books, or the multitude of academic plagiarism instances (high school and college).

Many libraries (it seems mainly academic, school, and public) have guides on how to cite properly and what plagiarism is and how not to do it. As the Internet continues to grow and each generation's ideas (right or wrong) about intellectual property, copyright, file sharing etc. evolve, the issue will unfortunately continue. I found and interesting article in Innovate, by Eleanour Snow, "Teaching Students about Plagiarism: An Internet Solution to an Internet Problem."

Snow discusses the both student's and faculty's perception of plagiarism. She also discusses methods to help solve the problem of plagiarism by using the Internet (the common tool of plagiarism) to educate and prevent further plagiarism. Snow says, "Rather than adopting online technology only to detect plagiarism, such educators may best employ such technology in a more proactive fashion to guarantee that their students fully understand what constitutes plagiarism in their work. Online tutorials in conjunction with clearly established norms and policies at the institutional level will provide a much stronger foundation for educators in this regard. Most importantly, students will learn accepted academic and ethical practice -vital knowledge for their academic and professional success and imperative for their personal development as responsible citizens of an evolving, increasingly digital, global community."

Interesting perspective. Perhaps something that could be incorporated on some library websites that already have plagiarism policies and guidelines.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Science Journals Artfully Try To Boost Their Rankings

(courtesy of medinfo)

The article in the Wall Street Journal, "Science Journals Artfully Try To Boost Their Rankings" describes some of the "questionable" steps journals do to artificially increase the impact factor.

Some methods are:
  • Ask authors to cite papers the journal already has published - An editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine emailed a well known author that his submitted paper was "basically fine" but it should cite more studies that had appeared in the respiratory journal.
  • Published a lot of review articles - It is usually easier for scientists to cite one review article, which summarizes recent findings, rather than the dozens of individual studies. The review then gets a lot of citations which helps the journal's impact score.
  • Running annual summaries of their most notable papers - Artificial Organs did this in 2005 and all 145 citations were to other Artificial Organs papers.
  • Limit citations to papers published by competitors, keeping the rivals' impact factors down -Publishers say that don't limit citations to their competition but they sometimes ask authors to "ensure that the relevant literature is cited."

Now I know why some science journals pay authors to write review articles. I was stunned the other day to hear a friend of mine tell me that she and her co-authors were going to get paid $10/page for a review article which ended up being about 40 pages long. She must of seen the shock on my face and she said that it was common for many of the science journals to pay for reviews. Well no wonder.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Elsevier Releases New Edition of Netter's and Wiley Launches a New Journal

Elsevier announces a new edition of the, Atlas of Human Anatomy, 4th Edition. There will be two versions available, student and professional. Since humans have not grown a third arm in recent years, the new edition will feature 17 new plates (drawn in the tradition of Netter) to "provide a more complete picture of human anatomy."

Purchasing a student edition ($74.95 softcover, expected release 6/23/2006) will allow an individual to access the Netter Anatomy website which is home to the online illustrations of the 50+ "most important" anatomy illustrations, interactive anatomy dissection modules, radiographs, CT scans, MRIs, angiograms, QuickTime movies, and self testing applications.

The professional edition ($125 hardcover, expected release 6/23/2006) comes with a CD-ROM of the the 50+ "most important" anatomy illustrations which can be used in presentations and lectures. If institutions purchase the professional edition, there is no information whether they can circulate the CD.

Hmm, not sure why somebody would want to buy the professional edition.

Wiley announces the launch of Evidence Based Child Health: a Cochrane Review Journal. " The purpose of the journal is to regularly highlight relevant, timely and topical reviews, to inform evidence-based decision-making in child health. The new journal is edited by the paediatric leadership within the Cochrane Child Health Field."

Because it is a new journal, it is free for 2006. Institutional customers can opt to receive free online access throughout 2006 for any of Wiley's new journals. Institutions may also request one complimentary print subscription when registering for online access for a journal.

If you are interested in a free online and/or print subscription go to Evidence Based Child Health journal site.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Public Library of Science announces PLoS this an Example of a Scientific Wiki?!

(From the press release)

PLoS ONE will be an open public venue for all rigorous scientific research from every discipline. Users will be able to share their views on the papers with the community through annotations and discussion threads, adding value to published material and creating powerful new ways for other readers to navigate and understand the literature.

Papers published by PLoS ONE will be held to rigorous standards of scientific quality. However, subjective considerations like "likely impact," "degree of advance," or "interest to a general reader" will not play a role in deciding whether an article should be published or not. Instead, published papers will be exposed to peer review in its fullest sense. All readers will have the tools to add comments, annotations, and ratings to each article, so that post-publication review forms an integral part of the review process. PLoS ONE will empower the scientific community as a whole to engage in an open discussion on every piece of published work, capturing the varied and extremely valuable assessment of published papers that occurs after the work has been published.

With PLoS ONE, papers need no longer be static markers in an ongoing process of scientific discovery, but the beginning of a conversation between authors and readers alike. Authors looking back on papers written 6 months or a year ago may see things that they would have written differently; new data may have arisen to strengthen or alter some of the conclusions. PLoS ONE will provide authors with opportunities to make those changes and so acknowledge the evolution of their ideas. This will not alter the scientific record--the original paper is still the original paper--but authors and readers can build upon it. And anyone with an interest can read and benefit from this.

For more information on PLoS One you can go to The site has not officially launched. You can surf around and look at some the information about PLoS One. You can also sign up for news and updates on the progress of the PLoS ONE project.

What interests me a lot is this sentence in the press release, "All readers will have the tools to add comments, annotations, and ratings to each article, so that post-publication review forms an integral part of the review process." Does that sound like a wiki to you?! I can not find any specific information on who makes the comments (other than readers), it sounds as if anybody can "add to the article" by making comments. The website information pretty much says the same thing. Unfortunately, since it hasn't officially launched I can't poke around it, lift the hood, and kick the tires. I am very curious to see how it works and if it is a type of a scientific wiki. If it is, then we as librarians and researchers will be forced to think of wikis as something more than just Wikipedia.

MLA Webcast on Emerging Technologies

Oooh ooh ooh...
According to MLA Focus, "A fall Webcast from MLA titled, 'Moving at the Speed of Byte: Emerging Technologies for Information Management,' is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, 2006, starting at 1:00 p.m., central time. Please mark your calendars; more details are forthcoming."

I can't wait to hear more about it. Mark your calendars.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Endeavor Announces New Version of Electronic Resource Management Solution

On June 5th, Endeavor Information Systems launched an enhanced version of Endeavor Meridian. Meridian is Endeavor's electronic resource management (ERM) system. Endeavor Meridian 1.5 is designed to help librarians and information professionals efficiently manage electronic resources as well as the licenses and packages associated with those resources.

According to Endeavor, the system enhancements to Meridian improve patron access to bibliographic information, expand its localization capabilities and comply with industry standards that resulting in more efficient delivery of content to patrons.

For more information on Meridian 1.5 visit

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mobile Learning

I ran accross the article, Mobile Learning Content and Services Market Accelerating in the U.S., Says Ambient Insight.

First paragraph:

The so-called "iPod generation" is one of the most significant long-term factors
accelerating the growth of the mobile learning content and services market in
the U.S., according to an indepth study by Ambient Insight. The analysts say
market conditions could hardly be more favorable. The largest buyers of mobile
learning content and services will be public sector -- local, state, and federal
governments -- followed by consumers. The single largest vertical demand is in
the healthcare industry.

Oooh did you notice it? The single largest verticle demand is the healthcare industry. Podcasting and other types of mobile learning are worth keeping your eyes on. It involves new technologies and theories and we don't have all the answers to all the questions about usage and applications. But, it doesn't mean we can ignore it because it is on the bleeding edge and not applicaple to "our situation" or "our hospital". Mobile technologies should be on our radar screen so that we can provide some of the answers and can ask some good questions.

Just today I gave the curriculum development coordinator a news article on on listenting to heart sounds using the iPod and a corresponding article published in the American Journal of Medicine. I also gave the Director of Medical education two published abstracts on the use of iPods in medical education. One abstract is from Academic Emergency Medicine on training in emergency medicine using videos and images on the iPod. (Acad Emerg Med v. 13, (5 suppl 1) p. 209, 2006. Pooneh Hendi and Hans House, EMPOD: An EM Handheld Digital Collection of Video Procedures, Audio Lectures, and Photos)
The other abstract is from the Journal of General Internal Medicine on the usage of iPods in new resident orientation. (JGIM v.21 (s4) p.187 April 2006. Wofford, J.L., Wofford, M., Miller, D.P., Brownlee, C., Singh, S. Using iPod technology to create a self-guided clinic tour for resident orientation.)

The point is that I may not know of every possible way we can use these mobile technologies, but by passing the information to the people who might be interested, I am at least letting them know I know it exsists. Launches Blog & Feed Search Service has launched its own blog and feed search engine.
Available at:
For those who interested in learning a little more about it, Gary Price at the ResourceShelf has an in-depth review of's blog and feed search service.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

RSS Feeds and Online Catalogs

I just had another thought while putting the finishing touches on my podcast article. Many OPAC vendors are talking about incorporating RSS feeds into the catalog as a sort of news update for patrons. RSS would allow users keep up to date on library offerings from their favorite author or on their favorite topic from any location without having to search the catalog. Users searching for Stephen King could subscribe and receive an automatic update in their feed reader whenever a new record entered the library catalog matched that search for Stephen King. So, the user would always know when another new Stephen King book was added to the collection. I think that is great from a user's perspective.

But wouldn't this be pretty cool too?
Currently podcasts are more like audio or video serial programs. Theoretically a library could catalog the main podcast like the New England Journal of Medicine's podcast, but the individual programs that are added weekly would not be in the catalog. Users would have no idea what individual program they might be interested in. What if OPAC vendor created a way for the library to create a main bib record for a podcast like the New England Journal of Medicine. Then using RSS feeds the catalog would update itself and add weekly program information as item records under the main bib record of the podcast. The user would have the benefit of searching for both the main podcast title and its subsequent programs. Users could then download the feeds from the catalog similar to the way they currently do through iTunes or Juice.

I am not a cataloger, so I am not sure exactly about whether this would work or not. But if it did I think it would be pretty cool to have an OPAC to function like this.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Podcasting Are We Focused in the Right Direction?

I read two articles yesterday about podcasting and I am currently editing and putting the finishing touches on an article on podcasts that I am submitting to MRSQ. So, podcasts have kind of been on my mind lately. Bye the way, I know I am woefully overdue in updating my podcast list, sorry but some personal and professional things kind of delayed that. I will get back on it in a month or two.

Michael Lorenzen's The Information Literacy Land of Confusion blog refers to the BBC article Podcast lectures for uni students, and mentions exploring and adding podcasting to the range of library instruction tools. The Online Learning Update blog by Ray Schroeder refers to an ABC news item where NCCU Hands out iPods to professors with the goal to teach the teachers how to podcast and allow students to download the lectures.

It seems that everybody (myself included) is podcast crazy. But it also seems that a majority of the people, institutions, organizations, and companies are overly focused on CREATING podcasts in an attempt to reach out to anybody who might ever think about wanting to listen. People and places are slapping up podcasts faster than gas prices are rising without a care as to whether or not the people even care or feel they have a need for that podcast. It doesn't seem to matter how big or small the number of people they reach, just if they reach somebody somewhere. It is almost as if people are suffering from the Field of Dreams of podcasting, "If you build it they will come." This is similar to the same phenomenon we saw when blogs hit the Internet. Everybody HAD to have a blog. Let's not think about content, potential users, updating, and whether it is even necessary for the situation. WE NEED A BLOG, make a blog. Think of the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert. We need a podcast, create a podcast!!!!!!

While I agree the right podcasts are great resources or fun things to listen to, but why aren't there more libraries or librarians ORGANIZING podcasts or looking at ways of making them easier for the patrons to FIND?!?! The Chronicle of Higher Education article Lectures on the Go states, "For years, students at Purdue who missed an important class headed off to the campus library, where up to date cassette recordings of more than 90 courses sat waiting to be checked out. But this fall, Purdue's podcasting project, called BoilerCast, is letting students skip the library." Ok am I the only one that read this line and heard the sound of nails down the blackboard?! Don't get me wrong I am not one of those librarians who thinks students need to be physically in the library to be using its resources, but are libraries losing out by not organizing or creating podcast repositories?!

One of the biggest frustrations I have had with finding medical podcasts is that there is no really good search engine that indexes podcasts. You can browse through general subject lists which are large and full of programs that you would have never thought appropriate for the subject. For example, why is something called Acoustic Fuel listed under the Health subheading?! Or you can try keyword searching, however a keyword search is only as good as the search engine and the information that it is searching. Podcast search engines search for things either by the podcast's metadata and headlines or by converting the audio program to text. Well, if your search engine looks at the metadata and headlines, things like the Harvard Heart Letter podcast which gives no information (no title, no program, no speaker, etc.) will not be retrieved. If your search engine converts the audio program to text then you are essentially doing rudimentary keyword search in a full text database which can lead to a lot of junk results.

Librarians are great at finding, organizing, and making things available to their patrons. So why aren't more libraries or librarians looking at organizing or developing methods to finding podcasts for their patrons rather than adding to the mess of audio programs already out there? Where are the really techie librarians, ones that can program and create databases? Where are they in the podcasting sea of information? Yeah, it is great that you created a library podcast on how to use the library, but are you winning the battle only to lose the war? Why is it that students are going to a web page that the IT department created, organized, set up to get course reserves instead of the library? Why didn't the library think to work with iTunes and course reserves? Why aren't there traditional library databases looking at indexing these programs? I know from a comment to my Cataloging Podcasts post, T. Scott Plutchak mentioned, "NLM is very interested in tracking all of the various new formats that we're seeing more of -- everything from video clips, to simulation software, to complex datasets, to podcasts, to whatever comes along next week. They haven't figured out HOW to properly index and archive all of that stuff, but it is very definitely on the radar." Good, it needs to be done. But that is just the medical side of things, what are librarians, libraries, and library organizations doing about the flood of information other than adding to it drop by drop?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ovid's June Resource of the Month

It is the first day of June and what does that mean? Pay day! Well maybe for some us, but that also means Ovid's resources of the month are CINAHL and Midwifery & Infant Care.

CINAHL (Cumlative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature)
"The CINAHL database is the authoritative source of information for the professional literature of nursing, allied health, biomedicine, and healthcare. For nearly forty years the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature print index has indexed English language and selected foreign language journals covering nursing and other specialised health care areas."

Krafty's favorite thing about CINAHL, it indexes book chapters, dissertations, and research instruments. Those little booger items that sometimes are kind of hard to find in other disciplines are indexed in this nursing and allied health database.

Go to Ovid to Try it now! or to Learn more about CINAHL.

Midwifery & Infant Care
"Midwifery and Infant Care is an important essential resource for academics and healthcare professionals involved in the care of women and infants. This unique database contains over 120,000 references with abstracts to journal articles from over 550 international English language journals, books, and grey literature relating to the midwifery profession, pregnancy, labor, birth, postnatal care, and neonatal care and the first year of an infant's life. Database coverage is from the mid-1980s and approximately 1000 records are added to the database per month. The database also includes correspondence and commentary written in response to an article. Many of the records are assigned to one or more of 475 standard searches on key topics in order to provide fast retrieval, using either a code or a browsable index of topics. In addition there is an online thesaurus, keyword indexing and classification terms.

Go to Ovid Try it now! or to Learn more about Midwifery & Infant Care.

Don't forget as with all of Ovid's free resources of the month you must register each time you use it, BUT it is free.

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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: