Posts Tagged ‘Gazette’


Blog Spotlight on Health and Medical Blogs

In Blogging on Blogging on May 26, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , ,

Note: the following column was published in the Cilip Gazette (click access the current edition) for 20 May – 2 June 2010. They have kindly allowed me to republish it here.

Health is sort of on the agenda, this being election time. But more importantly, we are only a couple of short months away from the Health Libraries Group (HLG) conference in Manchester in July. I have included health blogs as well as health informatics blogs because clinical bloggers are both prolific and interesting.

Birds all in a row

Health and health information blogs run the gamut.  The least useful are pitiful excuses for blogs that advertise medical schools and quick fixes for weight loss-there seem to be an endless number of these.  The best are a few frequently updated, eloquent discussions of how best to use biomedical databases, the future of web search thanks to new developments such as Facebook’s Open Graph, and how best to be a health librarian.  Krafty Librarian has covered all these topics, recently, and many more.

When I started writing this column (almost two years ago) I highlighted a blog by a clever and dedicated Dutch health informationist nicknamed Laika. She is now a twitterer who is a font of information, as well as the caretaker of Medlibs Round- a monthly showcase of newsworthy blog posts in this area. It is also a great discovery tool for new blogs. Dean Giustini is an informationist working in Vancouver who had a superb post called ‘Liability and the Health Information Professional.’ Liability is not the first thing on my mind when supplying information to a colleague or a client- but it is important especially for those working at an HE or public sector reference desk.

If I had to limit myself to reading one blog…well, I wouldn’t be able to! So I have chosen the best all-round informative, conversational and authoritative blogs.  Whoops- maybe I should take a moment to declare a competing interest? This blog!  Two of my colleagues will be presenting at the HLG conference talking about “collaborative blogging for health, fun and, erm profit”.  I urge you to check it out-they are the brains behind this operation.

Best Health Information blogs

Laika’s Medliblog

Laika is the keeper the Medlibs Round archive, a monthly blog carnival that is hosted at different healthy blogs. It is a round-up of recent and interesting posts from the blogosphere.

The Search Principle

This blog is Dean Giustini’s pride and joy. Dean is a professor at SLAIS, University of BC where he teaches social media and health informatics. Dean has a knack for having his finger on the pulse of the health informatics profession. He recently blogged on Blackbird Pie, an unofficial Twitter tool to allow you to snip a tweet and paste it, with all of its formatting and visual glory, into your blog post.

Krafty Librarian

Krafty is our friendly, helpful American medical librarian.  She is dedicated to sharing what other bloggers are up to as well as posting excellent original content.

Best Medical Blogs


The granddad of the MedBlog Rounds and a thoughtful blogger. Mr Blogborygmi also contributes to Emergency Physicians Monthly-recently he blogged on the iPad and its potential to be a much more user-friendly addition to the ER- but first administrators need to warm to it and developers need to craft some clever apps for patient care.

Dr. Shock

Dr. Shock does not subscribe to the typical clinician/ librarian dichotomy- his blog has hosted the Medlibs Round in January 2010 and his scope includes anything medical (or not) that is of interest. A recent post discussed empathy across different medical specialities-psychiatrists score the highest (perhaps no surprise there).

Head Nurse

Do you like your nurse bloggers to have a healthy dose of sarcasm? This one is brilliant and makes me laugh- can’t really ask for any more. But there is more- a great post on synesthesia (when the sensory ‘wiring’ overlaps and sounds, for instance, are perceived as visual patterns or tastes or scents) and another on how to survive your first months as a nurse (“Pee.” Yes, really.).

Skeptics’ Blogs

A fascinating subgenre of health and medical blogs- the mission of these blogs is to uncover quackery and ‘pseudoscience’ in health. Ben Goldacre is the voice of scepticism in the press- he blogs at Bad Science.

Respectful Insolence

This blog attracts a huge number of comments- a post on 6 May criticising the Huffington Post received 68 comments in its first day. (Note: In a world where one or two comments are vastly appreciated, especially to a novice blogger, 68 boggles the mind.) Orac blogs at length on all sort of quackery- baloney cures for autism, homeopathy, known quacks as well as medical cases and general science. Very engrossing- I find myself reading for hours.

The Quackometer

The Quackometer features health news, especially relating to treatments which are not supported by science, such as homeopathy, mysticism, and other ‘alternative’ medicine. David Brooks, candidate with the Science Party blogged recently to clarify his position on homeopathy- Brooks had previously argued that homeopathy was an effective placebo (and doctors love a good placebo). However, studies have shown that homeopathy does not show value for money, even as a placebo. Let’s hope that none of the 70 MPs signing the Early Day Motion, a motion to have these homeopathy-critical studies ignored, have been re-elected.



Cilip Editorial board: call for newcomers

In CILIP on November 26, 2009 by Danielle Tagged: , , ,

We on the Cilip Editorial board are seeking fresh, (and, even, young) members. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to send a 300 word critique of a recent publication (Gazette freely available here) to Rachel here. Your deadline is 4 December so please act quickly if this is something that would appeal to you.

The editorial board is a lovely, welcoming group of LIS professionals that meets only twice a year, so this is a very small commitment.

If you are an information architect, a developer, archivist, records manager or an SEO professional (etc.) with a new perspective you’d like to share, even better. We aren’t traditionalists, and would like to be represented by a spectrum of information folk in general.


Late breaking news- the CILIP Gazette is …

In CILIP on June 5, 2009 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Late breaking news- the CILIP Gazette is available online and available to all (no login necessary) via the CILIP website. That’s not all-it is searchable and clippable as well. I’ve tried clipping which also emails it to you or to another interested soul and it was quite nifty. So far there are the two most recent issues online (22 May and 5 June), but stay tuned for more new and archived content.


If I sound slightly breathless it is because I have come out of an editorial meeting astounded at the amount of work that goes into the Gazette and the monthly Update magazine. Every issue of Update is 50 pages of advert-free (except the back cover) unique content produced on a tight budget with a minimum of staff. Gazette is almost a one-woman show led by Debby Raven who produces a fortnightly copy. The Gazette urgently needs input from all Special Interest Groups. Economical training courses need to be shouted about so please send ideas to her.

There are opportunities to review books, write letters (anything informationy is welcome) or articles for Update- please contact Elspeth Hyams and the team to find out more. Critical friends welcome!

Today’s issue of the Gazette features an interview of Andrew Motion and an 8-page preview of Umbrella 2009. It looks like it will be a great conference and unfortunately I will be missing out (training budget cuts, etc).  However, if you are a new professional and want to attend Umbrella for free, please send 300 words explaining how it will benefit you to the Career Development Group before 5pm, 12 June.  They will also pay £100 towards your travel expenses.