MedLibs Round August 2010: Call for Submissions.

3 08 2010

Tuesday, August 10th, it will be the second time that Walter Jessen will host the MedLibs Round at the well-known biomedical blog Highlight Health.

MedLib’s Round is a monthly blog carnival of “excellent blog posts in the field of medical information”.

The theme for this month’s edition of MedLib’s Round is “Leveraging social media to promote health information online”.

Although priority will be given to those posts that focus on leveraging social media to promote health information online, other topics will also be considered.

Please submit your article (thus the URL of the post) here no later than Sunday, August 8th at 04:00:00 UTC (12:00pm CST). You can also help Walter by suggesting good blog posts of others (i.e. via  the above-mentioned submission form or the Highlight Health contact form)

Not familiar with the MedLibs Round? Then have a look at previous editions of MedLibs Round listed at the MedLibs Round Archive.

Are you a Twitter user? Tweet this!

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MedLibs Round 2.6

11 07 2010

Welcome to this months edition of MedLib’s Round, a blog carnival of “excellent blog posts in the field of medical information”.

This round is a little belated, because of late submissions and my absence earlier this week.
But lets wait no longer …..!

Peer Review, Impact Factors & Conflict of Interest

Walter Jessen at Highlight HEALTH writes about the NIH Peer Review process. Included is an interesting video, that provides an inside look at how scientists from across the US review NIH grant applications for scientific and technical merit. These scientists do seem take their job seriously.

But what about peer review of scientific papers? Richard Smith, doctor, former editor of the BMJ and a proponent of open access publishing, wrote a controversial post at the BMJ Groups Blog called scrap peer review and beware of “top journals. Indeed  the “top journals” publish the sexy stuff, whereas evidence comprises both the glamorous and the unglamorous. But is prepublication peer review really that bad and should we only filter afterwards?

In a thoughtful post at his Nature blog Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat another Richard (Grant) argues that although peer review suffers terribly from several shortcomings it is still required. Richard Grant also clears up one misconception:

Peer review, done properly, might guarantee that work is done correctly and to the best of our ability and best intentions, but it will not tell you if a particular finding is right–that’s the job of other experimenters everywhere; to repeat the experiments and to build on them.

At Scholarly Kitchen (about what is hot and cooking in scholarly publishing) they don’t think peer review is a clear concept, since the list of ingredients differ per journal and article. Read their critical analysis and suggestions for improvement of the standard recipe here.

The science blogosphere was buzzing in outrage about the adding a corporate nutrition blog sponsored by PepsiCo to ScienceBlog (i.e see this post at the Guardian Science Blog). ScienceBlogs is the platform of eminent science bloggers, like OracPharyngula and Molecule of the Day. After some bloggers left ScienceBlog and others threatened to do so, the Pepsico Blog was retracted.

An interesting view is presented by David Crotty at Scholarly Kitchen. He states that it is “hypocritical for ScienceBlog’s bloggers to have objected so strenuously: ScienceBlogs has never been a temple of purity, free of bias or agenda.” Furthermore the bloggers enjoy more traffic and a fee for being a scienceblogger, and promote their “own business” too. David finds it particularly ironic that these complaints come from the science blogosphere, which has regularly been a bastion of support for the post-publication review philosophy. Read more here.

Indeed according to a note of Scienceblog at the disappeared blog their intention was “to engage industry in pursuit of science-driven social change”, although it was clearly not the right way.

The partiality of business, including pharma, makes it’s presence in and use of Social Media somewhat tricky. Still it is important for pharma to get involved in web2.0. Interested in a discussion on this topic? Than follow the tags #HCSM (HealthCare Social Media) and #HCSMEU (Europe) on Twitter.
Andrew Spong, has launched an open wiki, where you can read all about #HCSMEU.

The value of journal impact factors is also debatable. In the third part of the series “Show me the evidence” Kathleen Crea at EBM and Clinical Support Librarians @ UCHC starts with an excerpt of an article with the intriguing title “The Top-Ten in Journal Impact Factor Manipulation”:

The assumption that Impact Factor (IF) is a number absolutely proportional to science quality has led to misuses beyond the index’s original scope, even in the opinion of its devisor.”

The post itself (Teaching & Learning in Medicine, Research Methodology, Biostatistics: Show Me the Evidence (Part 3)b) is not so much about evidence, but offers a wealth of information about  journal impact factors, comparisons of sites for citation analysis, and some educational materials for teaching others about citation analysis. Not only are Journal Citation Reports and SCOPUS discussed, but also the Eigenfactor, h-index and JANE.

Perhaps we need another system of publishing and peer review? Will the future be to publish triplets and peer review these via Twitter by as many reviewers as possible? Read about this proposal of Barend Mons (of the same group that created JANE) at this blog. Here you can also find a critical review of an article comparing Google Scholar and PubMed for retrieving evidence.

Social Media, Blogs & Web 2.0 tools

There are several tools to manage the scientific articles, like CiteULike and Mendeley. At his blog Gobbledygook Martin Fenner discusses the pros and cons of a new web-based tool specifically for discussing papers in Journal Clubs: JournalFire

At the The Health Informaticists they found an interesting new feature of Skype:  screen sharing. Here you can read all about it.

Andrew Sprong explains at his blog STweM how to create a PDF archive of hashtagged tweets using whatthehashtag?! and Google DocsScribd or Slideshare. A tweet archive is very useful in case of  live tweet or stream sessions at conferences. (each tweet is then labeled with a # or hashtag, but tweets are lost after a few days if not archived)

L1010201At Cool Toy of the DayPatricia Anderson posts a lot about healthcare tools. She submitted Cool Toys Pic of the day – Eyewriter“, a tool for allowing persons with ALS and paralysis to draw artwork with their eyes. But you find a lot more readworthy posts at this blog and her main blog Emerging Technologies Librarian.

Heidi Allen at Heidi Allen Digital Strategy started a discussion on the meaning of social-medicine for Physicians. The link to the original submission doesn’t work right now, but if you follow this link you see several posts on social-medicine, including “Physicians in Social Media”, where 3 well-known physicians give their view on the meaning of social-medicine.

Dr Shock at Dr Shock MD PhD, wonders whether “the information on postpartum depression in popular lay magazines correspond to scientific knowledge?” Would it surprise you that this is not the case for many articles on this topic?

The post of Guus van den Brekel at DigiCMB with the inspiring title Discovering new seas of knowledge partly goes about the seas of knowledge gained at the EAHIL2010 (European Association for Health Information and Libraries) meeting, with an overview of many sessions, and materials when possible. And I should stress when possible, because the other  part of the post is about the difficulty of obtaining access to this sea of knowledge. Guus wonders:

In this age of Open Access, web 2.0 and the expectancy of the “users” -being us librarians (…) one would assume that much (if not all) is freely available via Conferences websites and/or social media. Why then do I find it hard to find the extra info about those events, including papers and slides and possibly even webcasts? Are we still not into the share-mode and overprotective to one’s own achievements(….)

Guus makes a good point,especially in this era, when not all of us are able to go and visit far away places. Luckily we have Guus who did a good job of compiling as much material as possible.

Wondering about the evidence for the usefulness of web 2.0, then have a look at this excellent wiki by Dean Giustini: http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Evidence-based_web_2.0.
The Health Librarianship Wiki Canada (the mother wiki) has a great new design and is a very rich source of information for medical librarians.

Another good source for recent peer reviewed papers about using social media in medicine and healthcare is a new series by Bertalan Mesko at Science Roll. First it was called Evidence Based Social Media News and now Social media journal club.

EHR and the clinical librarian.

Nikki Dettmar presents two posts on Electronic Health Records at Eagledawg.net, inspired by a recent Medical Library Association meeting that included a lot about electronic health records (EHRs). In the first part “Electronic Health Records: Not All About the Machine” she mentions the launch of an OpenNotes study that “evaluates the impact on both patients and physicians of sharing, through online medical record portals, the comments and observations made by physicians after each patient encounter.” The second post is entitled “a snapshot of ephemeral chaos“. And yes the title says it all.

Bertalan Mesko at Science Roll describes a try out of a Cardiology Resident and Research Fellow in Google Wave to see whether that platform is suitable for creating a database of the electronic records of a virtual patient. The database looks fine at first glance, but is it safe?

Alisha764’s Blog celebrated its 1 year anniversary in February. Alisha Miles aim for the next year is to not only post more but to focus on hospital libraries including her experience as a hospital librarian. Excellent idea, Alisha! I liked the post Rounding: A solo medical librarian’s perspective with several practical tips if you join the round as a librarian. I hope you can find time to write more like this, Alisha!

Our next host is Walter Jessen at Highlight HEALTH. You can already start submitting the link to a (relevant) post you have written here.

See the MedLibs Archive for more information.

Photo Credits:





The June MedLib’s Round is up & Call for Submissions.

14 06 2010

Yes, the latest edition of the Medlibs Round is up at EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC! Kathleen aka Creaky did a wonderful job compiling this round, with the main theme “service”.

Posts vary from a summary of the MLA-congress, to the first systematic review search of a librarian,  a friend’s request for help in finding information on breast cancer is, disclosure of conflicts of interest, collaborative librarianship through social media and (much) more. Read it all at Creaky’s blog!

Now it is only 2 weeks for the next deadline (Saturday, July the 3rd is the official deadline). So you better start writing and/or submit recent posts!

There is no theme, I will accept all relevant and good quality posts pertaining to medical librarianship, in the braodest sense of the word.

I would like to see posts about (for instance):

  • Social media (and medical information)
  • Searches, Search-engines & Databases (i.e. PubMed)
  • Reference Manager Systems
  • Library congresses (EAHIL?)
  • Web 2.0 tools, I-Phones, I-pads
  • Open Access, Publishing
  • Reliability of Information, Patient Information
  • Evidence Based Medicine

So NOT ONLY librarians, but also doctors and other healthcare workers, patients, pharma-people and scientists are invited to submit.

Submitting is easy, just submit the permalink (URL) of your post (at your blog) at the blog carnival here. For examples and Faqs see the MedLibs Round-ARCHIVE.

If you have no blog but would like to submit you are welcome to write a guest post at this blog.

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I would also like to take the opportunity to ask if there are any Med- or Medlib-bloggers out there who would like to host the MEDLIBS round August, September, October or later this year!
A host for August is rather urgent as I will be on vacation the second half of July.

And if you didn’t fill in the poll below you still have the opportunity to do so. When we have a new name, the next step is to ask Robin of Survive the Journey to make a logo for us.





MedLibs Round: Update & Call for Submissions June 2010

4 06 2010

In the past months we had some excellent hosts of the round, really “la crème de la crème” of the medical information/libarary blogosphere:

2010 was heralded by Dr Shock MD PhD, followed by Emerging Technologies Librarian (@pfanderson) The Krafty Librarian (@krafty) and @Eagledawg (Nikki Dettmar).

Nikki  hosted the round for a second time, but now on her new blog: Eagledawg.net. The title: E(Patients)-I(Pad)-O(pportunities):Medlibs Round

Last Month the round was hosted by Danni (Danni4info) at The Health Informaticist, my favorite English EBM-library blog. It is a great round again, about “dealing 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. Missed it? You can read it here.

And now we have a few days left to submit our posts for the Next MedLibs Round, hosted by yet another excellent EBM/librarian blogger: @creaky at EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC.

She would like posts about “Reference Questions (or People) I Won’t Forget” (thus “memorable” encounters that took place in a public service/reference desk setting, over your career) or “how the library/librarian” has helped you.
But as always other relevant and good quality posts related to medical information and medical librarianship will also be considered.

For more details see the (2nd!) Call for submissions post at EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

I am sure you all have a story to tell. So please share it with @creaky and us!

As always, you can submit the permalink (URL) (of your post(s) on your blog) here.

************

I would also like to take the opportunity to ask if there are any med- or medlib-bloggers out there who would like to host the MEDLIBS round August, September, October.

The MEDLIBs Round is still called the MedLibs round because I got too little response (6 votes including mine) to the poll with other name suggestions. Neither did I get any suggestions regarding the design of the MEDLIBS-logo, Robin of Survive the Journey has offered to make [for details see request here]. I hope you will take the time to fill in the poll below, and to think about any suggestions for a logo. Thanks!

@ links to the twitteraccounts





MedLibs Round. Update & Call for Submissions

2 04 2010

Some news about The MedLibs Round, the monthly blog carnival of blog posts on subjects pertaining to Medical Information.

A new LOGO.

Perhaps you remember that I was looking for someone who could design a logo for this blog carnival.

And you know what. Robin has offered to do so for free!

Robin is wonderful woman and the author of two great blogs I follow: Survive the Journey (http://survivethejourney.blogspot.com/) and 365 days with Cushing’s Disease (http://cushings365.posterous.com/). The latter blog documents the life of a Cushing’s Disease patient and survivor with pictures.

Of course Robin needs some help. What should the logo look like? Any ideas?

A New Name?

A new spring, a new sound (Herman Gorter’s May). Thus,  a new logo, a new name?

The name MedLibs Round suggests it is blog carnival purely meant for medical librarians and that is not the case. Or at least it is not what I had in mind, when starting this round. This blog carnival is about medical information. Sure, medical librarians play an essential role, but I would like an exchange of thought between those who need and those who search the medical information (not mutually exclusive).

And I was also thinking, if we made a more appealing name it might be easier to make a logo (not only consisting of a book).

Most suggestions consist of “Medical Information” (instead of MedLib) and Round, Ring, Circle or Carnival. Similarly, MIR stands for Information Round (or Ring) [& can be depicted as Myrrh] etc.

Not very original, so if you have better ideas, and especially more appealing ones, this is your chance.

In fact it just needs to be clear. Like Gene Genie (http://genegenie.wordpress.com/) was clearly about Genes and Genetic Diseases.

(you need not be a contributor to this round to cast your vote)

Past & upcoming MedLibs Rounds

The last MedLibs Round was hosted by Michelle Kraft at the Krafty Librarian. You can read her compilation here.

Next months we have again a wonderful bunch of people hosting the round: In May and April the EBM blogs  The Health Informaticist (link), followed by EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC (link),

But first we will welcome Nikki Dettmar of Eagle Dawg (moved to http://eagledawg.net/) as a host once again. She is eagerly awaiting your submissions.
Officially the deadline is tomorrow night, but we don’t mind you enjoying your Easter Holiday first.

Please don’t forget to submit your post(s) (the URL of the post on your blog) here.





Three Editions of the MedLibs Rounds & Call for Submissions!

2 03 2010

I’m running behind…. Two Three editions of the MedLibs Round have already been published since my last post on the subject.
The MedLibs Round -as you may know- is a monthly blog carnival of blog posts on subjects pertaining to medical information.

At one point almost half of my posts was about a Grand Round, the MedLibs Round or whatever Round. So I decided not to summarize each round, because that might be annoying for some of my readers.

On the other hand the MedLibs Round is my child, my little toddler. It must be cherished and nurtured to let it grow. I should be a better parent.

Last three times the Round was hosted by three wonderful hosts.

December 15th the MedLibs Round was hosted by Knowledge beyond words, the blog of Novoseek, a biomedical search engine. Novoseek succeeded to host a very interesting MedLibs Round entitled: “Social media, web services and tips for health in MedLib’s Round 1.9

A sparkling New Year Edition (MedLibs Round 1.10) was hosted at Dr. Shock MD PhD, a neurostimulating blog.

Finally the second year of this blog carnival (2.1) was started by Patricia Anderson at Emerging Technologies Librarian. This edition was plagued by too few relevant submissions, and too much spam. This was a pity because the theme was really interesting: “Free Speech in Health Information, and More“. Hopefully Patricia would like to give it another try later.

Of course we don’t want this to happen to our next host, Michelle Kraft, also known as The Krafty Librarian (her blog name). Michelle doesn’t need an introduction I guess. With Patricia she is one of the first -and most well known- medical librarian bloggers.

Michelle is really looking forward to some good quality post that she can include in her blog carnival.

She doesn’t have a theme in mind, as long as your post is related to medicine and libraries in some way. Some topic examples are: library technology, librarianship, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), PubMed, bibliographic databases, information literacy, open access, print vs. online, medical apps, library apps, mobile technology, user education.
Note that some subject need not be strictly medical either, i.e. SCOPUS, database management or open access.

So Michelle asks all of you medical, health, and library bloggers out there to consider submitting one of you posts to the carnival. Posts can be written especially for this carnival or may be recently published posts on the subject. And if you’ve read an excellent post elsewhere you can tip Michelle and/or ask the author to submit. We need your input!

Just submit the URL of your post by March 6, 2010 to the Carnival Submission form.

The post will be up Tuesday March 9, 2010 at the Krafty Librarian.

For more info see the Call for Submissions -post at http://kraftylibrarian.com/?p=418 and the MedLibs Archive here

And people who like to write a post but have no blog are invited to write a guest post here. Just leave a comment or contact me by email:

laika.spoetnik@gmail.com

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Medlibs Round 1.9 – Call for Submissions

30 11 2009

The MedLib’s Round Blog Carnival is a monthly blog carnival that showcases excellent posts in medical librarianship. The  carnival is not restricted to librarians – anyone can submit as long as the post is relevant and of good quality. If you have an article on medical librarianship, PubMed, evidence-based medicine, information literacy or Web 2.0 tools etc., you’re welcome to submit to our next host, Knowledge beyond words. There is no special theme.

If you have no personal blog, be my guest to post an article at this blog.

Please submit your article before December 5th through this form. The MedLib’s Round 1.9 should be available on December 8th.

An archive of all previous editions of MedLibs Round is listed at the MedLib’s Archive on Laika’s MedLibLog.

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Kaleidoscope 2009 wk 47

19 11 2009

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Kaleidoscope is a new series, with a “kaleidoscope” of facts, findings, views and news gathered over the last 1-2 weeks.

Most items originate from Twitter, my Google Reader (RSS) and sometimes real articles (yeah!).

I read a lot, I bookmark a lot, but only some of those things end op in a post. Since tweets have a half-life of less than a week, I thought it would be nice to safeguard some of the tweets in a post. For me to keep, for you to read.

I don’t have the time and the discipline to post daily about health news and social media as Ves Dimov does. It looks more like the compilation at blogs of dr Shock’s (see example),  dr Bates shout-outs, Health Highlights of Highlight HEALTH and Rachel Walden’s Womens health News Round-ups, but less on one subject and less structured. It will just be a mix of old and new, Social Media and science, just a kaleidoscope. Or a potpourri  if you like.

I don’t know if this kaleidoscope will live a long live. I already wrote 2 3 4 5 6 editions, but didn’t have the time to finish them. Well, we will see, just enjoy this one.

Ooh and the beautiful kaleidoscope is made by RevBean and is called: Eyeballs divide like cells. Looks very much like the eyeball-bubblewrap of a previous post but that is thus coincidence. Here is the link (Flickr, CC)

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Medical Grand Rounds

Louise Norris at Colorado Health Insurance Insider is this week’s host of Grand Rounds.(see here). There are many interesting posts again. As a mother of two teens I especially liked the insight Nancy Brown of Teen Health 411 brings us into what teens want when it comes to their relationships with their parents and the “would you rather…?” story that Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine shares with us. The punch line is great. Her 9 year old melts my heart.

At InsureBlog’s Hank Stern brings us an article about a British hospital that will no longer admit expectant mothers with a BMI of more than 34, because the hospital’s labor and delivery unit is not equipped to handle complicated births. Hank concludes: “Fear not, though, portly preggies have to travel but 20 miles to the next closest facility. Assuming, of course, that they can make it that far when contractions are minutes apart.”

Dr Charles of the The Examining Room wrote an in depth article about a cheerleader who was supposedly stricken with dystonia following a seasonal flu vaccine in August. Dr Charles not only highlights why (specialists) think it is not dystonia, but gives also background information about the efficacy of vaccins.

Recent editions of the Grand Rounds were at CREGRL, flight nurse (link), NonClinicalJobs (link) and Codeblog, tales of a nurse (link). You can always find previous and upcoming hosts at the Grand Rounds Archive at Blogborygmi.

3621322354_4bc3bb115e Breast cancer screening

The update of the 2002 USPSTF recommendation statement on screening for breast cancer in the general population, published in the November issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine has led to heated discussions in the mainstream media (i.e. New York Times and MedPage Today). Based on current evidence, partly based on 2 other articles in the same journal (comparison screening schedules and an systematic review) the guidelines advise scaling back of the screening. The USPSTF recommends:

  • against routine screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years
  • against routine screening mammography of women 75 years or older.
  • biennial (instead of annual) screening mammography for women between the ages of 50 and 74 years.
  • against teaching breast self-examination (BSE).
  • against either digital mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instead of film mammography as screening modalities.

The two articles published in Ann Intern Med add to the evidence that the propagation of breast cancer self exam doesn’t save lives (see Cochrane review discussed in a previous post) and that the benefits of routine mammography in the young (<50) or old (>75) do not outweigh the harm (also covered by a  Cochrane review before). Indeed, as put forward by Gary Schwitzer at Schwitzer health news blog this is NOT a new debate. He refers to Slate who republishes a five-year old piece of Amanda Schaffer that does a good job of explaining the potential harms of screening. However it is difficult for women (and some doctors) to understand that “When it comes to cancer screening, more isn’t always better.” Indeed -as Kevin Pho at Kevin MD states, the question is whether “patients will accept the new, evidence-based, breast cancer screening guidelines”.

In the Netherlands it is already practice to start biannual routine mammography at the age of 50. The official breast cancer screening site of the RIVM even states that the US is now going to follow the Dutch guidelines 😉 (one of assessed guidelines in one the Ann Intern Med papers is Dutch). But people still find the  long established guidelines difficult to accept: coincidentally I saw tweets today asking to sign a petition to advance the age of screening ‘because breast cancer is more and more frequently observed at young age…(??)’ Young, well educated, women are very willing to sign…

No time to read the full articles, but interested to know more, then listen to the podcast of this Ann Intern Med edition:

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Systematic Reviews, pharma sponsored trials and other publishing news

Cochrane reviews are regarded as scientifically rigorous, yet a review’s time to publication can be affected by factors such as the statistical significance of the findings. A study published in Open Medicine examined the factors associated with the time to publication of Cochrane reviews. A change in authors and updated reviews were predictive factors, but the favorability of the results was not.

Roy Poses of the Health Care Renewal Blog starts this blogpost as follows: “Woe to those of us who have been advocates for evidence-based medicine”. He mainly refers to a study published in the NEJM, that identified selective outcome reporting for trials of off-label use of gabapentin: for 8 of the 12 published trials, there was a disagreement between the definition of the primary outcome in the protocol and that in the published report. This seriously threatens the validity of evidence for the effectiveness of off-label interventions. Roy was surprised that the article didn’t generate much media attention. The reason may be that we have been overwhelmed by manipulation of data, ghostwriting and by the fact that pharma-sponsored trials rarely produce results that are unfavorable to the companies’ product (see previous posts about Ghostwriting (Merck/Elsevier, Conflict of Interest in Cancer Studies and David Tovey about Cochrane Reviews). At least two authors of the NEJM review (Bero and Dickersin) have repeatedly this to be the case [e.g. see here for an overview, and papers of Lisa Bero]. It is some relief that at least 3 of the 4 NEJM authors are also members of the Cochrane Collaboration. Indirectly better control of reporting, i.e. by clinical trials registries, can improve the reliability of pharma sponsored trials and thus systematic reviews summarizing them. As a matter of fact Cochrane authors always have to check these registries.

At Highlight Health Walter Jessen writes about Medical Journal Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Other Issues, which also discusses how money can taint objectivity in scientific publishing. Half of the post discusses the book The Trouble with Medical Journals, written in 2007 by Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ.
By the way, Walter just hosted MedLibs Round with the theme “Finding Credible Health Information Online”.

Good news in the Netherlands: right after international Open Access week and the launching of the Dutch Open Access website (www.openaccess.nl), the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has announced that it is in favor of Open Access. (via PLOS-facebook).

The open access nature of PLOS itself gets out of hand: they even peer-review T-shirts (according to Bora Zivkovic of a Blog around the Clock, see here)

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Other Health & Science News:

Medline Plus summarizes an article in the Journal of Nutrition, that states that Selenium supplements, may pose a heart risk.

Even Folic Acid and vitamin B12, when taken in large doses, have been reported to Increase Cancer Risk (WebMD)

Luckily WebMD also reports that dark chocolate seems to help against stress, that is it reduced stress hormones in the blood. However @evidencematters and @NHSChoices cast doubt on that“Chocolate cuts stress, says newspaper. Does the study really say that? And who paid for the study?…”

Scientists made the unexpected discovery (published in Molecular Cell) that BRAF, which is linked to around 70 per cent of melanomas and seven per cent of all cancers, is in fact controlled by a gene from the same RAF family called CRAF – which has also been linked to the disease. For the first time it is shown “how two genes from the same ‘family’ can interact with each other to stop cancer in its tracks” (Source: Info Cancer Research UK)

For the first time, scientists have successfully used exome sequencing to quickly discover a previously unknown gene responsible for Miller syndrome, a rare disorder. The finding demonstrates the usefulness of exome sequencing in studying rare genetic disorders. The exome is enriched for coding (thus functional) DNA, it is only 1% of the total DNA, but contains 85% of the mutations (Published in , source: PhysOrg.com)

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Web 2.0
For information regarding the FDA hearings on internet and social media see #FDASM: http://www.fdasm.com.

Read Write Web summarizes the new numbers released by analytics firm Postrank that indicate that reader engagement with blogs has changed dramatically over the last three years, primarily because of the rise of online social networks.

Twitter has began to relaunch the new retweet feature, although not without controversy. What do you think about the newest feature?

The Next Web gives an overview of which Twitter application is hot and which is not.

And Finally: Top 100 tools for learning, compiled by Jane Hart from the contributions of 278 learning professionals worldwide. You can see the lists here (HT: http://blogs.netedu.info/?p=1005)

The web 2.0 part is relatively short, but it is time to conclude this edition. Till next time!

  • MEDLIB’s ROUND 1.6 (laikaspoetnik.wordpress.com)
  • Tool Talk: quick links re Facebook, GReader and GWave (socialfish.org)
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    Medlibs Round 1.8 at Highlight Health

    14 11 2009

    For those that haven’t yet seen it:

    The MedLib’s Round, the monthly blog carnival that highlights some of the best writing on medical librarianship, encompassing all stages in the publication and dissemination of medical information: writing, publishing, searching, citing, managing and social networking is up at Highlight Health (link).

    The theme of this incredible 8th edition is: Finding Credible Health Information Online.

    Walter Jessen introduces the round as follows:

    There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are experts in the field; these are their posts listed below.
    In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

    Subjects: “Searching the Web for health information”, “Biomedical research”, “Web 2.0 tools”, “PubMed Redesigned” and “Social media and participatory medicine” with contributions of Women’s Health News, Our Bodies Our Blog [@rachel_w]* Emerging Technologies Librarian [@pfanderson] Musings of a Distractible Mind [@doc_rob] Laika’s MedLibLog [@ericrumsey, Janet Wale, @Laikas], Significant Science [@hleman], Websearch Guide Internet News [Gwen Harris], Alisha764’s Blog [@alisha764] Next Generation Science [@NextGenScience], Dr Shock MD Ph [@DrShock], Life in the Fast Lane [@sandnsurf], Knowledge beyond words [@novoseek on Twitter], Eagle Dawg Blog [@eagledawg], The Search Principle blog [@giustini], Krafty Librarian [@Krafty], Dose of Digital [@jonmrich], e-Patients.net [@SusannahFox] and Highlight HEALTH [@HighlightHEALTH].

    Walter Jessen [wjjessen] concluded the blog carnival with a great presentation of Kevin Clauson [@kevinclauson] on the role of Facebook and Twitter in pharmacy and the development of participatory medicine. Since I intended to show this presentation anyway, I might as well place it here 😉 :

    Please enjoy reading the blog carnival at Highlight Health.

    The host of the next edition of MedLib’s Round will be Knowledge Beyond Words (http://blog.novoseek.com). Valentin of Novoseek invites you to start submitting through this form http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_6092.html

    Past and future hosts can be found on the Medlib’s Archive.

    *links refer to the Twitter addresses.

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    A Spooktacular Medlibs Round at Alisha764’s blog

    17 10 2009

    sunflower_looking_off_to_the_side alishaWhile I was attending the Cochrane Colloquium, Alisha Miles of Alisha’s blog wrote a really spectacular spooktacular Medlib’s Round, the blog carnival of *best* posts in the medical library blogosphere.

    The official round comes with a whole bunch of bonus posts. Subjects included range from wikis to toolbar widgets, from unprofessional online content by medical students to H1N1-information, from the MidWest Medical Library Conference to social media (Side Wiki, Google Wave etc). As expected there are also many posts about the PubMed Redesign.

    Interested? Please take a look at the spooktacular Medlibs Round here.

    It is really incredible that so many posts were submitted in just 2 weeks and Alisha managed to include so many more.

    Other good news about the round: we’ve got excellent hosts till April 2010! Really all sorts of *TOP* bloggers: (medical) librarians, a scientist, a physician and a Pubmed-3rd party host:

    If you would like a host the MedLib’s Round please comment on this post, dm me at twitter or mail me at :

    laika.spoetnik@gmail.com

    The submission for each round is due the first Saturday of each month. The next round will already be published in about three weeks. Walter Jessen of Highlight Health looks forward to your posts. The main theme of the round will be:

    Finding credible health information online

    Other blogposts -if relevant to the MedLibs Round- will also be considered.

    Submitting is easy (thanks Patricia Anderson):

    1. Write (a) blogpost(s) on your blog (or write a guest post on someone else’s blog) as usual.
    2. Pick the post you like that fits.
    3. Go to the blogcarnival submission from here, (register or log in),
    4. Fill in form to share the permalink of your post.
    5. The current host selects anthology of best submissions.
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    Grand Rounds Vol. 6 No. 2

    29 09 2009

    grandroundsblank

    Welcome to the latest edition of Grand Rounds, the weekly compilation of the best of the medical blogosphere! I presume you would rather take a tour through the Netherlands, visiting windmills and tulips, but we will save this for another time. Right now, let’s take a trip around the library.

    Library_book_shelvesBecause you know what William Osler, the Father of Modern Medicine said:
    “For the teacher and the worker a great library… is indispensable.
    They must know the world’s best work and know it at once. They mint and make current coin the ore so widely scattered in journals, transactions and monographs.”
    – William Osler, in Books and Men, in Aequanimitas, 210.

    ( Thanks to Chris alias @precordialthump for this quote, as a response to a Medical Librarian Round I just finished).

    Although books are the library brand, libraries -including medical libraries- have been changing dramatically from book shelves to learning centers, print storage to digital storage, from loaning at the desk to loading from the web, from catalog-centered to database searching and education.PAR-TIC-I-PA-TION, or 37 pieces of library fla...

    Well librarians adapt as well. We are also Internet-dependent.
    Now let me take you by the hand and lets go through the first steps of searching.
    Of course, if you have no time for this guided tour, feel free to skip the introductory sentences and read the posts that have been submitted to this round…

    Readers of this blog know that I mostly search for Systematic Reviews and Evidence Based Guidelines. Although not really applicable to the submitted posts, I will briefly mention the way such subjects could have been structured for a search.

    We don’t search for this…

    73655708_366cd3c35b horses made of stoneOn most occasions there is no need to look up literature. A patient needs empathy of the ones he/she loves, wants to be well informed by ready-to-use and understandable information, needs to be in the hands of a skillful doctor and is happy with some useful tips. For a doctor experience and (social and technical) skills are a prerequisite.

    The National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is held annually in September. The “How to cope with pain blog” gives  10 tips to make your invisible illness visible. This post proposes ways to educate others, decrease isolation and stigma, and allow others to help, when you have an invisible illness such as pain.

    Jolie Bookspan of the “The Fitness Fixer” shows a simple mechanical stretching technique that can be applied by a partner to ease symptoms of menstrual cramps.

    Moving books or whole labs requires some effort. But how much more effort does it take to move to a new children’s hospital, and at Christmas-time? Beth (Elizabeth Nelsen) of  “Not Terribly Ordinary” wrote down her thoughts on the night before the move.

    Ramona Bates at “Suture for a Living” writes down her thoughts on the increase of suicides in ‘our soldiers’ and the way to prevent this. Thoughts that were generated by events close to her heart. A sad subject, but beautifully written.

    Background  questions.

    Foreground BackgroundThere’s a distinction between background and foreground questions. A background question asks for general knowledge or “facts” (questions often starting with who, what, when, why, which). “What is type 2 diabetes?” “How can one  diagnose appendicitis?” “Which treatments are available for advanced prostate cancer?”  These questions can be best answered by books, databases like UpToDate and good quality websites. The novice in a field usually has more background questions than the expert.

    More and more doctors use the Internet to quickly access or to keep abreast of new information. “Clinical Cases and Images Blog” describes how doctors can add expert insights and comments about websites in the recently launched Google Sidewiki.

    Books are good for background questions, and are especially useful if they debunk long existing myths. Amy Tenderich at “Diabetes Mine” describes one such book, “Diabetes Rising”. She received this book (coming out in 2010) as an advance review copy and simply could not put it down. Read her review of the book and an overview of some of the diabetes-causes-and-cure-myths here.

    An excellent review allowing the readers to get good background knowledge about antiplatelet agents is offered by Flavio Guzman at “Pharmamotion”. His post gives an overview on the currently used agents in clinical practice, their classification, mechanisms of action and therapeutic use. It includes charts, figures and a video that reviews the most relevant aspects of antiplatelet therapy.

    Foreground  questions: Domain Therapy2463850234_6a9851b622

    Foreground questions ask specific clinical questions that try to find relationships between a patient and their condition, an exposure (therapeutic, diagnostic), and an outcome. They are generally very detailed questions that can best be answered with the information contained in published research studies (website UMDJ) or syntheses therof.
    Foreground Questions are usually structured in 5 parts: P I C O and domain (or study type) and are answered by searching for the best available evidence.

    The most common domain is Therapy/Prevention. The PICO stands here for Patient/Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison/Control and Outcome

    When looking for the best evidence one searches for a few (not all) components and for the best study design, in the case of therapy: controlled clinical trials in the first place and -if not found- for cohort and case control studies.

    104311636_d8f2be6a7e P wit zwart“P” is definitively the most important letter in the PICO. It is the person suffering from a disease, the patient one desires to cure, the problem a doctor wants to solve. All health care should be ‘about them’: Patients.

    The patient-centered and sympathetic Rob Lamberts (alias Dr. Rob) of “Musings of a Distractible Mind” muses about The Medically Homeless. He summarizes his post as follows: There’s much ado about the quality of medical care and the plight of the patient in all of this (it’s about them, remember?), but what’s the central problem? In this post I put forth the concept of “Medical Homelessness,” which is a description of the patient who doesn’t have any one place where things are in order. Data is scattered all over the place and confusion comes at a high cost. Why does this happen? What can be done about it?

    The number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is growing at a rapid rate, and the increasing personal costs will have significant impact on the world’s economies and health care systems, according a new report on Alzheimer’s predicted rates. Alvaro Fernandez at “Sharp Brains” thinks that this report should act as wake-up calls for healthcare systems to focus on education & risk reduction initiatives and shares the main recommendations from an upcoming report prepared for the City of San Francisco. Recommendations include risk reduction (promote cognitive health and create a culture of “brain fitness” through mental stimulation, social engagement, physical exercise, and diet, early identification of dementia and ensuring that caregivers are aware of and have access to community resources, training and support.

    247846944_a24020fa54 LETTER I “I” is also an important component of the PICO. In case of a therapeutic or preventive question the I stands for Intervention.

    Dr Shock, a psychiatrist from the Netherlands has an outstanding blog with the electrifying name “Dr Shock MD”. With respect to interventions, the emphasis is not only on electroconvulsive therapy, but also on sex, drugs and….. chocolate! Which may or may not be typically Dutch. It should be noted, however, that the large number of posts mentioning a positive effect of chocolate, may imply a positive publication bias towards chocolate in favor of “good” results.  Last week he claimed that  Chocolate Saves Your Teeth, but his current submission is about the strong reverse association between (one year) chocolate consumption and cardiac mortality after a first acute myocardial infarction. It should be noted that this was a retrospective study, thus the evidence is much less convincing than would be obtained by  long-term, randomized controlled trials.

    Another post about nutrition, but more about the direct “Special Nutrition Needs for the Rescued (and the Rescuer!)” can be found at the “Medicine for the Outdoors blog”. Here, Paul Auerbach summarizes the key points from a presentation given at the Wilderness Medical Society Annual Meeting. The medical and psychological importance of providing proper nourishment to rescued individuals is of utmost importance.

    I don’t know whether it is our (Dutch) reputation, but there were (relatively speaking) an awful lot of sex-related submissions: almost 15%…
    First Daryl Rosenbaum at “Listed as Probable” looks at the pros and cons of “sex before the match”, as has been advocated by the coach of India’s cricket team; the coach tells his players to have more sex in order to improve performance on the field. But is this really the case? Well everything preceded by “too” is “too much”, my mother used to say…

    Dr. Val at “Better Health” is wondering whether Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project and new director of the NIH is “bringing sexy back to science” In an age where celebrities are treated as credible sources of health information, scientists need to find a way to communicate with the public in a new and more engaging way. Collins, has started a new initiative called “Rock Stars of Science” to promote the field, protect people from misinformation, and get the public excited about science again.  “Whatever works”, dr Val concludes.

    The “UN Guidelines for Sex Education” are stirring opposition (before they are even published) from conservative and religious groups who are attacking the guidelines because of their portrayal of issues like sex education, abortion and homosexuality. Nancy Brown of “Teen Health 411” mentions 9 convincing reasons why these guidelines should not be blocked. Nancy concludes with: “Need I see more?” No, you don’t Nancy.

    477120721_db7f83921f CMost intervention studies compare an “I” with a “C”, Comparison or Control. Preferably efficacy should be tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT), which has the least form of bias if well performed.

    Only one submitted post presents evidence that has been gathered through an RCT. Faith Martin of “Highlight Health” highlights a recent RCT published in the journal Health Technology Assessment (HTA). Results of this non-inferiority trial showed that home-based care in the United Kingdom is no worse than attendance at a day hospital for older adults. Surprisingly, the cost of the home-based rehabilitation provision was not significantly different to that of day hospital rehabilitation, Indeed, given there is no difference found in outcomes or costs, patients could potentially be given the choice.249722873_1b417cdb3a blauwe O

    The “O” in interventions is the outcome. It is important to look for outcomes that matter most to the patients and not for surrogate markers.

    Once it has been established that a treatment is effective it is important that there is compliance and the patients know “what to do”. With two videos “Allergynotes” shows how MDIs, Spacers, and Dry Powder Inhalers should and should not be used. Patients often use them wrong.

    It is in itself not enough to show the effectiveness of an interventions Costs aspects also come into play, politics, insurances, and decision support systems. The following 3 posts kinda fit in this subject. Since my knowledge of these US-specific subjects is poor I will stick to the descriptions given.

    Elyse Nielsen at “Anticlue” wrote “Using Rules to support clinical decisions. “It is all about using the CDS 5 rights model to plan to have the right rule based support in the right place in the systems.”

    “InsureBlog”‘s Henry Stern makes the case that CMS (The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) overstepped its bounds by slapping down Humana’s efforts to educate its policyholders.

    Jeffrey Seguritan at “Nuts for Healthcare” writes about the Baucus bill. The Baucus bill being considered in the Senate Finance Committee is depending on an excise tax on high-end (“Cadillac”) plans as the biggest revenue driver for reform. While President Obama and health economists agree that this tax discourages wasteful health spending, many Democrats are pointing out how the tax would easily hit the middle-class. According to Jeffrey, this issue touches on the greater problem of our highly regressive and unfair tax subsidy on health benefits.

    Domain Diagnosis

    733162553_d694bb56d0 diagnosisIn EBM, diagnosis studies are mostly diagnostic accuracy study: one wants to know how good a test can predict or exclude a suspected disease. No examples of diagnostic accuracy studies here, but two examples of when diagnostic tests should be applied or not.

    At “Life in the Fast Lane” Toxicology Conundrum 018 (written by Chris Nickson) deals with the myth that “necrotizing arachnidism” can be caused by a spider bite of white-tailed spiders. A wrong diagnosis (i.e. a patient thinking a nasty sore is due to a spider bite) may lead to other disorders, often infections or cancers, being mistreated.  One of the embedded videos is typical of the misinformation about white-tailed spiders in Australia (presented by an exported Dutchman no less!).

    Bongi feels bad about the time when a registar “forced” him and another fourth year medical student to perform a useless “diagnostic test” on a stillborn baby just as a precautionary measure against the anticipated rage of her professor at handover: “you!” she indicated my friend and i, “you are going to go down to the morgue and get that baby’s blood. and you’d better move it. the sun will be up soon.”
    Soon the juniors found out that sampling of blood from a dead baby is not that easy. A very morbid story indeed.
    The best description is given by Bongi in South-African – a language I can understand (thanks Bongi):
    “dis ‘n storie van die ou dae tydens my mediese opleiding to iets gebeur het met ‘n oorlede baba wat nooit moes gebeur nie.
    ek is ‘n chirurg in nelspruit in suid afrika. die spesifieke ervarings van hierdie deel van die wereld voorsien baie interessante stories.”
    (inderdaad)
    Please read the entire story (in English) at “Other Things Amanzi”.

    Domain: Etiology/Harm

    3880192862_6d0f931e64 HARMOtherwise than regularly suggested the best evidence of harm or causality is often not provided by RCT’s, but by observational studies (preferably prospective cohort studies).  RCT’s are either not ethical, or are not suited to detect rare or late harmful effects. The same is true for the domain prognosis, which studies the influence of prognostic factors in the natural course of disease

    Other than with interventions the Outcome in this domain is the disease and the P is the population. The I is the causative factor.

    Although  “causation” can seldom be demonstrated by controlled clinical trials, care must be taken that any conclusions are based on sound observational studies. Anne Marie Cunningham, a doctor from the UK with interest in the use of social media and technology in education wondered whether a news article on the BBC with the Headline “Tech addiction ‘harms learning'” was based on good evidence. Downloading (at $24.99) and reading the report confirmed her suspicions that the BBC-conclusion about the relationship between Internet and mobile phone addiction and poor learning was based on poor science. Read the details on her blog “Wishful Thinking in Medical Education”.

    Sometimes new studies reveal that causes are different than thought. The failure of the U.S. to match longevity statistics of other developed countries is well-known, but Stacey Butterfield of the “ACP Internist blog” points at a study of the demographer Dr. Preston (reviewed in a column in the New York Times) that offers a different explanation for the gap. Stacey explains: “To put it simply, the study shows that it is lifestyle (particularly smoking) that sets Americans apart from other countries, not the quality of the health care. Other researchers have calculated that if deaths due to smoking were excluded, the United States would rise to the top half of the longevity rankings for developed countries. However, the good news is that many Americans have quit smoking in the past decade, so we should be seeing continuing gains in health. The bad news is that we’re working hard to make up the difference by getting fatter.”

    Indeed obesity is becoming a pandemic. Astoundingly, WHO figures from 2005 suggested that there are more people suffering from overweight-related problems than malnutrition. David Bradley Science Writer based in Cambridge, UK, reviews  a recent study on his blog  “ScienceBase” showing evidence from the UK with respect to the effects of current dietary trends and consumption patterns on health. Although the rewards of developing a safe and effective anti-obesity medication will be in the tens of billions of dollars, David regards it “highly unlikely that the growing epidemics of overweight and obesity are to be solved by popping a pill”.

    Sometimes harm is caused by mistakes.  In Fertility Clinic Mistake Ends Up Good Toni Brayer of “EverythingHealth” tells about the accidental implantation of an in-vitro embryo into another woman at the clinic. But some lemons can be made into lemonade: the woman with the wrong embryo kept the baby (without demanding custody) and recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

    Adverse conditions in a patient can result from the activity of physicians. Mostly this will be unintentional, but sometimes “doctors” deem other  factors more important than what is best for the patient. Technology consultant and blogger, Sarah Cortes, went by ambulance to a rural Hospital after she suffered a serious spinal fracture after diving. The hospital staff  intimidated and coerced her into accepting unnecessary reconstructive spinal surgery. Unnecessary, because she was able to swim and thus mobile, after the diving accident.  Sarah thinks that boosting of accreditation was the main motive for the hospital. This story, too, has a happy ending: with the help of Twitter, Sarah was able to leave for Boston, where she was successfully treated without the need for surgery. Without Twitter it might have had a less happy ending. Read her story here at her blog “Security Watch”.

    Thoughts about social media and patient safety can also be found on “Florence dot com”, the blog of  Barbara Olson. She wrote the post to suggest that social networking sites can help reveal beliefs, practices, and norms in healthcare systems that undermine patient safety. She noted that these might not be readily visible using more traditional means.

    An article in last month’s New England Journal of Medicine documented some disturbingly high exposures of Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation from Medical Imaging Procedures among patients. David Williams has been writing about patients getting too much radiation from diagnostic imaging for years.  At least in the US, patients and physicians have no way of tracking their lifetime dose. At the “Health Business Blog” David applauds a local initiative of a Boston hospital to track radiation exposure. He reasons that Personal Health Records could help keep track and also reduce the need for excessive scans.

    Well this concludes the official part of the Grand Rounds. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for your submissions.
    It was a pleasure reading them, although -I must admit- quite an effort writing them down….

    741879088_29d01c359b_m-another-dead-librarian

    Acknowledgements

    Thanks to Nick Genes for starting the Grand Round and Dr. Val Jones at Better Health and Colin Son at Residency Notes for keeping the carnival up and running.
    The Next Round will be hosted by Christian Sinclair, see here for the announcement

    Bonus

    I asked the contributors to spend one line telling me their thoughts on medical information (MI) and/or medical librarians (ML). Here is a selection of answers (I will leave out too obvious examples of self-promotion). I especially liked that doctors mentioned their own librarian or somebody they knew (i.e. from Twitter). In order of appearance:

    Beth (Elizabeth Nelsen) of  “Not Terribly Ordinary”  (ML): They help to bridge the gap between what We (the medical establishment know) and what They (patients and families) should know. Our new hospital will have a family resource center staffed by a medical librarian!

    Ramona Bates of “Suture for a Living” (ML): Invaluable

    Rob Lamberts at Musings of a Distractible Mind” (MI): chose this post because it focuses on medical information – both that of the patient and the information that informs decisions. The crux of our problem is not a lack of information, it is a lack of organization of the information we have.

    Alvaro Fernandez at “Sharp Brains” (ML, MI): libraries overall, and medical libraries in particular, can play a crucial role in educating professionals and lay audiences on the cognitive health implications from growing research on cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. In fact, I just gave a talk yesterday at New York Public Library precisely on this topic!

    Daryl Rosenbaum at “Listed as Probable” (ML): Don’t have any creative thoughts about medical librarians, just that our department has one that works with us and she is a very valuable resource.

    Dr Val at “Better Health” (ML):  they are the unsung guardians of truth in medicine. We need their help to combat the tidal wave of Internet misinformation that is confusing and harming patients everywhere.

    Nancy Brown at “Teen Health 411” (MI): “Teens need adults they can talk with and medically accurate information to facilitate healthy decisions. The habits they start as teens and the choices they make will influence their adult health.”

    Jeffrey Seguritan at “Nuts for Healthcare” (ML): With the rise of the Internet as the premier information portal, medical librarians are essential in helping providers navigate through sources of information that are accurate and credible. An alarming poll this year suggested that 50% doctors use Wikipedia, not the authority patients are looking for.

    Chris Nickson at “Life in the Fast Lane” (ML): Well, as you well know, we love medical librarians – especially the helpful tech-savvy ones that populate the Web!

    AnneMarie Cunningham at “Wishful Thinking in Medical Education” (MI): We have more publications (journals, guidelines and user-generated content) than ever but still many of those searching (clinicians and patients) can not find what they want or need. That is the challenge. Hopefully as time passes it will feel as if we are getting closer to the solution

    David Bradley at “ScienceBase” (ML): Medical, and subject specialist, librarians in general now play an even more critical role in helping their “customers” keep on top of the vast quantities of information available to them. Thankfully, there are some around who are quite expert and can pin down even the rarest of information beasts.

    Barbara L. Olson at “Florence dot com” (ML): I recently compiled a list of tweeps people interested in patient safety should watch on Twitter I’ve been following Sarah Vogel @sevinfo (Pharma/Biotech information researcher, librarian) for awhile and included her.

    David E. Williams at the “Health Business Blog” (MI, ML): Providing information at the point of care is critical to improving quality and reducing costs. Medical librarians can help clinicians learn to access and apply these tools

    Several contributors spontaneously said that they were going to, loved or had happily lived in The Netherlands. Amy even had a baby while over here!

    Interview will appear at http://www.medscape.com/index/section_2624_0

    Image Credits (CC-licence)

    1. Library Book Shelves, Wikimedia
    2. PAR-TIC-I-PA-TION, or 37 pieces of library flair Flickr.com: trucolorsfly-611479605
    3. Stone Horses: Flickr.com: automania-73655708
    4. The Background/Foreground picture is used everywhere, I’ve adapted it from the excellent book: Guyatt G, Rennie D, Meade M, Cook D. JAMA Evidence Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature. A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: McGraw Hill Co; 2008.
    5. Dolk-Banana Therapy Flickr.com: imagesniper- 2463850234
    6. P Flickr.com:duncan-104311636
    7. I [Aye-Aye] Flickr.com: urbanmkr-247846944
    8. C Flickr: urbanmkr-477120721
    9. O Flickr: urbanmkr-249722873
    10. Stethoscope Flickr: ponyapprehension-733162553
    11. An Honest Question Flickr: photos/hryckowian/3880192862/
    12. Another Dead Librarian by Doug! Flickr.com: librarygeek- 741879088

    You might also like:

    Dear Laika,This is my suggestion for Grand Rounds:Doctors add expert insights and comments about websites in Google Sidewiki
    http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/doctors-add-expert-insights-and.htmlAlternative:Myths About Health Care Around the World
    http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/myths-about-health-care-around-world.htmlLooking forward to Grand Rounds on Tuesday,
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    MEDLIB’s ROUND 1.6

    27 09 2009

    shht-librarian-costume1Welcome to the sixth edition of MedLib’s Round, a blog carnival of “excellent blog posts in the field of medical librarianship”.

    First I have to apologize for the postponement in publication. There were so few submissions (5, including one on this blog), that I needed more time to find some material myself. Time that I didn’t have at that moment.

    After a flying start with many volunteering hosts and submissions the enthusiasm for the Medlib’s Round seems to have faded somewhat. There are far less submissions. Luckily there is a core of  enthusiastic people regularly submitting to the Medlib’s Round and I’m very grateful for that. However, there are many more bloggers out there, who also write very useful MedLib stuff. Why aren’t they contributing? Are they not aware of the round, do they lack time, don’t they like blog carnivals? Should the rounds be better promoted or differently organized? I know that postponement does the round no good, but it is a bit the chicken-and-egg problem. Anyway, I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

    But lets start…..

    Social Media

    A previous host and regular contributor to the round, Nikki Dettmar (@eagledagw) of the Eagle Dawg Blog makes a good point in  “Social Media & Emergency Preparedness: Can Your Family Text?”: “Does your family know to text when there is an emergency? Traditional phone lines may be down and traditional methods of communication may not be working.” Learn about an upcoming drill conducted by a national safety foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over the next few months to use texting and social media channels for emergency communication. And don’t forget to instruct your mother. By the way, the use of Twitter is included in the advise.

    Another regular contributor to the Medlib’s round is Ves Dimov (@DrVes). Dr. Dimov is an Allergy and Immunology Fellow at Creighton University and the author of the Clinical Cases and Images – Blog. Blogging for several years and with more than 7000 RSS readers we can trust him for some good advice on blogging In What makes a blogger go on in a field where so many others stop, fail and disappear?” Dr Ves shortly gives 4 reasons and several tips from his own experience.

    Google Health

    Alisha

    Speaking about blogging, it is only a half year ago that Alisha Miles (@alisha764) started with her blog Alisha 764 saying: “I am no longer a mushroom, I am now a tree.” Which refers to @sandnsurf‘s post: Is Twitter the essential blogging nutrient and his comment on my blog: “the most important thing is that you are actually a tree in this ecosystem, you are out there experimenting, thinking and trying to drive the revolution further…Most of my colleagues are still mushrooms….
    Alisha, who is a contributor to this round from the start, has definitely developed into a full blossoming tree, a top librarian blogger and tweeter,  She is featured, for instance, in Novoseek’s top 10 medical librarian list (as all current librarian submitters with a public blog).
    Her submitted post is a classical post already. It is quite long (hear, hear who is saying) but offers good information. In “Google Health® Information: Surprising Facts” she describes the pros and cons of Google Health®, concluding:

    “It is a good product; however, it should be used with caution. Remember Google Health® is not bound by HIPPA, resources should always be double or triple checked, the Google® Health Drug Interaction program is missing some key interactions, and the Google Health® Topics are missing the reference section, reviewer information, and date stamp.

    Again, I applaud Google® for its efforts and for including links to MedlinePlus® as a trusted resource. As with any information source, even MedlinePlus®, all information should be checked against at least 1 other source.”

    With regard to MedlinePlus and Google, Rachel Walden wrote a post: “Where is MedlinePlus in Google Drug Search Results?” where she notices that Google searches for drug information no longer seem to return results from MedlinePlus and FDA pages.

    PubMed, MeSH and the like

    Rachel

    Rachel Walden (@rachel_w on Twitter) is the woman behind the successful blog Women’s Health News and writer for Our bodies ourselves. She not only knows a lot about women’s health and medical information, but she is always ready to reach a helping hand or join a discussion on Twitter, which is actually a quality of all MEDLIB round contributors.  In “Improving the Findability of Evidence & Literature on DoulasRachel describes  the lack of a specific MeSH for “Doula” in PubMed. A doula is an assistant who provides various forms of non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in the childbirth process. MeSH (or Medical Subject Headings) are controlled terms in MEDLINE, or as explained by Rachel:

    MeSH are “right” terms to use to conduct a literature search in PubMed, it can really help to start with the MeSH term database, because you know those are the official subject terms being assigned to the articles. MeSH is a hierarchy, and it can help you focus a search, or expand it when needed, by moving up and down the list of subject words. It’s a nice tool to have, when it works.

    As highlighted by Rachel, this gap in the MeSH makes searching less efficient and less precise: for instance, nursing and midwivery are too broad terms. But instead of whining, Rachel decided to do something about it. Via this form she send the National Library of Medicine a request to add the “doula” concept to the MeSH terms. I would recommend others to do the same when terms they search for are not (appropriately) covered by the MESH.

    Librarian Mark Rabnett agrees hartfully with Rachel as he has encountered exactly the problems and yes, “there is no question that this is a satisfactorily distinct and widely accepted term, and its entry into the MeSH pantheon is long overdue.”
    On his blog Gossypobima Mark had earlier posted the “Top 5 results to improve PubMedfrom the brainstorming suggestions during the Canadian Health Libraries Association conference. These include “Adding adjacency and real string searching” (YES!) and “Improval of the MeSH database”. His group found “The MeSH database stiff and laboured , and the visual display of the thesaurus and subheadings not intuitive, the ‘Add To’ feature for inserting MeSH terms to a search box kludgy, and the searching for MeSH headings difficult and unpredictable. [..] So he concludes with: “We need a MeSH mashup.”

    Wouldn’t that be wonderful indeed? Rather than the current “enhancements”, why not introduce some web 2.0 tools in PubMed? As Patricia Anderson tweeted a long time ago:

    “It would be so cool to do a # search, then display word cloud of top major MESH terms in results.”

    Yes I would like a visual MeSH, but even better, one that would show up in the sidebar and that you would be able to “walk up and down (and sideways) and with “drag and drop to your search possibilities”. That would be cool. My imagination runs away with me when I think of it.

    Grey Literature

    cappadocia1_bigger shamshaNot having a public blog @shamsha has contributed to this round by writing a guest post on this blog. This interesting post is about grey literature: what is grey literature, why do you need it and why not have guidelines for searching grey literature? She gives many tips and a wealth of references, including links to her own delicious page and a wonderful resource from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

    **********************************************************************************

    This concludes the official part of this MEDLIB’s September round.

    The next round is hosted by Alisha Miles on her blog Alisha 764.
    Officially the deadline is next Saturday
    . (But it may be postponed a little. If so I will post the new deadline here)
    Anyway, Alisha is looking forward to your posts. So send them in as soon as possible HERE at the Blog Carnival form.
    (registration required; see the medlibs-archive for more information.
    )

    And some good news about the round: We already have hosts for November and December, namely Walter Jessen of Highlight Health and Valentin Vivier of at the Novoseek Blog.

    Would you like to host the Medlibs round in 2010? It is never to early! Please dm me at twitter, comment on this post or write an email to laika.spoetnik@gmail.com.

    **********************************************************************************

    Bonus

    Here are some other posts I also found worth while to read.
    (I didn’t include too recent ones, so they can be included in the next round)

    Dr Mike Cadogan (@Sandnsurf) writes  frequently about medical information on his blog Life in the fast Lane (his blog has moved to http://lifeinthefastlane.com, so check out old links that you may have). One of the co-authors of the blog,  Chris Nickson (precordialthump) gives emergency physicians advise how to deal withinformation-overload”. Needless to say the tips are useful to all people dealing with medical information-overload.

    Dr Shock also writes a lot about medical information and web 2.0 tools. Here a video he posted about iPhone and iPod Touch as a Medical Tool.

    Another good source for info about i-phones, palms can be found on http://palmdoc.net/. Medical librarians frequently writing about this subject include the Krafty Librarian and David Rothman.

    I don’t have a palm or sophisticated phone, nor does our library supports its use, so I choose some other posts from these excellent bloggers.

    From the KraftyLibrarian Michelle: Rapid Research about Rapid Research Notes , a new resource developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to quickly disseminate the research results to the public in an open access archive. Michelle wonders why only PLOS-articles are included and not other quality information from for instance EBSCO and Cochrane.

    From palmdoc : Evernote as your peripheral brain (Evernote is a note taking application)

    Rapid Research Notes is also covered by Alison of Dragonfly, a previous host of the round. She also mentions the fact that Medlineplus is now on Twitter.

    David Rothman ‘s paternity leave seems over since he posts several interesting posts per week on his blog Davidrothman.net. Typically he shortly refers to a new tool or a post he encountered, like:

    Dean Giustini of the The Search Principle blog published part one of a Top Fifty Twitter Users List in Medicine and has written a post on Using Twitter to manage information.

    Patricia Anderson of Emerging Technologies Librarian is been very active lately with posts on social media, like “Conversation and Context in Social Media (Cautionary Tales)“, with four scenarios, including the Clinical Reader fiasco. And as always she has a lot of tips on web 2.0 tools. There is for instance a post on Listening Tools to track what your community is saying about you or to you and about Social Media Metrics

    Another techy librarian working at the National University of Singapore is Aaron Tay. Aaron Tay (@aarontay) is not working in the field of medicine, but his web 2.0 tips are useful for anyone, and his blog Musings about Librarianship is certainly a must for libraries that want to use web  2.0 tools to the benefit of their users. Personally, I found the tips onViewing research alerts – full text within Google reader very useful.

    Phil Bradley highlights Google Fast Flip and Bing’s Visual Search.

    Alan from The health Informaticist discusses in “NHS Evidence boo vs guidelinesfinder hurrah” that a simple search for backpain in NHS Evidence yielded 1320 hits (!) of which only a handful are useful guidelines, whereas the good old Guidelines Finder (now a ’specialist collection’), yields 47 mostly useful and relevant hits. He ends this discussion with a  request to NICE: please keep the specialist collections. And I agree.

    On EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC this month an overview of current news, advisories and practical information about Pandemic Flu (H1N1) .

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    his imagination had run away
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    The Grand Rounds is coming! Please start submitting!

    22 09 2009

    I have the honor to host my first GRAND ROUNDS ever on Tuesday September 29th.

    For those who don’t know what the Grand Round is about,  it is the weekly rotating carnival of the best of the medical blogosphere. Today the round is up at Colin Son’s blog Residency Notes, so please take a look at this birthday edition (start of the 6th year of Grand Rounds).

    As apparent from the “Around the World in Eighty Days” Grand Round theme at “Suture for a Living”, most Grand Round  contributors come from the North American Continent. It is quite exceptional that the Grand Round comes to the Netherlands and I’m looking forward to welcome you all.
    Yeah, there will be no theme!
    *

    Please make it easy for this non-native speaker of English and submit your post as soon as possible, but not later than midnight EST (NY) at Sunday September 27th (Monday 6.00 am in the Netherlands and 4.00 UTC (GMT)). Please send your submissions to    laika.spoetnik@gmail.com as follows:

    • “Grand Rounds” in the subject line.
    • Permalink (url) webpost
    • Title post
    • Your name
    • a short description would be of help.
    • and if time permits:
      • tell me where you’re from (town, country and/or institute).
      • spend one line telling me your thoughts on medical information and medical librarians (this may be specially featured.)

    So I hope I shall welcome you all next week. For all those people who have no idea where The Netherlands are, here is an old world map produced by Gerard van Schagen in 1689 in Amsterdam. As you can see, Europe took a more prominent place in the world those days (only the half of North America is represented).

    3185534518_d9d53b1f09 worldImage licenced under Creative Commons
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/caveman_92223/
    / CC BY-ND 2.0

    * I can’t promise to include all submissions though. This will depend on the quality and on whether I can fit it in.





    MedLib’s Round: call for submissions.

    2 09 2009

    Here we go. MedLib’s Round is coming to Laika’s MedLibLog again.

    The Medlib’s Round is a blogcarnival of “recent good quality blog post in the field of medical librarianship”, hosted by a different blogger each time.

    Everyone can submit, as long as the posts are good quality posts on the subject. What subject? Well for instance: PubMed, Library 2.0, new search engines, information literacy, management of information and references, open access, medical i-phone apps, searches and search filters.

    Submission is easy, just submit the permalink (web address) of a post (you have already written on your blog) here at the Blog Carnival (registering required).

    See here for the Announcement. The FAQs can be found here.

    Deadline for submissions is midnight Saturday 6th September (EST). Well a few hrs later will be accepted….

    —————————————————

    p.s. still looking for new hosts, please contact me if you would like to host the November or December edition.

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