Oct 31

Veropedia: Like Wikipedia, Except Totally Lame

Have you heard about Veropedia yet?

Veropedia is a collaborative effort by a group of Wikipedians to collect the best of Wikipedia’s content, clean it up, vet it, and save it for all time. These articles are stable and cannot be edited, The result is a quality stable version that can be trusted by students, teachers, and anyone else who is looking for top-notch, reliable information.

Just a few thoughts right off the top of my head:

  • Can’t we tell for ourselves what articles are stable in Wikipedia….just by looking? Why do we need Veropedia editors to do this FOR us?
  • In using Veropedia, we’d be trusting its (un-named) editors as expert enough to decide for themselves what should be done to properly “vet” an article and clean it up. This would be done without the transparenecy of Wikipedia.
  • In what cycle will “stable,” uneditable articles be revisited for consideration of an edit/update? Time passes, things change. Saving articles as static “for all time” seems to defeat at least half the purpose of having an online, digital encyclopedia- and makes certain that the site will age poorly.

So Veropedia will lack a number of Wikipedia’s strengths, offer nothing we can’t already get from Wikipedia itself AND it’ll have advertisements?

Why on earth will people want to use it?

It seems to me that Scholarpedia and Citizendium are both better ideas that leverage many of Wikipedia’s strengths while overcoming some of its weaknesses.

Oct 31

Recent Presentations

Presentation slides worth flipping through:

Eugene Barsky (who has recently been recognized for his work as an outreach physiotherapy librarian) posted slides from his presentation to the BC Ministry of Health and Ministry of Children and Family Development, providing a nice overview of how free Web tools are (or might be) used in healthcare.

Meredith Farkas is prepping for her keynote address at the Academic Library 2.0 conference as evidenced by this presentation being posted on Slideshare:

Oct 30

VisualDxHealth content in MedlinePlus

I’ve previously mentioned VisualDxHealth and liked what they were doing, but I wasn’t expecting this:

ROCHESTER, NY, October 30, 2007 – The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will partner with VisualDxHealth, a unique online consumer health resource developed by the doctors and health care professionals at Logical Images. The NLM Web site, www.MedlinePlus.gov , will expand to provide visitors access to the trusted health source www.VisualDxHealth.com , which features over 2,000 medical-quality images and information on over 150 diseases.

MedlinePlus is promoting this on its front page, too:

Oct 30

MedLib Blog Badge at Google Scholar Blog

I think that Dean Giustini’s Google Scholar Blog was the first MedLib blog I ever subscribed to- so I’m pretty tickled that it now features the MedLib Blog Badge on its sidebar:

Why is David always on about this badgey stuff?

Previously, I’ve noted the following blogs that display the MedLib Blog badge in their sidebars:

These blogs are:

  1. about medical / health / health sciences / biomedical librarianship;
  2. written by (a) medical librarian(s) or medical library paraprofessional(s);
  3. maintained by a medical library; or
  4. maintained by professional association of medical librarians and/or medical library paraprofessionals.

Hey! My blog has the MedLib Blog badge and you haven’t featured it here!

Sorry! I do try for omniscience, but frequently fall short of this goal. If I’ve missed the badge on your blog or if you’ve just added it, please let me know so I can link to it from here.

Why would I want to add the badge to my blog?

The badge links back to the masterlist of MedLib blogs to indicate the blog’s membership in the growing community (and sense of community) of MedLib blogs(/bloggers). (This should serve also as a reminder to add your blog to this masterlist, if appropriate.)

To add this badge to your own blog, just copy and paste this code:

<a href="http://liswiki.org/wiki/Medlib_Blogs">
<img src="http://tinyurl.com/y32hh8/"></a>

Not sure how to do this with your particular blogging software? Email me at david[DOT]rothman[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we’ll figure it out together. :)

Oct 26

More MedWorm Enhancements

I’ve been meaning to post a few notes about MedWorm for a while now.

First, my friend and LibWorm partner Frankie DolanQuick note for John Sharpe: Frankie is a woman- you may want to switch out a few pronouns. 🙂 has been blogging at Frankie Speaking Frankly and you should subscribe to its feed.

Second, registered users can now make use of MedWorm’s new subscribe-by-email feature. Writes Frankie:

It is now possible to receive updates to your favourite MedWorm medical feeds via email. First register with MedWorm by giving an email address, user name and password of your choice. Then subscribe to any of the thousands of feeds you see listed in MedWorm, by clicking on the My MedWorm chicklet next to a feed listing. Finally click on My Account to select how often you would like updates emailed to you.

Frankie has some thoughts on this feature that are worth reading.

Third, you can now discuss any item indexed by MedWorm. Writes Frankie:

It is now possible to open medical and health related discussions on MedWorm by clicking on the comment icon that appears next to every MedWorm item. You will be prompted to logon when posting comments – registering takes less than a minute and is free. All comments will appear in related discussion categories, such as by medical speciality or medical condition, which you will be able to view via the discussion links throughout MedWorm. Each discussion category is also accompanied by its own RSS feed. The link here shows all current MedWorm discussions.

Frankie rocks. Now I have to convince her to roll out some of MedWorm’s enhancements at LibWorm

Oct 25

Off-Topic: Design History in Pop Culture Blog

This will probably interest libraryfolk more than medicalfolk- but if you like art and design, you might forgive me this off-topic post.

My wife, Dr. Elizabeth J. Fowler, is a professor of art and design history at Syracuse University and is currently teaching a course on 20th and 21st-Century Design. She decided she wanted to give her students extra credit for noticing works and designers they’d studied in class when encountering them in popular culture.

I pointed out that this would make great fodder for a blog that could continue to grow, semester to semester, year after year. She agreed and chose a template on Blogger.com:

This was okay, but when I told Liz I could tweak the template to suit her preferences, she asked for a template resembling a Piet Mondrian workLiz teaches Gerrit Rietveld in this class and always compares him to his two-dimensional analogue, Piet Mondrian.

I’m pleased with how it came out with just a little tweaking:

Go check out the blog and send in an email if you see something in popular culture that needs posting. 🙂

Oct 24

“Can you see me now?” [EDITED]

[EDIT]Thanks, folks! I think I’ve had enough responses to confirm that any problems were temporary or not originating from the site. Again, thank you![/EDIT]

I got an email from a reader who tells me she’s had some problems viewing davidrothman.net today. I’m not able, it seems, to replicate the problems she has had.

If you have a minute to spare in which you could visit the site and leave a comment on this post or drop me an email to say if you’re having problems loading it, I’d be most grateful.

Apologies to Verizon Wireless for this blog post’s unfunny title.

Oct 24

What do Hospital Librarians Have Against Blogs?

Melissa Rethlefsen sees some interesting trends in her analysis of the results of the MLA’s social networking survey.

It appears that hospital librarians are not especially fond of blogs.

And so many MedLib bloggers are hospital librarians! Mark Rabnett, Dean Giustini and Michelle Kraft are just a few favorites who come to mind right away.

What would help explain the differences in attitudes towards these tools between hospital and academic medical librarians?

Oct 22

YouTube for [Fill in the Blank]

A whole lot of people like to write about the application of a popular “Web 2.0” site’s model to a specialized interest, purpose, or population.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.

But I’m going to go a little off-topic because I want to point out a handful of the huge number of sites seeking to be YouTube for [Fill in the Blank].

Before we go completely off-topic, we’ll make a brief stop at SciVee.com, a site frequently described as “YouTube for Scientists.”

Of course, SciVee isn’t the only service seeking to apply the YouTube model to the needs of scientists- there’s also (the previously mentioned) Bioscreencast.com and SciTalks.


But that’s just scratching the surface of sites borrowing YouTube’s model!

There are two YouTube clones for Jews: JewTube and Yideoz.

Of course, Judaism isn’t the only religion with its own YouTube. F’rinstance, there’s IslamicTube (formerly IslamTube).

Not to be outdone by Jews and Muslims, Christian online video enthusiasts have their choice between GodTube and JesusClips.

Lest we be overwhelmed with Piety 2.0, remember that no technology exists which can’t be tasked to serve pornography. Witness if you will the example of PornoTube (I’ll refrain from linking to this obviously NSFW site). There are at least a couple of other sites like PornoTube.

A nice contrast to PornoTube is TeacherTube.

And look at the logos- they’re so stereotypically “2.0” with their sans serif fonts, horizontal reflections and grey subtitles.

But I don’t have a problem with any of these. I think that a lot of libraryfolk spend a lot of time thinking over services like YouTube and wondering how their ideas might be leveraged to serve the needs of libraries, library patrons, and librarians. Tools like Pligg let anyone make a Digg clone, so I’m betting we’ll eventually see an open-source package for making YouTube clones- any bets on how long it’ll be before there is a YouTube clone intended for librar* purposes? Quick! Register the most intuitive and sensible domain names!

But before you do, ask yourself: does the world need another YouTube clone?

Oct 21

But I repeat myself…(on Wikipedia and Medical Information)

A few days ago, Berci Meskó posted at ScienceRoll more of his advocacy for Wikipedia as a credible resource for medical information. Berci argues that if Wikipedia has increased external links and increased references, it must be seen as having increased credibility.

This isn’t this first time Berci made this fallacious argument, and it isn’t the first time I’ve been really annoyed by it.

For examples, see this post (read all the comments, too) written in response to his MedScape interview (requires free registration) and this post from a little more than a week later.

It needs to be said again and I implore any healthcare bloggers (especially MedLib Bloggers) reading this to repeat it on their own blogs:

Having lots of references does NOT equal accuracy, credibility or authority.

Oct 20

Google CSE for “Netting the Evidence”

The Information Resources Section of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield has put together a Google Custom Search Engine of interest to medical libraryfolk. According to Andrew Booth, Director of Information Resources & Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, the Netting the Evidence Google Search Engine “…searches over one hundred web sites (107) associated with the METHODOLOGY of evidence based practice.”

This CSE will replace the current Netting the Evidence site, which Booth indicates will shortly be removed.

Try it out and share your thoughts in the comments.


Previous posts about Google CSEs

Oct 18

Ranking Healthcare Blogs (again)

I’ve posted previously about the concerns I have about attempts to rank blogs (healthcare blogs, biblioblogs or any other sort of blogs).

Please keep those concerns in mind when you read at eDrugsearch.com that, if measured by the number of subscribers via Google Reader or iGoogle, davidrothman.net is (just barely) ranked in the top 10 healthcare blogs.

Oct 16


So I’m very glad to be back at work full-time after my recent fun with a spontaneous pneumothorax and thoracic surgery, but I’m also really, really tired.

This is very inconvenient because I have a lot on my plate at the moment and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

So, I plan to blog significantly less for the foreseeable future. I expect I’ll get back up to normal posting frequency eventually, but probably not in 2007. Hope you’ll bear with me in the meanwhile.

If you’re in the habit of checking the blog daily to see if there are updates, you might instead consider subscribing to the feed or to emailed updates (see form on the blog’s right sidebar) so you are notified when there is something new to read here.

If you have emailed me in the last week or so and are still waiting for a reply, please accept my apologies and know that I absolutely *will* reply when I get caught up.

Oct 12

NEJM Video: Chest-Tube Insertion

Knowing that I recently had a chest tube, Rachel thought (correctly) that I’d be interested to know that the latest video from NEJM is on Chest-Tube Insertion.

I was under conscious sedation for mine, so I learned a lot from this.

The most important thing that I learned from the video is immense gratitude to Dr. Lim (the surgical resident who inserted my chest tube) for her generous use of anaesthesia and conscious sedation. Yikes. Just watching the video made me cringe a few times. Thank you, Dr. Lim. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A hundred times: thank you.


Oct 11

Human Embryology Resources

Two resources I stumbled across recently:

The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo is a collaboration funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to produce and make available over the internet a three-dimensional image reference of the Human Embryo based on magnetic resonance imaging. The collection of images is intended to serve students, researchers, clinicians, and the general public interested in studying and teaching human development.

Tons of images and videos (Quicktime) available

Human Embryology

This website contains supplemental materials for William Larsen’s Human Embryology textbooks. Contents include:

1. Animations of developmental processes
2. Updates and links
3. Self-testing exercises
4. Glossaries
5. Instructor’s Manual

Oct 10

Web 2.0, library 2.0, physician learning 2.0 (Ophthamology article)

This looks like another article that I want to read but don’t have access to.

Ophthalmology. 2007 Oct;114(10):1801-3.
Web 2.0, library 2.0, physician learning 2.0.Liesegang TJ.
PMID: 17908589

(This blog would be a lot better if publishers would just give me free subscriptions- or at least send me copies of articles like this one. I know- it’d be a chilly day in Hades…)

Anyone else read it yet?