Sep 26

Frankie Dolan at Health 2.0

This shows how far behind I am in my blogging:

My friend (and LibWorm co-creator) Frankie Dolan spoke at Health 2.0 in Paris about MedWorm and I haven’t even posted the video of her talk until now. BAD David. Video is embedded below.

Frankie’s bit starts at about 10m 25s if you’d like to skip up to it.


Jun 18

The UK Biblioblogosphere

The UK Biblioblogosphere is a blog by Keir Hopwood. From Keir’s announcement:

I wanted to announce my new blog, which details my MSc ILM research project on UK academic (i.e. university) library blogs:

On this blog I will

a) detail the progress and any interesting milestones in the research andwriting process itself

b) keep a list of relevant online resources, including openly available scholarly literature and related blogs

c) keep an updated “directory” of UK academic library blogs at

I warmly invite all readers of this list to follow my progress, leave comments and especially alert me to any new or closing blogs so that I can keep the list up to date.

I hope it contributes to research and practice in this field.

Keir, I expect to plunder your account for blogs not yet added to LibWorm– good luck with your project and thanks for making your collection available to others!

May 26

MLA 2008: Plenary Session IV Slides

David Rothman

Amanda Etches-Johnson

Melissa Rethlefsen

Bart Ragon

Apr 02

How to: Follow CIL 2008 online via RSS [Edited again]


  • Added a feed from Google Blog Search (which uses a fairly narrow search) to the Superfeed.
  • Added filters to the Superfeed to screen out a handful of false positives.
  • Embedded Grazr widget (see end of post)


Wouter has made the Superfeed available in Dutch. šŸ™‚

To make sure I don’t miss any online chatter about Computers in Libraries 2008 (which starts next Monday), I’m subscribed to the following feeds:

If you’re like me, you’d rather subscribe to one feed than several, so all the feeds above are included in the feed below:

Single feed that combines all of the above:

Grazr widget below will let you browse the Superfeed contents:

Feb 13

LibWorm is an “Awesome Beta Research Tool” lists LibWorm as one of its “25 Awesome Beta Research Tools from Libraries Around the World.”

24. LibWorm: This beta helps you “search the biblioblogosphere and beyond.” When you want to start your search on the Internet but only want to find library-related material, this tool can help. By pulling information from over 1500 RSS feeds in categories like academic libraries, government libraries, law libraries, podcasts: librarianship, medical libraries and more.

Thanks to Paul Pival for the heads-up!

Jan 19

OvidSP Resources

The Krafty Librarian has assembled a number of useful resources on OvidSP that should be helpful to those still working on transition plans.

You can also check out what other medical libraries are doing by searching the Medical Library CSE for ovidsp.

You could even seek out specific instructional materials by searching for Ovidsp (handout OR instructions OR “how to” OR training)

For what the biblioblogosphere has had to say about OvidSP, see this LibWorm search.

Jan 18

The Biblioblogosphere (and LibWorm) used in Library School

I got a great email from a friend who is currently in library school months ago that I never posted about. Bad, BAD David!

I love her description of how she used LibWorm to search the biblioblogosphere as a part of her research for a library school assignment:

…I was required to write a brief piece related to an assigned search tool. The point was to share with the class the latest news related to a particular site (I had the Librarians’ Internet Index). I used LibWorm to see what people were saying about LII. Julie Shen’s blog pointed me to a piece about Wikipedia’s plan to start Search Wikia, a community-based search service. I ended up using the article from the blog to discuss the niche LII has created in the market. Your site was really useful because the BBC article never mentions LII so I don’t know that I would have found the article without LibWorm.

This makes me feel warm and fuzzy. šŸ™‚

Jan 14

Please Vote! (…preferably for me)

Okay. To my great surprise, it looks like I actually have a chance at winning this award (previously mentioned here and here).

At the moment, I’m trailing Berci’s ScienceRoll– but not by a great margin.

This sort of contest is really about how many people one can motivate to go vote for one’s own endeavor- so the fact that I’m closing on Berci is probably due in no small part to bloggers like Michael Stephens, Wouter Gerritsma, Blake Carver, Zagreus Ammon (blogging under a pseudonym at Physician Executive) and Steven Cohen for encouraging others to vote for my blog.

If you haven’t yet, please head over to vote for

Thank you!

Jan 14

Favorite RSS Resources and Tools

[Updated: 8/28/2008]

(My emphasis here is on free and low-cost resources)

Explaining RSS

Resources to help you choose a feed aggregator

RSS Plugins for Outlook

(2003 or earlier- Outlook 2007 has a feed aggregator built-in)

Google Reader Tips and Plug-ins

RSS-to-Email tools

Publishing RSS content on Web Pages

Web-Based RSS-to-Web-Page tools
Hosted RSS-to-Web-Page Tools

Feed mashing and filtering tools

Creating feeds for pages that don’t offer them

Sometimes called “scraping”

Creating feeds from PubMed

Creating feeds from LibWorm (/MedWorm)

Although structured slightly differently, MedWorm and LibWorm have similar interfaces and identical search operators.
LibWorm FAQ
LibWorm-Fu for Beginners
Intermediate/Advanced LibWorm-Fu (Power Searching)

Okay, your turn: What good stuff did I miss?

Nov 26

How to: Get Exactly What You Want From YouTube via RSS

Berci asked:

David, do you know how can we subscribe to searches on Youtube? I mean, Iā€™d like to follow the RSS feed of the search term genetics on Youtube, for example.

Jan answered:

You can create RSS feeds for tags. FI: rss for genetics will be

For search related rss-feeds on YouTube you could try

The feed that Jan suggests will only contain videos that have been tagged “genetic.” It won’t contain videos that have the word “genetics” elsewhere in their metadata.

To capture videos that have “genetics” anywhere in their metadata, try this feed:

Unfortunately, this simple way of creating a search-based YouTube feed ([search terms].rss) will limit the search results to 20 items.

If we want to get more than 20 results in our feed, we need to use the YouTube API,
which is powerful and not especially difficult to play with.

If we want a feed that captures the most recent 50 videos, we can use this feed:

Neat, huh? Still, I don’t subscribe to these sorts of feeds.
Unfortunately, both the feed for the tag “genetics” and the feed for the search term “genetics” are too full of junk (including spammy, awful ringtone advertising) for me to deal with efficiently. I once had search feeds like these from YouTube fed into LibWorm, but removed them because the results returned for the search term “library” were frequently inappropriate and wildly distant from Librar*/LIS topics.

If one was determined to make such a feed useful, one could use a tool like Yahoo Pipes to filter out the worst and most obvious of the junk items, producing a feed like this one. It is far from perfect, but most of the junk is gone and little of the good stuff is missing.

(Please feel free to copy this Pipe.)

However, a Pipe used for this purpose would probably need semi-routine maintenance and updates to its Filter module to keep the junk out.Note for nit-pickers: Yes, I considered more aggressive filtering by category either through the API or Pipes, but there are valid hits across a number of unexpected categories.

Okay, that was fun! Any other feed questions?

Nov 01

LibWorm IL2007 Mention

Steven Cohen was the first librarian to whom I revealed the existence of LibWorm- and he has been a wonderful supporter since.

Steven gave a presentation on “What’s Hot with RSS” at Internet Librarian 2007, and we’re tickled that LibWorm was included in this presentation- and at least a couple of bibliobloggers noted the mention.

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. šŸ™‚ 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