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Medlib’s Round 1.2

We at Dragonfly are pleased to host this month’s edition of the Medlib’s Round blog carnival. Our theme is  “enhancing access to health information for health professionals and the public.”

Most of the blog posts listed in this carnival were nominated for consideration by the bloggers themselves. I took some editorial license and included a few additional posts I thought were useful and relevant to the theme.

Access in New Ways

open door

From our carnival organizer Laika Spoetnik of Laika’s MedLibLog, we have two posts about health professionals and librarians accessing information in new ways. The first post is PeRSSonalized Medicine – and its alternatives. Laika writes “This post reviews PeRSSonalized Medicine, just launched by Bertalan Mesko (as part of webicina) and compares it to other ways to get RSS-based personalized literature updates of medical literature.”  The “other ways” include Amedeo, Medworm/Libworm, and do-it-yourself options such as iGoogle, NetVibes, and RSS readers. Here is a great quote:

It hurts my heart as a librarian that most web 2.0 people are more fixed on the technique of how to subscribe to a feed (RSS) than on good search results. Remember, it still is: garbage in, garbage out. RSS is just the drain.

So true. Remember that PubMed will generate an RSS feed for any search, so make it a good one.

Laika’s second post exposes a problem with misleading query translations in PubMed’s Advanced Search Beta and explains how to use third-party PubMed tools like GoPubMed and PubReminer to develop a better search strategy. Upon reading this post, I submitted the link to PubMed’s Helpdesk, the official place to register concerns about PubMed.

Solo medical librarian Alisha Miles of Alisha764 brings us Introducing Staff to Web 2.0, in which she shares her experiences as a Gen-Y millennial attempting to introduce Web 2.0 tools in her workplace. Generational issues in medical libraries… a good theme for a future edition of Medlib’s Round, perhaps? Alisha cites a great presentation from The Krafty Librarian titled Promises and Perils of Web 2.0 in Special Libraries.

Speaking of accessing information in new ways, I enjoy being to be able to listen to Alisha’s posts through the magic of Odoigo. You will notice a “listen now” link under each of her blog post titles. Not bad for a robotic voice!

Dr. Shock,  M.D. Ph.D. presents How to Defrost the Digital Library, a report on a paper by Hull, Pettifer, and Kell in PLoS Journal of Computational Biology. This is an interesting discusssion of how metadata structures keep researchers from doing what they really want to do: search and share their personal libraries of PDF files. “Defrosting” means personalizing and socializing those PDF libraries. Tools to help with the defrosting include Zotero, MyNCBI, iPapers, CiteULike, Connotea, and HubMed.

Access to UpToDate

Ves Dimov, M.D. of Clinical Cases and Images – Blog submitted a post from last fall in which he reported on research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.   Study: UpToDate More Likely than PubMed to Answer Patient Care Questions. A quote:

It looks like UpToDate is gradually becoming “the universal textbook of medicine.” Do you remember the last time you opened Harrison’s to consult about a clinical topic? Was that in 1997 or 2001?

Medical librarians know that UpToDate’s enormous pricetag and its restrictive license agreements make assuring access to it difficult at best, and frequently impossible. What is it about UpToDate that makes some clinicians value it above all other resources? Read the Clinical Cases post, Kevin M.D.’s recent post, and the comments on each for some physicians’ perspectives. Also read The Krafty Librarian’s take on the recent acquisition of UptoDate by Wolters-Kluwer.

Today, I discovered a gem of a post from medical student Thomas Robey of  Hope for Pandora. Responding to the cancellation of the University of Washington’s UpToDate subscription last spring (a subscription which has since been reinstated, by the way), Thomas wrote:

“My peer group (medical students) were surprised, appalled, outraged, and saddened by the news.

I say, “eh…”

His reasons for saying “eh…” include intellectual laziness, conservation of resources, and open access.

Access for Patients and Consumers

Also from Dr. Shock, we have DARTS: a valuable concise method to evaluate health information online. Here, Dr. Shock reports on qualitative research by Nahri et al. published in Pharmacy World in Science. DARTS is a mnemonic device intended to aid searchers in evaluating online health information. When evaluating a website, remember Date, Author, Reference, Type, and Sponsor.

Speaking of Authors and Sponsors, Flavio Guzmán sent us What is medical ghostwriting ? Answers to a relevant issue in medical ethics, which is posted at Pharmamotion: pharmacology resources. Is it ethical for physicians and scholars to accept money from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for producing (or lending their names to?) papers published in medical journals? Learn which journal is Ghostbusting.

I’m nominating this post from John D. Halamka of Life as a Healthcare CIO. Google Health is his Cool Technology of the Week because it recently launched social networking capabilities for personal health records. Dr. Halamka seems confident in Google’s approach to confidentiality. He writes:

I’ve already invited my primary care doctor, my family, and a few of my clinical systems colleagues who built the BIDMC-Google interface. Thus, in one morning I’ve become my own regional health information organization, sharing medical records across multiple organizations with perfect privacy controls.

Finally, one more from Alisha Miles –  Healthcare Reform and the missing link: Patient Education. In this post, Alisha comments on an AHRQ report and points to several other examples to show that simply educating patients about their own conditions helps to control healthcare costs. I say “simply” but of course it is not so simple. Patients have varying degrees of health literacy. Is it time to move beyond brochures?

That’s it for this edition of Medlib’s Round!

from Pheezy on flickr

The April edition will be hosted by Anne Welsh at First Person Narrative. Look for it on April 7.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Medlib’s Round using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

One Response to “Medlib’s Round 1.2”

  1. Hope Leman Says:

    Wow–great work, Alison and Laika. I have already spotted a Tweet on this post and have just posted a link in the Science 2.0 room of FriendFeed (which I urge everyone to visit–fascinating discussions take place there on many information science-related matters) to the fascinating article you mention, How to Defrost the Digital Library.

    This one post alone will keep us busy for hours! Talk about edifying.