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.

Mar 05

Pubget RSS and Firefox Download Extension

Okay, so we already knew that Pubget is pretty neat and, for the organizations who can implement it, it speeds up the process of getting the full text PDF to the user.

Pubget’s head developer, Ian Connor, keeps me updated on new developments. I was delighted to hear that Pubget now offers RSS feeds with links to the full-text PDFs via one’s organization’s access. The example in the embedded video below uses an open access journal, but gives a good idea what the new feature looks like.

So the idea is that if you click on the link in the RSS feed, Pubget scrolls down the list of the results, highlights the right paper, and displays that PDF.

Pubget also has a new Firefox extension (available at http://pubget.com/pubget.xpi) for registered users at that will allow them “…to download all papers from a search or latest issue to their local hard drive.” See embedded video below.

If your organization uses Pubget, how about writing a review for the JMLA? Everything I see and hear from Ian looks insanely cool, but I’d love to hear what a medical librarian thinks after a road test.

Jan 24

Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare

Rachel Walden points (from both Women’s Health News and Our Bodies Our Blog) to a free online workshop titled “Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action” , offered by the US Cochrane Center‘s Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE).

(Embedded below is a video about CUE. If you are reading this post via a feed reader, you may need to visit the site to view the video.)

Jan 19

Lei Wang’s “Find It Fast” Video Tutorials

Posting about the cool stuff Lei Wang does appears to be a habit for me, but as habits go, it sure is worthwhile.

Lately, Lei has been posting “Find It Fast!” video tutorials on the blog he writes for the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at the Yale University School of Medicine. These are great and are available as streaming flash or as an .m4v download (suitably sized for viewing on a portable device!).
Click here to see Lei's tutorial, "The Clinical Question"
The most recent ones, The Clinical Question and The Pyramid of Resources aren’t just useful to clinicians- they would make wonderful instructional tools for new medical libraryfolk, too.

Sep 10

Where to Find Embeddable Health Information Videos

There are a good number of sources for online health information videos, but I tend to take special note of those sites that will allow me to embed videos on any Web page I want.




“The Insidermedicine Project is a physician-led news and knowledge-translation initiative that allows patients, doctors and medical students to keep up on the latest medical information by watching our unique videos that are created each and every weekday by our team of medical experts. Our goal is to reach patients, medical doctors and students around the world to ensure that each is receiving a daily “evidence based” health and medical update.”

[Full disclosure: I did a very little bit of consulting for Insidermedicine]

Medical Videos



“MedicalVideos.us is an online library dedicated for videos and movies related to Medicine and Surgery to provide one easy place to find whatever a doctor,medical student,nurse or any individuals involved in medicine to find whatever he/she looks for.With a simple broadband connection you can enjoy the high quality medical videos either to learn new techniques or to be updated with the latest advances in medicine.”




“The content on the eMedTV Web site is designed to help users better understand their health and play a more active role — together with their physician — in planning their healthcare.”



“CDC-TV is a new online video delivery resource available through CDC.gov. Web visitors can now view or download videos on a variety of health, safety and preparedness topics. Most videos are short and all include closed-captioning (some videos are also open-captioned), so they are accessible to all interested viewers. The library of videos will expand to include single-topic presentations as well as different video series focused on children, parents, and public health professionals.”[via]




Above: Embedded video in which icyou describes itself.

Aug 18

MEDLINE now indexes JoVE

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is now indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed.

They say on the Jove Blog that “JoVE is the first video-journal to be accepted in PubMed.”

Verrrry interesting. Does anyone know if the NLM has published the standards that might’ve been applied here? Are they the same standards as for text resources? I’m curious to know what other Web-based non-text resources will be indexed in the future.

Jun 22

Introducing Simon Gabriel Rothman

Born at 5:30 AM today, weighing in at 6 lbs 3 oz. I uploaded the following embedded video quickly for distant grandparents:

Music is You Ruined Everything by Jonathan Coulton

Liz and Simon are both doing great.

I will likely not be blogging for a while and will be slower in answering email than usual. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Tired and very happy,


Jun 13

Friday Fun: The Placebo Journal

Dr. Doug Farrago is a board certified family practice physician in Maine who happens to publish my favorite medical journal, the Placebo Journal.

For the uninitiated, it might be fair to say that the Placebo Journal is sort of like The Onion, but all about medicine.

Here’s an example parody advertisement from PJ for the Drug Rep Piñata:

(This and other sample pages from PJ available here).

I met Dr. Farrago at the AMA Medical Communications Conference in April. He seems willing and able to mock anything or anyone, including himself, and he’s very funny.

How’d the Placebo Journal get started?

“About 9 years ago I was totally burned out. Things were getting to me. When I went to the office all the crying and whining was driving me crazy. Then I realized that the crying and whining was coming from me. What saved me was the stories my partners and I shared with each other. It made me realize I wasn’t alone. Ripping on all the absurdities that go on in health care didn’t hurt either.”

What are your richest sources for subjects to satirize?

Medicine is so chock full of bullshit. The shenanigans of the Medical Axis of Evil (lawyers, insurance companies, big Pharma) makes life too easy for me.

Have any of your targets ever come after you for criticizing or satirizing them?

Google “Cigna” and “Farrago” togetherDavid did Google “Cigna” and “Farrago” together. Click here.. Let’s just say parody holds up pretty well as a defense mechanism.

To what do you attribute the growth of the Placebo Journal? What need does it fill?

Everyone loves medicine. There is a reason that ER, House and Grey’s Anatomy are so popular. We all have been patients at one time or another so everyone can relate. My audience initially was just doctors but it has spread like a virus. There is a vaccine for it, by the way, but it is only about 40% effective and may cause autism.

Placebo Journal fills the need of humor for many people – especially physicians, the majority of which are socially retarded.

Dr. Farrago is branching out into other media, including video. Embedded below is a recent episode of Placebo Television (distributed via YouTube).

(Those reading via RSS may need to visit the site to vbiew embedded video above)

To keep on top of new episodes, subscribe to this feed.

He also has a blog and an email newsletter you can sign up for here.

Good news for academic medical librarians:
Dr. Farrago is looking to improve his exposure to medical students. He tells me that he wants to give some free, one-year subscriptions to libraries that’ll put the Placebo Journal out where medical students can see them. If you’re interested, leave a comment below and I’ll pass your email address on to Dr. Farrago.

Good news for everyone else:
Want a sample issue of the Placebo Journal so you can consider adding it to your serials budget? You can get one by clicking here.

Bonus: Dr. Farrago graciously gave me permission to post this sneak-preview of a page from the upcoming June edition of the Placebo Journal:

I think this is the first time I’ve actually recommended a non-free product or service on this blog. Let that inform your estimation of how much I enjoy the Placebo Journal. 🙂

Jun 10

Off-Topic: Boggle and Sneak

You might remember that about a year ago I posted about our friend Fritz’s “Novel-a-month” project.

Of of those books is published and available now. Here’s Fritz explaining Boogle and Sneak in 32 seconds:

(Those reading via RSS may need to visit the site in order to view embedded video above)

I think this makes Fritz pretty much the coolest Dad ever.

You can purchase the hardcover book via Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Fritz adds:

Boggle & Sneak is Creative Commons licensed (CC-BY-NC).
Download the full text for free: PDF · HTML · TXT
Noncommercial sharing and remixing are strongly encouraged.

See what I mean? Coolest. Dad. Ever.

More detail (including Maker Faire video and Instructable for Fritz’s Time Machine) here.

May 23

MLA 2008: It’s the people

On the MLA2008 GroupTweet, someone asked:

Missing 2008 and having never attended MLA – curious, what’s biggest take home? Networking, knowledge, padding for the CV?

I answered:

Networking. Meeting smart, fun, friendly people who have similar concerns and challenges.

The following video features only a few of the really friendly, smart, fun people I met or got to hang out with at the annual meeting.

MLA 2008: People from David Rothman on Vimeo.

Music is Jonathan Coulton’s “Code Monkey

(In my head, I now change the lyric to “OrgMonkey“)

May 18

Millennium Park 5/17/2008 (MLA 2008)

I’ve known CJ Bryant for about 13 years, but met her for the first time in person yesterday, and that was loads of fun. We walked around Millennium Park (only a short walk from the hotel) for a while and I took a little video.

Milennium Park, 5/17/2008 from David Rothman on Vimeo.
Above: Embedded Video

Music is “ShopVac” by Jonathan Coulton (used b/c it is CC licensed).