Apr 28

EBSCOhost and ScienceDirect Blocking RSS re-syndication?

A friend who is a medical librarian emailed me. She writes:

“I’ve been setting up local RSS pages with Feedburner [for email distribution] and Feed2JS [for dislaying the content of feeds on Web pages] for our most popular journals, to allow for TOCs.

It seems the publishers have gotten wise to this and are not allowing their feeds to be resyndicated. It started with EbscoHost — I noticed their feeds never seemed to refresh themselves (which totally defeats the purpose of having a feed). Now it seems ScienceDirect is also blocking re-syndication. FeedBurner can’t pick up the feeds; Feed2JS gives an error, yet the feed validator says it’s a valid feed. SD is providing it’s own source-code to paste into local web pages, but it takes so long to load the page that it invariably times out = useless.

Just wondering if you’ve heard of this from anyone else…”

I don’t use either one of these, so I haven’t seen this problem. Has anyone else? Please let us know in the comments?

Apr 27

Watching Swine Flu on the Web

Holy cow! Holy pig!

Watching misinformation spread is sort of entertaining. Check out all the people who talk about not eating pork on Twitter. (The flu is not spread by eating pork.)

Hah! As I was writing this post, the latest xkcd appeared!

The CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Twitter feed seems to be a frequently-updated source of sanity:


RSS Feed for CDC’s Swine Flu site

Google Map 1 (H1N1 Swine Flu)
Google Map 2 (“Swine Flu 2009”)
Google Map 3 (“HPAI H5N1 30-Day Outbreak Map”)

HealthMap (previously mentioned here) might be the most complete map visualization. HealthMap’s twitter feed is also interesting, but gives a more panicked impression than that of the CDC (see above)

Apr 25

*Really* Stupid Social Health Site

The idea behind rateadrug.com is for users to rate drugs.


Our goal is to provide unique user-generated data on side effects and subtle side effects of medications. We want to know how these prescription drugs make you feel.

I’ve seen stupid applications of social media in healthcare, but this may take the cake as the dumbest I’ve seen in a good while.

Apr 02

Screencast: Introduction to new PubMed Advanced Search

Way behind on sharing this, but better late than never.

The Mayo Clinic Libraries’ Liblog has a screencast by Melissa Rethlefsen on PubMed’s new Advanced Search features that you can embed on your own page:

In case I have not mentioned it recently: Melissa is awesome.