NLM Health and Medicine Blog Collection Continues to Grow
Launched in 2009 this unique collection of blogs is a growing array of insightful perspectives on health and healthcare. The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Health and Medicine Blog Collection was conceived of and is managed by the NLM Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group. The nine-member multidisciplinary team was tasked with not only looking for online content to archive but with creating the collection criteria, quality control standards, and much more. Since this was as new project and the field of born digital archives was also new standards for metadata and copyright also needed to be explored as the project moved forward.
Began as a pilot project, the initial focus included only 12 blogs but the collection has since expanded to include 31 blogs. The project utilizes Internet Archive’s Archive-It service. Archive-It is a subscription web archiving service that helps organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of digital content and is used by over 275 organizations across the globe.
Blogs currently archived in the project include e-Patient Dave and The Adventures of an Ambulance Riding Librarian. Both healthcare professionals as well as patients use blogs for communications and this project attempts to archive blogs from both perspectives. Some of the blogs include first hand perspectives about living with illness.
Because online communications through blogs has become an important point of information exchange about the fast changing topics of health and medicine the NLM’s blog archive project continues to grow. In the future the NLM envisions collaborating with other groups to capture important but unpublished studies and other information including scientific news and content communicated during natural disasters and emergencies.