Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Digital Stories from People who Live with Serious Diseases

Narratives of personal experience are an important addition to consumer health service. Here's once such source:

Digital Stories from People who Live with Serious Diseases: "

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/09/10/health/Patient_Voices.html

In Patient Voices, The New York Times features digital first person stories of the challenges patients face as they cope with various health issues, including mental illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases, and Type II Diabetes. Health Guides and blogs on each topic are offered. A great example of using first-person stories and media to improve health.

[New Routes E-mail Digest] September 27, 2010 http://newroutes.org/node/38216]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Consumer Health Information Websites with High Visual Design Ratings Likely to Be also Highly Rated for Perceived Credibility

Another of the evidence summaries, this one most pertinent to our recent module:

Consumer Health Information Websites with High Visual Design Ratings Likely to Be also Highly Rated for Perceived Credibility
A Review of:
Robins, D., Holmes, J., & Stansbury, M. (2010). Consumer health information on the web: The
relationship of visual design and perceptions of credibility. Journal of the American Society for
Information Science and Technology, 61(1), 13-19.
from Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

"Objective – To answer two research questions: 1) What is the relationship between the visual design of a consumer health information web site and perceptions of the credibility of information found on it? 2) Is there a relationship between brand recognition, visual design preference, and credibility judgments?
...
Conclusions – Visual design judgments bore a statistically significant similarity to credibility ratings. Sites with recognizable brands were highly rated for both credibility and visual design, but this relationship was not statistically significant. The relationship is complicated and more research is needed on what visual design cues are important to credibility judgments."

Google Scholar Out-Performs Many Subscription Databases when Keyword Searching

Here's an evidence summary from the newest issue of one of my favorite journals, Evidence-Based Library & Information Practice. Evidence summaries are important as the first efforts (of which I am aware) to systematically perform critical evaluations of our own literature. This particular work hits on questions I have had - I have found Google Scholar to be an important way in which I can discover research literature across disciplines - it's pretty much the only game in town, federated search engines notwithstanding.

Google Scholar Out-Performs Many Subscription Databases when Keyword Searching

A Review of:
Walters, W. H. (2009). Google Scholar search performance: Comparative recall and precision. portal:
Libraries and the Academy, 9(1), 5-24.
from Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

"Objective – To compare the search performance (i.e., recall and precision) of Google Scholar with that of 11 other bibliographic databases when using a keyword search to find references on later-life migration.
...
Main Results – Google Scholar and AgeLine obtained the largest number of results (20,400 and 311 hits respectively) for the keyword search, elderly and migration. Database performance was evaluated with regards to the recall and precision of its search results. Google Scholar and AgeLine also obtained the largest total number of relevant search results out of all the potential results that could be obtained on later-life migration (41/155 and 35/155 respectively). No individual database produced the highest recall for every set of search results listed, i.e., for the first 10 hits, the first 20 hits, etc. However, Google Scholar was always in the top four databases regardless of the number of search results displayed. Its recall rate was consistently higher than all the other databases when over 56 search results were examined, while Medline out-performed the others within the first set of 50 results.
...
Instructors and librarians may wish to support the use of databases that increase students’ contact with high-quality research documents (i.e.., documents that are authoritative, well written, contain a strong analysis, or demonstrate quality in other ways). The study’s findings indicate that Google Scholar is an example of one such database, since it obtained a large number of references to the relevant papers on the topic searched."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How the Future of healthcare Will Actually Work: Nuts and bolts

How the Future of healthcare Will Actually Work: Nuts and bolts: "By JOE FLOWER They are coming in fast under the radar, out of peripheral vision, in the magician's other hand—and they will change everything. New ideas, surprising networks, stealth business models that may change health care profoundly, are bubbling up..."

I think we all need to get on track with this if we're not already. Here's an interesting discussion of the future of healthcare.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Liability and the health librarian

Dean Guistini, who writes about a number of important issues in health librarianship on his blog, address the question of our liability as medical librarians. Says Dean,
How can health librarians educate users of health information not to make life and/or death decisions based on information we provide at the reference desk? Is the reliance on health librarians to provide the best information possible a reasonable expectation? Isn’t there some expectation that all patients and family members will verify the information we have provided?
Read the rest at his blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Review of: “The Kovacs Guide to Electronic Library Collection Development: Essential Core Subject Collections, Selection Criteria, and Guidelines. 2nd ed. Kovacs, Diane K.”

A Review of: “The Kovacs Guide to Electronic Library Collection Development: Essential Core Subject Collections, Selection Criteria, and Guidelines. 2nd ed. Kovacs, Diane K.”

A Review of: “Answers to the Health Questions People Ask in Libraries. Kane, Laura Townsend; McConnaughy, Rozalynd P.; and Wilson, Steven Patrick, with Townsend, David L., Medical Consultant.”

A Review of: “Answers to the Health Questions People Ask in Libraries. Kane, Laura Townsend; McConnaughy, Rozalynd P.; and Wilson, Steven Patrick, with Townsend, David L., Medical Consultant.”

A Systematic Approach to Developing an Online Medical Library

A Systematic Approach to Developing an Online Medical Library
I don't know how I have managed to overlook this journal -but I don't remember having it come up as a cite on any of my searches. An utterly annoying issue is that there's a whole year embargo on the electronic full text availability of articles! If you haven't encountered embargoes before, these are delays in online full text availability for a set period of time. Meanwhile, we do not have the paper copy... a real problem for us as readers who want to keep up with developments in medical librarianship.

Five Big Ideas that Shaped Health Reform

Five Big Ideas that Shaped Health Reform: "By BILL KRAMER During the Great Health Reform Debate of 2009-10, much of the public discussion and media analysis focused on the political battles, the legislative process and specific elements of the health reform bill. We talked a lot about..."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News, Health Science Literature: Elsevier introduces SciVerse

 
 

Sent to you by Cp via Google Reader:

 
 


Wow! For those of us who use information resources produced by Elsevier on a daily basis, it's been a bit of a shock to tune into Scopus®, SciTopics® or ScienceDirect® this week to see how different they now look. (Or as a corny analogy, that figurative, proverbial 800-pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room has decided to move house in September 2010.)

On Monday, Aug 30 2010, Elsevier announced their plans to combine and morph these sites into one platform named SciVerse Hub® (read the press release here). First, I wanted to provide some definitions from the company as to which resources will be combined by this single search engine:

Image Source: http://www.scitopics.com/faq.jsp – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

In plain terms, SciVerse Hub is an entry point for library users to simultaneously search the contents of:

  • Scopus (a subscription database indexing 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 international publishers including coverage of 16,500 peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences literature)
  • Science Direct (a subscription access point for searching 10 million articles from over 2,500 journals and 6,000+ e-books, reference works, book series and handbooks issued by Elsevier)
  • SciTopics.org (a free online expert-generated knowledge sharing service for the global research community)

Scirus.org® is a scientific search engine (created and maintained by Elsevier).  Scirus currently indexes 38 million websites found on open-access and mostly educational, scientific or government sites, incorporating what librarians refer to as grey literatureScirus will search these sources separately and bring back a sorted list of retrievals (with duplicate citations removed) to the SciVerse Hub site.

(Note: When I teach a Google Scholar class, considerable time is spent comparing along with the class participants why retrievals using Scirus.org to search for scientific information tend to produce "better" results than G–gle Scholar. Time well-spent, IMHO.)

Following are two screenshots from the SciVerse site:

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

And this page:

Image Source: http://www.scopus.com/home.url - All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Note that the capability of searching each individual resource separately has been retained.

______________________________

An informational video on SciVerse is well worth watching (and short at 3.5 minutes in length)… link to it here.  Another helpful reference resource: an 8-page training handout for using the new site which can be downloaded here.

In promotional materials, Elsevier refers to SciVerse as a "new knowledge ecosystem". Their information products are integral to the daily work of clinical, health science and scientific research library users worldwide. Here's hoping this migration runs seamlessly (as in: invisibly and glitch-free).

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010