Oct 24

New Blog: ‘EBM Librarians’ by Connie Schardt

Duke University’s Connie Schardt has started a new blog, EBM Librarians, “…for students and librarians who support the practice of evidence based medicine.”

When I asked MEDLIB-L subscribers to recommend resources for teaching EBM, multiple respondants recommended Connie’s work:

One respondant strongly praised a class she’d attended about EBM for librarians taught by Connie.

I’m really looking forward to Connie’s posts, and have subscribed to her blog’s feed.

Oct 24

RSS Round up (Woodman and Rubel)

  • Mark Woodman over at InkBlots has a great little post of 5 reasons someone might resist trying/using feeds, and 5 matching suggestions for overcomming these.
    InkBlots logo
    Good advice, short post.

    (Thanks, Hope!)

  • Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion has a post called Pimp Every Room in Your House with RSS which details some of the many ways RSS feeds could be used through out the home. It includes neat stuff like an aggregator for TiVo and an aggregator for Windows Media Center PC from Newsgator that allows the user to subscribe to and view video podcasts on one’s television. It also includes a completely insane gadget from Taiwan called the RSStroom Reader that prints your favorite feed posts on your toilet paper:
    RSStroom Reader
    (Click for larger image).

    Hey, I love RSS, but even I know this is ridiculous…after thinking about it for a few minutes.

Oct 23

New feed for davidrothman.net

Just a quick note about this:

Finally moved davidrothman.net to a Feedburner feed, and the new links on the sidebar (and in auto-discovery) show only the Feedburner feeds.

If you feel like switching from the old feed to the new one, please do. If it is inconvenient, don’t bother.

The new feed, though, has neat stuff added to it that I’m pleased with, like links to add items to del.icio.us, or track comments on a post with co.mments.

Old feed: http://davidrothman.net/feed
New feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Davidrothmannet

I also added the option of subscribing to davidrothman.net via email updates, you’ll see the subscription form in the sidebar under the other Syndication links.

Oct 23

Pageflakes for MedLib Blogs

I saw on Michael Stephen’s Tame the Web the Pageflakes page Phil Bradley made out of a number of biblioblogs. Intrigued, I decided to try the same thing with the feeds in the Masterlist of MedLib Blogs (see previous post).

Here’s the result:
MedLib Blogs in Pageflakes


Meh. Sort of interesting, but nowhere near as useful and having the list in BlogLines or Google Reader. Also, the AJAX interface is a nice idea, and works well in my Google Personalized Home Page, but was wonky in Pageflakes. The item I was dragging somehow often ended up half a screen away from my cursor.
Cursor vs item dragged

Oct 23

Update: Masterlist of MedLib Blogs, New OPML and Grazr link

Did a little maintenance on the masterlist of MedLib Blogs at LISWiki.

The OPML file has been updated to reflect new additions to the list:
OPML file for this list as of 10/22/2006

I’ve also added a new link that’ll let you browse these blogs and their contents in Grazr. Just click on the new link…
new link

…and the list will open up in Grazr for browsing:

OPML in Grazr

You also may notice both of these links on the sidebar at davidrothman.net, under Medical Librarianship:
Links on davidrothman.net

What is OPML?
(There’ll be posts here about OPML in the future.)

What is Grazr?

Previous posts on this topic:

Oct 22

Comparison of Librarything, GuruLib and Shelfari

librarytwopointzero has a decent comparison of Librarything, GuruLib, and Shelfari. Can’t disagree with the conclusion.

The marks added together are as follows and (out of 40):

Librarything = 32
Shelfari = 24
Gurulib = 23

I think you can see that Librarything is my favourite. I think, in comparison to the other two, Librarything really gives you that extra. Its main area I like is being able to transfer your data both into it and out of the site.

Related posts:

Oct 22

Wikiality Wiki

Don’t know how I missed this, but it is hilarious! This Wiki is for documenting truthiness.

Wikiality Screencap

Welcome to Wikiality, the Wiki dedicated to upholding and documenting truthiness.
Wikiality isn’t about what “factonistas” might sneeringly deride using phrases like:

“statistical trends”, or
the “objective truth”, or,
“For the last time, President Bush doesn’t have a 102% approval rating!”

There’s a level of truth and meaning beyond (and, really, having little or nothing to do with) what’s “demonstrably true”,
and that’s what we’re dedicated to keeping track of.

If you feel something strongly in your gut, or would like to help us keep track of the strong gut feelings of
our dear friend Stephen Colbert, feel free to jump in and help out.

Via The Shifted Librarian

Stephen Colbert on Wikiality (video)

Previous posts on davidrothman.net about Wikis

Oct 21



Via ResourceShelf, globalhealthfacts.org has added 40 new indicators.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has recently expanded GlobalHealthFacts.org to include 40 new data indicators that can be easily displayed in tables, charts, and color-coded maps and downloaded for custom analyses. It’s a great resource for the global health community – which relies on information for, well, just about everything – and I strongly encourage you to check out the new and improved site. Even better, Kaiser welcomes suggestions for future additions as well; personally, I would love to see the eventual inclusion of DTP3 coverage rates, which are widely used as a proxy for health system strength (as discussed in our recent report, Measuring Commitment to Health).

Complete list of indicators
About Globalhealthfacts.org

Tangent: I don’t know as much about health care policy as I should- so perhaps others might help me understand this.

How is it that the United States, wealthiest nation in the history of the planet, is only tied for 14th place in fewest maternal mortalities per 100,000 live births?

Oct 19

Some Alternative Interfaces and Mashups for MedLibs

Answering a comment from Michelle yesterday, I listed some other “alternative interfaces” to PubMed/MEDLINE, some of which could be called Mashups:

SLIM (http://pmi.nlm.nih.gov/slim/)
MedKit (http://metnetdb.gdcb.iastate.edu/medkit/)
PubMed Assistant (http://metnet.vrac.iastate.edu/browser/)
XplorMed (http://www.ogic.ca/projects/xplormed/)
GoPubMed (http://www.gopubmed.org/)
ClusterMed (http://clustermed.info/)
PubFinder (http://www.glycosciences.de/tools/PubFinder) – I haven’t been able to reach it today. I did reach its google cache, though: http://tinyurl.com/u3zev

I was pleased today to find this page at neurotransmitter.net, which lists these and a number of others that I can’t wait to explore.

Oct 19



LitMiner is a literature data mining tool that is based on the annotation of key terms in article abstracts followed by statistical co-citation analysis of annotated key terms in order to predict relationships. Key terms belonging to four different categories are used for the annotation process:

  • Genes: Names of genes and gene products. Gene name recognition is based on Ensembl . Synonyms and aliases are resolved.
  • Chemical Compounds: Names of chemical compounds and their respective aliases.
  • Diseases and Phenotypes: Names of diseases and phenotypes
  • Tissues and Organs: Names of tissues and organs

Article from Biomedical Digital Libraries
Provisional PDF

This paper examines how the adoption of a subject-specific library service has changed the way in which its users interact with a digital library. The LitMiner text-analysis application was developed to enable biologists to explore gene relationships in the published literature. The application features a suite of interfaces that enable users to search PubMed as well as local databases, to view document abstracts, to filter terms, to select gene name aliases, and to visualize the co-occurrences of genes in the literature. At each of these stages, LitMiner offers the functionality of a digital library. Documents that are accessible online are identified by an icon. Users can also order documents from their institutions library collection from within the application. In so doing, LitMiner aims to integrate digital library services into the research process of its users.

Oct 19

Health Literacy Course at Syracuse University

Syracuse University is not only offering a course on Health Literacy, but they’ve announced it to S.U.’s LIS students:

HSHP is offering a new course in Spring 2007, HTS 311/600, HEALTH LITERACY, taught by Luvenia W. Cowart, Ed.D., RN, Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow and Associate Professor of Practice in the College.

The undergraduate course is class number 40063, HTW 311, M001, Health Literacy, 3 credits.
The graduate course class number is 40832, HTW 600, Selected Topics: Health Literacy, 3 credits.


This course is designed to introduce the health literacy phenomenon and to explore the multi-layered links between health literacy, health outcomes, and health care disparities. Critique of current health literacy literature and research findings will be emphasized. Foundational to the course is developing an understanding of social, economical, and personal barriers experienced by adults with poor literacy. Course participants will learn strategies for assessing readability and suitability of writing and printed materials and for evaluating individual reading skills of adults. Ethics and socio-political structures that address health literacy will be explored.

It’s wonderful that they’re promoting the course to LIS students. Whether a student plans a career in public, school, or academic librarianship, this is essential knowledge and these are essential skills.

Many thanks to Dr. Luvenia W. Cowart for allowing me to reproduce her announcement.

Oct 18

Can I get an “amen”?

Check out this post from Medical Librarian Rachel Walden at Women’s Heath News:

Women's Health News Screen Capture

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Once a Librarian, Always a Librarian
To the person who got here searching for “nursing journal articles on human trafficking,”

Email me, I can help you find them.

posted by Rachel at 10/17/2006

How cool is that? Rachel doesn’t just wait for people to make their information needs known to her. She detects a need and actively seeks out the information-seeker with an offer to help.

Is this not the expression of an outstanding service ethic? Isn’t it pretty much a perfect example of the reflexive desire to help serve an information need that should ideally drive the work of all libraryfolk?

Can I get an amen?

Seriously. Please leave a comment with your “amen” if you find this as admirable as I do!

Oct 18


PubFocus Logo

This page gives a good, quick idea what PubFocus does.

From BMC:

Understanding research activity within any given biomedical field is important. Search outputs generated by MEDLINE/PubMed are not well classified and require lengthy manual citation analysis. Automation of citation analytics can be very useful and timesaving for both novices and experts.

PubFocus web server automates analysis of MEDLINE/PubMed search queries by enriching them with two widely used human factor-based bibliometric indicators of publication quality: journal impact factor and volume of forward references. In addition to providing basic volumetric statistics, PubFocus also prioritizes citations and evaluates authors impact on the field of search. PubFocus also analyses presence and occurrence of biomedical key terms within citations by utilizing controlled vocabularies.

Full text (Provisional PDF)

Via MedLIB-L (Thank you, Benoit Thirion!)

Oct 17

earFeeder: Current Awareness of your favorite musicians

earFeeder logo

I won’t be a surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I love RSS as a current awareness tool for academic and medical libraries. But earFeeder scans your computer to see what musicians you like and builds a custom feed to bring you news on those musicians. Audiophiles, rejoice.

From the site, here’s a brief description of how it works:

Step 1
earFeeder will scan your machine for music and automatically detect your favorite musical artists.

Step 2
Once that’s done, earFeeder will generate an RSS newsfeed just for you.

Step 3
Subscribe to the newsfeed and earFeeder will make sure you’re in the know.

Your RSS newsfeed contains:
Artist News
New releases
Ticket presales and more…

After earFeeder scans your system for music files and collects artist names, it lists the artists found so you can refine the list of musicians you want updates on:
Select Artists

Then earFeeder creates your custom feed and makes it easy to subscribe with many popular aggregators, or via email with R-mail:
subscribe buttons

Here’s what a couple of feed items from my custom feed look like in BlogLines:

…and note that links inside of each feed item let you edit the feed!

I love this idea, and am impressed with the beta’s interface design. Can’t wait to see what it does next.

(Contrary to a number of comments I’ve read, it worked just fine in Firefox for me. YMMV.)

[Thanks, TechCrunch!]

Oct 17

IE7 via Automatic Updates by November 1st


To help customers become more secure and up-to-date, Microsoft will distribute Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates and the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites. Internet Explorer 7 will be available for users of genuine Windows XP SP2, Windows XP 64-bit Edition, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

This announcement provides an overview of the delivery process and options available to IT Administrators to prevent delivery of Internet Explorer 7 to their organization through Automatic Updates. Customers wishing to block the delivery of Internet Explorer 7 into their organization should have blocking measures complete by November 1. Distribution of Internet Explore 7 by Automatic Updates will take several months to complete. Microsoft will revise this announcement with more information in the future.

Oct 17

Chimato on Practicing Medical Reference

I’ve been taking a class on Reference Librarianship this semester, so I was especially interested to see Mary Carmen Chimato has posted some thoughts on Practicing Medical Reference.

The only times I have flat out conducted a full-on database search for someone is when a doctor has come down to the library, in scrubs (this has happened more than once or twice) or about to go into surgery and needs to find out something immediately.

I think medical librarians remain important when they empart their skills and knowledge to others through instruction and training, not by mechanically answering question after question after question. Anyone can pretend to do that well, but by showing our patrons what we do is a skill and takes time and practice to get really good at doing, they value us more.

Read the whole thing.

Oct 17

Give Me Back My Google!

Searching for products on Google™ can be annoying: nothing but Kelkoo, Pricerunner et al clogging up your search results. Now don’t get me wrong, these sites have their uses, but sometimes you really don’t want them in your search results.

The site does exactly that. Executes your search but excludes certain domains. If I search for “David Rothman”, it executes the following search in Google:

“David Rothman” -site:kelkoo -site:ciao -site:bizrate -site:pixmania.co.uk -site:pixmania.com -site:dealtime.com -site:pricerunner.co.uk -site:pricerunner.com -site:pricegrabber -site:pricewatch -site:shopping.msn.com -site:resellerratings -site:epinions.com -site:nextag -site:comparestoreprices.co.uk -site:unbeatable.co.uk -site:ebay -site:shopping.com -site:shopbot

Simple enough idea.

There’s a Bookmarklet, too.

(via dumb little man)

Oct 16

Integrating Reference Tools with the EMR

Ran into a press release the other day from EBSCO, touting the ease of integrating it’s point-of-care tools into EMR/EHRs, “[w]ith the EBSCOhost® Integration Toolkit (EIT)” which “…provides a comprehensive set of flexible web services based on XML/SOAP standards for establishing direct links from their EHR/EMRs to applicable clinical reference resources from EBSCO.”

This makes me sigh and fret.

I know that the integration of information tools into our hospital’s EMR system is absolutely essential, but haven’t gotten far with this yet. The CIO did agree to link to the library’s portal from the EMR (Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager), and that’s great because it makes the library’s resources accessible to any clinican with an internet connection and an Active Directory account for a our network- but it isn’t enough. There are too many steps between the identification of a need for clinical information based on a patient’s chart and the retrieval of that information. Clinicians won’t use tools they find inconvenient.

I’m not immediately finding a lot of literature to use as a guide, either. Before I submit a call for advice to MEDLIB-L, I thought I’d post it here first. Any thoughts? Any favorite articles on the topic? Anyone who has integrated tools with Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager?