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May 29, 2008

Science as Conversation, Part 1: "Is Pubmed Passé?"

Today at "lunch" I listened to a webcast presentation by a couple of my colleagues & peers here at the University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries - Marisa Conte & Jean Song. They were presenting research data that is part of a project to develop improvements to the PubMed searching interface. The specific project under discussion today was MiSearch.

MiSearch: http://misearch.ncibi.org


I occasionally sent brief tweets to Twitter about the interesting data or concepts being presented. As a topic for another conversation, somehow I turned on LiveTweet by accident, so the tweets were captured as a session.

LiveTwitter: http://livetwitting.com/session/145

What was really interesting was the dialog that happened around the tweets. Specifically one comment in particular from Chris Seper.

Tweet: Is PubMed Passé?

Wow! You could have knocked me over with a feather right about then. As a medical librarian, and especially as someone heavily engaged with evidence-based healthcare and systematic reviews, Medline is a BIG part of my life! PubMed, Ovid, Silverplatter, GratefulMed, Dialog, Index Medicus, Index to Dental Literature ... the list of tools I've used for searching the medical literature goes back through decades of my life, and the tools themselves (as well as the literature) go back around 150 years. I was "raised" (as a medical librarian) on Medline as the mother's milk of authoritative medicine and healthcare.

I was immediately and urgently curious what it was about ScienceRoll search that inspired Chris to make this change. So I popped over to Chris' page and checked it out. I noticed two big differences right away -- (1) what information sources are being searched, and (2) how the results are being displayed.


Science Roll Example - Sources


Science Roll Example - Results

So what is so different? Well, when you use ScienceRoll's search you do still get results from PubMed mixed in. That is also true of Google Scholar. ScienceRoll, though, is a bit like a blogroll -- "who are your favorites?" ScienceRoll searches the crème de la crème of the medical web -- World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, Health On the Net, and many more. Then it gives you what it finds (a little, not too much, some consumer, some clinical) with more suggestions and ideas for refining your search. For a site targeting the general public I can definitely see why Chris felt this was a better choice than dumping John Q Public directly into the heart of the clinical dialog.

Posted by pfa at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2008

My Tech Podcasts Now Available in Open Michigan

I just discovered that selections from the podcast series I've been doing for the School of Dentistry have been released as collection in the Open.Michigan initiative. Here is more information.


Open.Michigan iTunesU Bootcamp Collection

Posted by pfa at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2008

Twittering the Plenary of the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

I've been gone this week at the Medical Library Association annual meeting. I gave a bunch of talks (more on that later), and only really attended one major event (because I was working too hard!). The big event was the Plenary Session on Web 2.0. It was a superb intro to the fundamental social technologies of primary interest to medical librarians. They had a panel of four speakers (David Rothman, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Melissa Rethlefsen & Bart Ragon) introduced by Mark Funk, MLA President.

One of the presentations I gave was about Twitter. As readers of this blog are already aware, I like to live-tweet presentations I attend. This was no exception. ;) There had also been a GroupTweet account set up for the conference, and several people were twittering about the presentation to the group account. At the same time, they were dialoging about the event in their regular Twitter streams.

The event was webcast, and there ended up being a fascinating dialog between folks twittering the event in person and those attending via the web. The broader twittersphere caught wind of some of this, so there was also an 'external' dialog with non-medical librarians. In capturing the twitterlog, there were also sidebar discussions, one of which I preserved. While twittering away, I had a reference question from a cancer patient in NY. During the short break in between speakers, I took her question to our local Cancer Center librarian, Ruti Volk. Ruti gave me some short answers and contacts for fuller information, which I twittered back. During the session! So I was actually reporting out on the event at the same time I was answering reference questions, and partaking of the real world conversations to do so.

I thought it would be fascinating and perhaps a useful illustration of the power of Twitter to assemble the complete set of tweets relating to this noteworthy Plenary session. This might be especially of interest to people who are NOT currently using Twitter, to get a sense of what it might be like.

What I've done is this. First I collected all the tweets from the open GroupTweet stream that related to the plenary event. I put all the tweets in chronological order. I then checked the streams of everyone who was following the GroupTweet account for tweets during that 3 hour span of time. I embedded those in the appropriate place of the main stream, indented. Where there appeared to be a conversation going on, I placed the entire conversation (indented again) at the point of the beginning comment. Tweets included from people who were not following the main account were included only if they directly connected to the conversation, and were italicized to show that they are from 'outside', so to speak. Permission was requested to incorporate those tweets that were from protected streams.

The result is a mock up of what you might have seen if you followed Twitter and just followed the primary players in this discussion. See the results below.


Posted by pfa at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2008

Life Hacks for Doctors

Joshua Schwimmer of EfficientMD has been doing work that I've been watching for a while. A lot of it is pretty interesting. Well, he just appeared on Slideshare with this handy dandy little overview of day to day life management thoughts to help busy clinicians be more efficient and productive. Some of it is obvious, some of it is less so. FlyLady (a similar popular type of resource for women in charge of a household) refers to those who are born organized (BO) and those who aren't. Whether this is useful for you will depend on whether you are born organized, or could use a little booster help to get your personal time back.

Posted by pfa at 07:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2008

Visual & Clustering Search Engines, and Things to Do With Them

After I did last week's session on "Online Visualization and Organization Tools" I realized that I had left out a significant group of tools that could contribute to both areas. I left them out at the time because they weren't intended for this kind of use, but when I thought about how I use these myself, I realized it was a disservice to my audience not to have included them. Consider this slideshow an addition to the earlier one.

Posted by pfa at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2008

Tech Trends for 2008 from Read/Write/Web

This slide presentation from Read / Write / Web forecasts as this year's major trends (in my paraphrasing):
- collaboration,
- production (ie. reading AND writing via social web applications),
- the core role of APIs in facilitating production of new content,
- microformats to facilitate reuse and repurposing of existing data,
- openness (open source, open content, open data, open science, open ... ),
- mashups & tools to create them,
- mobile (web, tools, tech, data),
- semantic web applications, and
- recommendation engines.

Posted by pfa at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2008

Online Presentation Tools

These are the slides from today's session for Enrich Scholarship. It reviews the basic features of the three big online tools (Slideshare, Zoho, Google) for creating / presenting / sharing presentations online. It then adds in a few other similar tools that are interesting for special features.

Posted by pfa at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2008

Cute Dogs / Cute Cats Theory of Social Technologies

The productivity applications of social tech and social media was figured out early on by a number of folk who were working on a dime (or a penny) trying to do too much (like me). Then lots of folks started talking about how social media and technologies can be used for marketing. This slide presentation talks about both -- all those good folk volunteering for this or that nonprofit trying to promote the good work and good ideas.

I wanted to share something with you. This slide presentation covers a lot of possible ideas for this type of application, but does so in a particularly engaging way. One of my favorite bits comes right at the beginning.

"Web 1.0 tools were created so physicists could share their research papers. Web 2.0? To share cute cat photos."

So take a look and see if there is anything mentioned that you might find useful. If there is anything you'd like to know more about, let's chat. :)

Posted by pfa at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2008

Why Second Life?

Some of my recent blog posts have discussed some of the reasons I personally find Second Life of particular value in my work. Today I was privileged to present on this topic to a group of university faculty. The presentation focused on the context of virtual worlds more broadly, and second life in particular. To my surprise, the presentation was videotaped. If I find out where and when it becomes available, I'll let you know. In the meantime, here are the slides.

Posted by pfa at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

Online Visualization and Organization Tools

Enriching Scholarship is an annual week-long series of continuing education classes for university faculty on topics of teachnology (technology to support teaching). Pretty amazing and awesome concept, and I am proud to be part of it.

When we were planning sessions for this year's Enriching Scholarship, I thought, "Hmmm, I don't want to just do the same things I always teach. I want to do something new. Why don't I do a session on some of the coolest of the new toys I've found recently." That became a session I called "Online Visualization and Organization Tools."

Because I was already teaching 7 other sessions, and did not teach one I usually teach, we didn't want to go overboard with this. So we offered one session for 20 people. 45 registered. Oops. We switched to a new and bigger room, and scheduled a second session for a week later.

Last night I posted the slides. WIll you forgive me if I post a snapshot of the stats now? (Slides follow right below.)

Slideshare.net: Online Visualization & Organization Tools, 21 hours later

It is now 21 hours after I first posted the slides. Slideshare picked up the slides and highlighted them on their homepage. So in 21 hours there have been over 700 views. I am flabbergasted!

Someone commented that I should add audio, so I will probably turn this into a series of podcasts. You don't have to wait until that happens, though. You can look at the slides yourself right now. :)

Posted by pfa at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

Enriching Scholarship 08 Keynote Twittered

Yesterday I attended the keynote presentation by James Wooliscroft of the UM Medical School and the following panel discussion. The focus of the discussion was the mission critical importance of thinking globally in our educational, humanitarian, community and collaboration efforts.

I twittered much of this, with the result of questions and comments from afar. Replies to some of the questions are embedded in the twittered stream. Because this was twitter, and the newest is always listed on top, for chronological order you should read from the bottom up.


JK: Info tech has made tracking possible and compliance possible when it never was before, so requests were considered silly and tossed out.

JK: Compliance burden has increased in past 5 years by 800 percent (not sure I caught numbers right). Burden generated by info tech.

JK: Compliance burden. "Someone has decided that life shouldn't be as risky as it is."

Q&A issues - copyright, human subjects, ada accessibility ...

Q&A: Americans are expecting the conversations to happen in English. Is it practical to expect otherwise?

Q&A: How do we prepare our collegaues? We don't. We prepare what they might need. We need to be ready when tipping point occurs.

JK: "It's going to be a Really Bumpy Ride from here on out."

JK: We have proved that the academy can live thru agrarian age, industrial age, information age, and cling to outdated semester model.

JK: Pro schools are the locomotive that will pull the rest of the academy.

JK: "Oh we'll never do that." "Oh yes you will."

JK: 2 flavors of "waking up". shift in bias away from "These kids coming into my classes are like a successor species."

JK on infrastructure "Never underestimate the power of the incumbency." "No matter how foolish it seems, someone is benefitting from it."

JK: "We are learners. In a community of learning." "You never really learn a subject until you teach it." New model: everyone teaches.

JK synopsizing previously given lecture available in YouTube via School of Information and University Libraries.

@rachky They R trying 2 use f2f via online video 2 serve as prequel 2 real study-abroad experience. Also 4 stdts who can't afford real thing in reply to rachky

@rachky I think absolutely the smaller schools are more flexible and rapid adopters. Big schools like UM are slower. IMHO. in reply to rachky

@BudGibson Yes, but the point is that this is a new trend, and not commonly adopted through out the university. Not CORE economic model. in reply to BudGibson

JK quoting Moby Dick. "Why do you have to go to sea to see the world? Why can't you see it from where you stand?"

BobM: Learning communities, natural partners. Online international could substitute or serve as prelim for real study-abroad experience.

BobM clarification - bad transcriber. Not just tech, but interactive online media synchronuous mixed w/ asynchronous.

BobM: Learning via tech seems to be equivalent to f2f learning.

@Rachky Cool! My son was just out of school for a week. Did his homework on websites, turned in science test by email. in reply to rachky

BobM: Tech to enable face to face cross cultural dialogs, but you don't need to leave campus. Structure course around the tech dialogs.

Bob Megginson, LSA dean: how to study abroad w/o a passport. all international collaborations

ML: ePortfolio model as scaffolding tool for deep reflective learning

ML: Importance of tech in internationalizing our programs, shift to media based courses. Implants, microscopy, anatomy, prosthodontics.

For you dental folks, Marilyn Lantz: IFDEA/MedEdPortal & the importance of education 4 global solutions 4 difficult oral health problems

Shift to faculty panel - Dean of LSA, Marilyn Lantz fr Dentistry, John King Provost.

JW: Cost effectiveness - less time spent given the same lecture year after year.

JW: how do we do lab classes in the undergrad sciences as distance learning? We don't know yet. But anatomy has made the shift to web.

JW: Students dragging faculty into web 2.0. Faculty operating at Web 0 or 1. Students have competencies faculty lack.

JW: new kinds of assessment. Email communication part of grade, timed response to real challenges, synthesize the story, flag key elements

JW: Expect failure as part of process.

@BudGibson Actually, that is more the future model. Lots of U economy is dependent on campus life experience. in reply to BudGibson

JW: Set target, provide choices, expert guidance ... Shift of focus from "knows-how" to "does" & "shows". Competency map + learning path

JW: "If you've been to one medical school, you've ... been to ONE medical school."

JW: Why is education teacher-centric?

JW: New ed model: foundation skills, achievement of outcomes, competencies, flexibility in settings and experiences, self-direction/LL lrng

JW: business model of university dependent on residential educational experience. How will Univ economically survive?

JW: All medical/dental *preclinical* info going online free 2 world. Partners 4 life, all alum have access w/ indexed access 4 continuing ed

JW: health disparities. insufficient health care workers in other parts of the world. how to educate? all slides, streaming video, courses

JW: Future: OPEN education access / Open MIT, Open Yale, Notre Dame, Utah - but no health sciences until we did it last week Open.Michigan

JW: "50% of what we teach in medical school is wrong, we just don't know which 50%."

JW: Distance learning resources internationally accessible, requires active professional learning, discovery learning.

JW: How do we combine and engage faculty and students in global classroom, take fac brains w/ students, wherever they are ...

JW: Global professional partnerships depend on technology to facilitate collaboration.

JW: Faculty member partners to study inflammatory breast cancer in Egypt (Cairo).

JW: Faculty member goes to Vietnam & Shanghai to teach clinicians there how to transplant toes to hand.

Vodcast: importance of global medical humanitarian experience in medical education. 62 M4 clinical rotations in 20 countries.

JW: "The whole success or failure of this initiative depends upon technology." Audience laughs. Vodcast is refusing to open.

JW: Why global? Disease respects NO BOUNDARIES. People come w/ tropical diseases via airflight. You have 2 dx/tx all entities.

JW: Vision & success depend on huge team efforts.

Presentation beginning. Creating the Future: Medical Education & Globalization - James O Wooliscroft (dean of med school) about 23 hours ago

Posted by pfa at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)