Welcome to the May edition of the world-famous Medlibs Rounds! The health informaticists have put their heads together to come up with noteworthy blog postings that deal with PubMed trending analysis, liability in information provision, the ‘splinternet’, a search engine optimisation (SEO) teaser from CILIP’s fresh off the presses Update magazine, and more.
Bioinformatics@Becker [Medical Library] has found a nice selection of gems such as Wood for the trees on how to build a bad biological database- number one is ‘make submission difficult’ because scientists are brainiacs anyway so let them figure it out! Why are top tens of what NOT to do infinitely more interesting than best practices…?
20 essential social media resources you may have missed from Mashable includes Why banning social media often backfires– “IT security experts are finding that restricting Internet access can have the unintended consequences of civic backlash, poor worker productivity, and students unprepared for cyber threats.”
Davidrothman.net writes about Medline Trend, a tool that allows you to analyse PubMed- use this tool to see how many papers have been published on a topic each year- put in ‘fluoxetine’ (Prozac) and you’ll see that the first paper mentioning fluoxetine was indexed in 1974 and that the largest number of papers, 555, was indexed in 2008 (the most current year for which statistics exist). The number per 100,000 is also given.
Dean Giustini’s Search Principle blog addresses the crucial (and oft ignored) topic of liability and the health librarian. How best can we health librarians minimise our liability?
“Adhering to good professional practices, and avoiding dispensing advice or interpreting health information for patients, will help to minimize liability. Another protection is to remind consumers or patients to check all health information provided by the library with their health provider or clinical team.”
‘Duty of care’ is touched on as well- duty of care is the assumption that any reasonable professional would take action against exposing somebody (i.e. a client) to unreasonable risks. Dean also gives us some useful disclaimers.
Fade Library (with a super disclaimer- ‘we supply the information, you apply the knowledge’) gives you the skinny on studies on nurse-led social enterprises, tobacco control policy and the media and cluster based learning.
This month’s cheekiest inclusion is an article on search engine optimisation published in the Cilip Update magazine, not freely available on the web, and not a blog (although Mezey and Hyams do the praiseworthy Library & Information Update blog). SEO and information architecture are, or should be, intimately linked with libraries, according to Shari Thurow, speaking at the Search Engine Strategies 2010 conference. ‘Over-stuffing’ a website with keywords is a no-no. Non-branded keywords (for a company’s website) are valuable. Look out for ‘boomerang behaviour’- where a user goes in circles looking for something on your website- they are lost and will often abandon your website. The bottom line? Stop relying on the ‘HiPPO’, the highly paid person’s opinion, and make decisions that are “data-driven.”
Which journals are essential to physicians? The Krafty Librarian puts us in touch with a NEJM study asking this question. Just over five thousand physicians in 12 specialties were surveyed and asked which journals they read. Twenty percent responded (typical response rate) and the journals they read are categorised into ‘top ten essential’; ‘top five secondary’ and ‘first mentions for top three journals’ by clinical speciality. It is perhaps surprising that specialists rank journals with a general focus (e.g. JAMA, NEJM) especially above specialist journals in many cases.
Jon Brassey (TripDatabase) at the Liberating the literature blog points us to an open access education initiative called the Peoples-uni. Peoples-uni is helping to build capacity in public health in lower income countries such as Nigeria and India and early feedback from students has been very positive. Krafty points out that the CDC is offering a free web-based class on health literacy to public health professionals.
Is the web splintering? Is web content management (WCM) a thing of the past? IWR interviewed Tim Walters at Forrester Research to learn about the ‘splinternet’, a fractured internet in which information is hidden behind paywalls and passwords- this is, apparently, the splinternet of the future (and, I’d hazard, of the present!) Content is no longer king with regards to web content management- we need to find a way to integrate analytics and persuasive functions with WCM as these currently live in silos.
Often I’ve found that my life is pointlessly divided. Mp3 files on 2 different computers, syncing several calendars, recipes on scraps of paper, you name it. In One folder to share them all, a Vancouver polymath with a similar frustration blogs about sharing recipe bookmarks with his iPhone. He describes potential solutions such as DropBox and SugarSync.
I’m probably not unique in proclaiming @DrVes a personal favourite on Twitter. His blog, Clinical Cases and Images is as newsworthy as it is prolific. In The false idea that only the top journals publish the important stuff, he reacts to the BMJ blog post on this topic and writes that social networking helps him follow what his colleagues are reading in order to keep up with the mountain of new studies. The BMJ blog declared that “Prepublication peer review is faith based not evidence based” and it failed dramatically in reporting the results of a chronic fatigue syndrome study in Science magazine. DrVes printed a couple of anecdotes received from Twitter friends about the danger of expertise. Both posts are comment-driven and remind us of how valuable ‘net and database trawling skills are. The peer review problem is an enemy to good research, and it is therefore our enemy as well.
Eyes tired yet? Phil Bradley and Scharr Library blog give us a quick video of the Google empire- sit back and have a look. Is Google a force for improving the average person’s life, or for itself, I found myself wondering.
I’ll leave you with some fun tHI favourites- A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette on carrying a big stick. Need help with that conference abstract? Look no further. Oh and, hmm, what is this web 2.0 thing?