March 29, 2010

PubMed adds citations back to 1947

PubMed adds citations back to 1947

PubMed Extends Its Reach
Biomedical Database Moves Back in Time to 1947

Harry Truman was President, gas cost 15 cents a gallon, the transistor was invented, and internationally renowned surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey was publishing articles on the US Army's World War II experience with battle injuries, military surgery, and the use of streptomycin therapy. Citations to these and more than 60,000 other articles indexed in the 1947 Current List of Medical Literature (CLML) are now available in the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE/PubMed database (

When the original MEDLINE database made its debut in 1971, it contained citations to journal articles mostly published from approximately 1966 forward. NLM began to expand the retrospective coverage of the database in 1996, when more than 307,000 citations originally published in the 1964 and 1965 Cumulated Index Medicus were made available as OLDMEDLINE. The Library has been moving steadily backward in time ever since.

Although 1947 may seem far back in the rear view mirror of history, important articles in biomedicine appeared that year and may hold vital lessons for research in the 21st century. "Some contemporary medical questions can only be answered by consulting the older literature," observed NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. "NLM is working to make the journal citations in older printed indexes electronically searchable, and our goal is to go back at least as far as World War II."

With the addition of the 1947 citations, the MEDLINE/PubMed subset now contains over 20 million citations produced during 63 years of indexing of the biomedical literature.

For additional information about the data conversion project, go to:

Posted by schnitzr at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2008

Information is power even when it's wrong is Power - Even When it’s Wrong

Here is a guest post from Amy Fry, a San Diego-based librarian with whom I’ve done some research on aggregated databases. She was struck by the way a sloppy mistake in handling information led to a plunge in a company’s stock prices - and what the implications might be for information literacy. If you’re low on energy and thinking a cup of strong coffee might wake you up - hang on; this post might just do the trick.

On September 8, a reporter for Income Securities Advisors, using Google, found a 2002 article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about United Airlines’ bankruptcy. The article was undated in the paper’s archive, but used a site header displaying the current date, so the Google News crawler, indexing the site Saturday night, applied the date of September 6, 2008 to the story. Mistakenly identifying the article as current, the reporter summarized it and sent it to her editor, who posted it to the ISA wire service. Aggregated by Bloomberg (though independent from Bloomberg News), the headline was seen by Wall Street traders, and even though the company caught the mistake and removed the headline within 13 minutes (and Bloomberg itself posted a correction), a trading frenzy had already caught hold causing United to lost 75% of its stock value in under an hour.

This story contains a powerful lesson about information literacy.

One: Proper metadata is important.

Metadata experts have been trying for years to promote universal standards for describing and applying information about content objects, online and elsewhere, and this is why. Why was this article undated when other articles from the same news archive were dated, and how can a header date be mistaken for the date of unaffiliated content? The answer is: improper application and use of metadata. One reason we teach students to use library resources is that we believe that properly indexed information, with standard subject headings and descriptive metadata that is uniformly formatted and properly mapped, aids the user in finding and evaluating information. As this story shows, such indexing can also help information seekers avoid costly mistakes. The problem of universal metadata standards is complicated, but our hard work as information scientists is not wasted in solving it.

Two: There is no substitute for critical thinking about sources.

The reporter, and her editor, did not think critically about where her information was coming from and why it might require a second glance. Even if she didn’t have the background to already know that United had declared and emerged from bankruptcy within the last 10 years, proper critical thinking about sources should have caused her to ask why this story was being fed to her first through Google News from a south Florida Tribune-affiliate instead of the Wall Street Journal or another primary information source of financial news. We teach students to examine a variety of points to determine the authority of an information source, like an identifiable author, author affiliation, publisher and publisher affiliation, traceable references, and external peer review. All of these can help them ascertain if sources they find are reliable, even if they do not have extensive prior exposure to the subject of their research question. This story proves that there are no shortcuts to determining the authority of sources, and no substitute for critical thinking.

Three: Sometimes aggregators are misleading.

Aggregators play a valuable, but complicated, role in information provision. Bloomberg not only provides information to its subscribers – it also aggregates information from other services and packages this information with its own. Operating under the “more is more? and “bigger is better? philosophy has become commonplace in the world of information aggregation, and librarians tend to agree (see Fister, Gilbert and Fry in the July 2008 issue of portal). But, as this story shows, it comes with certain pitfalls. Aggregators have neither the means nor the desire to vet every item of information they provide in their products, but the distinction between their role as aggregator and their role as authoritative information provider is blurred. Often their own status lends authority to the information they package – touted as unintended when that information proves to be faulty. As this story demonstrates, more oversight of aggregators and by aggregators, and a demand of quality over quantity, should be a priority for librarians, especially in this age of information overload.

Four: Google is more powerful than we even realized.

If any one of you has been underestimating the role of Google in the information food chain, STOP. Google has enormous power to direct culture through the control of information. While the company sticks to its mantra of “Don’t Be Evil,? this story proves that high-stakes real-world results can be achieved in moments through Google without Google’s knowledge or intervention and even without intentional sabotage. Google has changed the way we find, use and even produce information – but with great power comes even greater responsibility. Librarians have raised important points about the ethical dimensions of private information ownership in conjunction with the Google Books digitization project. We have warned students to be careful when using Google as a research tool. A private company is not required to act in the public interest. Academic librarians, as educators, are. As more and more information is accessed through and archived by private companies (for example, despite its content, EEBO is still a proprietary resource), librarians must take on greater responsibilities as watchdogs for the public interest. Even if our roles are changing, our mission must not.

Posted by Barbara Fister on September 11th, 2008 under Information Ethics, Information Literacy.
Comments: 1

Comment from Marc
Time: September 12, 2008, 7:49 am

Good example to use in class as an example of the importance of paying attention to dates. I think the WaPost article describes it right–imperfect search technology combined with human failure.

Posted by schnitzr at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2008

Google Suggest

...saw this in ars technica, checked Google, and, lo and behold, there is a suggestion feature!

Posted by markmac at 10:45 PM | Comments (1)

Scholars View of Libraries as Portals Shows Marked Decline

from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Scholars' View of Libraries as Portals Shows Marked Decline


Scholars' View of Libraries as Portals Shows Marked Decline

Know your library user—and worry about who's not using the library. That's the main advice to librarians in a new white paper that notes "a growing ambivalence about the campus library" among faculty members as more and more knowledge goes digital.

The report was released last week by Ithaka, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of technology in higher education. The paper probes the relationship between libraries and the faculty at institutions of all sizes, and how the digital shift is altering that relationship.

The authors, Roger Schonfeld and Ross Housewright, pulled together the highlights from two surveys conducted in 2006: one of American faculty members and another of librarians in charge of collection development. Mr. Schonfeld is Ithaka's manager of research; Mr. Housewright is a research analyst. Ithaka conducted similar faculty surveys in 2000 and 2003, so the new report is able to examine trends over a six-year period.

The report confirms what everyone already knows—that electronic resources are ever more central to scholarly activity. It emphasizes that scholars still value libraries as buyers and archivers of scholarship, and many still use them as gateways to scholarly information. However, it also confirms that researchers increasingly find what they need through Google Scholar and other online resources, a trend the report's authors anticipate will accelerate as more and more knowledge goes digital.

Since 2003, faculty members across the disciplines have shown a marked decline in how devoted they are to libraries as information portals. Eighty percent of humanities scholars are still devoted to library research—although that may be not because they're traditionalists but because they can't yet get what they need in digital form. But only 48 percent of economists and 50 percent of scientists value libraries as gateways.

That should worry librarians whose budgets are eaten up by high-priced science journals. What if the designated users of those materials are sidestepping the library altogether?

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of librarians still consider the gateway function of libraries as essential. "Obviously there is a mismatch in perception here"—one that librarians need to confront if they want to stay relevant to campus intellectual life, Mr. Schonfeld and Mr. Housewright caution.

In an interview, the report's authors said that they hoped the report would get librarians talking about whether libraries should "ambitiously redirect resources" toward new and better ways to serve scholars operating in a digital environment.

"Right now we're seeing a library community that doesn't seem to be sure and isn't staking a claim to the gateway function," Mr. Schonfeld said. Perhaps some traditional functions, like the gateway role, "are things that libraries can safely retreat from."

In an interview, Steven J. Bell, an associate university librarian at Temple University, described the report as "required reading for academic librarians." Mr. Bell posted about the report on ACRLog, a blog run by the Association of College and Research Libraries. In his post, he urged librarians to think past libraries' traditional roles of gateway, archive, and buyer of scholarly material.

"We could really carve out a much more significant role" as instructional partners, Mr. Bell said.

"The good news is that faculty members still believe that libraries are working well for them," he told The Chronicle. "The bad news is that we're working so well that they may not need us any more."

The report, "Ithaka's 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher

Posted by schnitzr at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2008

Slate's Sap-o-Metre

Since the Olympics began, Slate has been running this daily feature called The Olympics Sap-o-Meter. It's quite hilarious. They're basically tracking the number of sappy words sent forth by NBC commentators each day, and - not too surprisingly - 'mom' is leading the way. I wonder how the CBC would compare?

Posted by markmac at 04:36 PM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2008

To Return or Not to Return

From the Guardian:

Library fines could become a thing of the past if a group of librarians get their way. A fiery debate has been raging for the past week between librarians, with anti-fine campaigners describing the charges as punitive, old-fashioned and creating a negative impression of libraries.

Posted by markmac at 09:46 AM | Comments (3)

August 09, 2008

Orwell's Diaries

You may have already heard about this, but George Orwell's blog diaries are being published in blog form:

The Orwell Prize, Britain’s pre-eminent prize for political writing, is publishing George Orwell’s diaries as a blog. From 9th August 2008, Orwell’s domestic and political diaries (from 9th August 1938 until October 1942) will be posted in real-time, exactly 70 years after the entries were written.

I normally don't go in for reading personal diaries (though, I did - I admit - read Manuscripts Don't Burn a couple years ago), but for some reason this old-time diary blogging is quite intriguing (to me).

Posted by markmac at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2008

Sharing Research with Public at UW

August 8, 2008 (wired campus--Chronicle)

UW Website Allows Researchers to Share Projects With The Public

The Office of UW Technology at University of Washington is developing Research1, a Web site that will allow scattered researchers to reunite in online communities and share their projects with the general public through various media, including audio and video files.

“We also see it as a good place for postdocs and graduate students to get exposure and post information about their research,? Andre Tan, the lead Web architect, told University Week.

Research1, which is now in beta testing, revolves around “project hubs,? each with information that can include the project’s team members, grants, and related sites. The hubs can also contain blogs and discussions about the research.

Scientists can chose to share what they upload with the public under a Creative Commons license, or to allow only colleagues or members of the media to view, download, or use the material.

Research1, which has the support of the National Science Foundation, is a project of the ResearchChannel, a national television channel operated by UW Technology that broadcasts research videos from several universities and institutions. —Maria José Viñas

Posted by schnitzr at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2008

Videos Games and Medicine

From Medgadget:

Video Game Actually Helps Fight Cancer

Posted by markmac at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)

July 31, 2008

Wired Campus--Sick Celebrities/Seasons Influence Health Searching

July 31, 2008

Sick Celebrities and Seasons Influence Internet Searches for Health News

With a tool from Google that tracks searches, researchers from Ball State University have uncovered a few patterns in the way that consumers search for health information.

The report, released yesterday and available free from the university, shows that the time of year and the health problems of the rich and famous influence what health topics people research on the Internet, according to the investigators from the university’s Center for Media Design.

The researchers used Google Trends, a tool that tracks public searches and holds data going back to 2004.

Information on diet and exercise peaked around New Year’s Day, says Peter Ellery, one of the researchers. That’s not shocking: it’s New Year’s resolution time.

The researchers also learned that illnesses reported by celebrities led to more searches about such diseases. People in the public eye have always been able to draw attention, and their health problems draw attention as well.

Barron Lerner, a medical historian and physician at Columbia University, has chronicled this pattern in his book, When Illness Goes Public. I asked him, a few years ago, why sick celebrities are so important to other people. “There’s a sense that celebrities have access to the best care and that you’d be wise to do what they did,? Dr. Lerner told me. “Would that work for me, people wonder? Lance Armstrong says that people write to him asking about everything he did and ate while fighting testicular cancer.

Posted by schnitzr at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2008

Disease-Tracking Web Site

A Web site that tracks outbreaks of infectious diseases worldwide is sometimes proving faster than the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization at detecting outbreaks, according to an article last week from Discovery News. The Web site called HealthMap was developed by Harvard Medical School employees John Brownstein, an assistant professor of pediatrics, and Clark Friefeld, a software developer. Mr. Brownstein says the Web site took off after, the technology company's philanthropic arm, pumped money into the project nine months ago. HealthMap trolls through large amounts of data on the Internet to pinpoint the locations of diseases. The developers are planning to include detailed information on HealthMap about each outbreak.--Andrea L. Foster
Wired Campus July 21, 2008

Posted by schnitzr at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2008

Google, Librarians, and a whole lotta nothing

So, I just logged in to Google Reader to, you know, catch up on the internets, and I came across one, two, three interesting (and semi-heated) librarian posts about the Google/Library relationship (or digitizationship?). All this talk seems to have come about because Google didn't display at ALA and hasn't updated their Google Librarian blog in a year.

From Library Stuff:

So, Google will continue to use librarians, scan their books, profit from it, and then leave us in the information dust to rot like an old microfilm machine.

It’s sad really. But then again, we fell for it. Well, not me. I know when I’m being used. Do you?

From Walt Crawford in the Library Stuff comments:

I’ll have to disagree, at least in part. The University of Michigan wasn’t used. I don’t believe any of the libraries that are part of the Google Library Project were (or are) used. .... More access to public domain books. Full-text searching for books that only libraries can provide. How exactly does this “leave us in the information dust??

From Information Wants to be Free:

So, there are all these libraries with awesome collections that aren’t being digitized. Google comes in and says “hey, we’ll digitize your books for free and let you have the digital copies for your students.? Google was not doing this for the good of those libraries; they were doing it for the good of Google. But clearly the Universities also saw how this project was in their best interests or their lawyers wouldn’t have signed off on it. These Universities now have tons of their books in digital format that students, faculty and staff can enjoy from anywhere. University of Michigan makes them available in their catalog. It’s awesome. Maybe I’m naive, but none of this really gets me up in arms.

Posted by markmac at 09:36 PM | Comments (1)

July 07, 2008

Wrong-site Surgery

Just stumbled across this very intriguing piece about a wrong-site surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The linked to blog is written by the hospital's President and CEO, Paul Levy, and also includes this follow-up post. You have to appreciate the openness in which they have handled the situation.

(via Kevin MD)

Posted by markmac at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2008

PubMed News from NLM Technical Bulletin May-June 2008

Posted by schnitzr at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2008

LibGig--new social networking site for librarians

Social-Networking Site for Librarians Debuts

A new social-networking site ( for librarians and those who manage information was started this month by Library Associates Companies, a recruiting and consulting company. Called LibGig, the site includes job listings, a list of library schools accredited by the American Library Association, blogs, and profiles of community leaders.

Among the LibGig bloggers are Tawny Sverdlin, a library student at San Jose State University, and Chris Zammarelli, a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies. —Andrea L. Foster

Chronicle's Wired Campus 6/20/08

Posted by schnitzr at 05:35 PM | Comments (1)

June 05, 2008

WiFi in Libraries Blamed for Health Maladies in Paris

June 4, 2008

WiFi in Libraries Blamed for Health Maladies in Paris

To many people, the idea that wireless networks cause health problems seems wacky.

But four libraries in Paris have switched off their wireless connections after staff members complained that electromagnetic radiation from the networks was the source of their health problems, according to an article today in the newspaper, The Connexion.

The article states that the latest library to turn off the service is at Sainte-Geneviève University. The action was taken after a staff member threatened to take early retirement on health grounds. He said his symptoms included “headaches, balance problems, general weakness, stress and sight problems.? But he also blamed electromagnetic radiation from cell phones for his maladies.

College employees in North America, too, have raised health concerns about wireless networks. A library director at Southwestern College, in Santa Fe, N.M., left her job last year, saying the wireless network played a role in her insomnia. And two years ago the president of Lakehead University, in Ontario, prohibited his institution from deploying a wireless network across campus citing concerns about students’ health.

Despite these worries, the Centers for Disease Control says scientific research does not indicate “a significant association between cell phone use and health effects.? Cell phones also emit electromagnetic radiation. But an article in Tuesday’s New York Times points out that three prominent neurosurgeons do not hold cell phones to their ears in order to reduce their brains’ exposure to radiation.—Andrea L. Foster
Chronicle's Wired June 4, 2008

Posted by schnitzr at 04:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2008

Librarian in the Closet

June 3, 2008

Stephanie Willen Brown has come out of the closet to report that she has spent a semester in the closet. The University of Connecticut librarian says she was holding office hours.

Ms. Brown says she wondered what would happen if a librarian held office hours outside of the library. Would she be more visible? So she got a converted janitor’s closet in an academic building near the library, hung a sign with her name on the door, and spent one hour a week there. During that time, she says, she saw eight people. But “unofficially, the stats are much higher: I ran into people in the hallway, bathroom, and going in & out of the building,? she reports. And she was able to hand out reference advice.

It was a success, she says, if one considers the “PR value? of being seen in the building on a regular basis. Next semester, if she holds office hours again, she expects more business, closeted with students and faculty. And she wonders: do other librarians hold office hours? —Josh Fischman
Chronicle--Wired Campus, June 3, 2008

Posted by schnitzr at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2008

Wired Campus 5/21/08--OCLC & Google

May 21, 2008

Nonprofit Library Group Will Share Book Records With Google

In an effort to increase the visibility of libraries’ holdings on the Web, Google and OCLC—formerly known as the Online Computer Library Center—have agreed to swap data. Under the arrangement, OCLC member-libraries that have made their holdings available via Google Book Search will share their bibliographic records with Google. And Google Book Search, which contains the digitized text of more than one million books, will provide links to WorldCat, the world’s largest bibliographic database. It is run by OCLC, a nonprofit group that promotes technology in libraries.

Other groups, too, are trying to promote libraries holdings on the Web, including Open Library and LibraryThing.—Andrea L. Foster

Posted by schnitzr at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2008

Another use for YouTube

Imaginative & fun!

Posted by cshannon at 10:28 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2008

from NLM Technical Bulletin, May-June

Related Reviews Coming to AbstractPlus in PubMed®

*NLM Technical Bulletin, May-Jun 2008, Related Reviews Coming to AbstractPlus in PubMed

AbstractPlus is PubMed's dynamic, discovery display format that leads searchers to other information resources. The latest feature to be added is Related Reviews (see Figure 1): links from the set of Related Articles to review articles, i.e., articles that have been indexed with the Publication Type, Review.

Posted by schnitzr at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2008

Students not so web wise after all--national contest

Posted by schnitzr at 05:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2008

How Cellphones Change the Way People Learn

Interview with a UM connection
Rich Ling argues that cellphones strengthen ties with users’ close friends and family, but might also narrow people’s understanding of the world by limiting interactions with strangers. Mr. Ling is an adjunct research scientist at the University of Michigan and a research scientist for Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company. He’s author of a new book, New Tech, New Ties: How Mobile Communication Is Reshaping Social Cohesion (MIT Press, 2008).

Posted by schnitzr at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2008

New Look for PubMed Search Results Page

NLM® is introducing new PubMed searching and display changes in the coming weeks. To begin with, the blue sidebar menu is being removed from the Summary results screens to provide space for forthcoming features. Users will be able to access the sidebar from the PubMed homepage.

Posted by schnitzr at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2008

LC New Online Exhibit (from Wired Campus- Chronicle)

April 11, 2008

Library of Congress to Open New Online Exhibit

The Library of Congress is scheduled to open a new interactive Web site on Saturday, as a companion to a high-tech exhibit designed to give visitors a close-up view of some of the institution’s treasures.

A copy of the Gutenberg Bible, for instance, is in a glass case at the library, but the new Web site will let users flip through the book and zoom in on its pages virtually. An article in Ars Technica points out that the exhibit is the result of a $3-million gift from Microsoft to promote the use of the company’s latest multimedia platform, called Silverlight. The exhibit sounds like a theme park ride — it’s called The Library of Congress Experience.

The library has offered digital versions of its collections for years, of course. In fact, The Chronicle described one of its first efforts to do so back in 1994 — back when the Web was in its infancy. But the latest exhibit suggests that digitized copies of historical items can use updating as technology improves. —Jeffrey R. Young

Posted on Friday April 11, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by schnitzr at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2008

New design for NLM Gateway

I checked it out and it seems very simple and straighforward with a Google-like box:
NLM will soon unveil a redesigned Gateway with a new user interface. The new interface, accessible through the link on the current homepage, will run in parallel with the current version. It will permanently replace the current version after several weeks.

New Look and Improved Usability
The new homepage contains the search query box and links to search tips, Help, and additional information about the system.

Posted by schnitzr at 05:49 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2008

Using Medical Literature to Promote Drugs

An interesting post about drug reps using the medical literature to promote their company's drugs:

However, if you read only the abstract (which is as far as most readers will venture) you'll get the uncanny sensation of having been teleported to Eli Lilly's website:

"Conclusion: Switch to duloxetine was associated with significant improvements in both emotional and painful physical symptoms of depression and was well tolerated and safe, regardless of which of the switch methods was used."

If it reads like copy written by a Lilly employee, it's because it was: Dr. Perahia, the first author, works for Lilly in England. One might have hoped that the editors of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry would have caught this bit of blatant promotionalism before it went to press. Because of this awful oversight, now Lilly will likely end up paying the journal thousands of dollars to purchase article reprints for its drug reps--someone's head will roll!

Posted by markmac at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2008

Strains and Joys Color Mergers Between Libraries and Tech Units

Posted by schnitzr at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2008

Blogs are increasingly venues for scholarship, librarians are told

Posted by schnitzr at 07:07 AM | Comments (1)

December 23, 2007

Online Social Networks Get Down to Business

The Ann Arbor News

It'd be nice to be able to meet every possible business contact face to face.

But for Ann Arbor attorney and consultant Don Blumenthal, time and money
constraints make that impossible, so he turns to LinkedIn and Plaxo, online social networks that've been established as meeting places for business.

"There is only so much you can do unless you have an unlimited travel budget," said Blumenthal, who specializes in technology, law and policy. "I can't fly out there to meet (contacts) and it's better than a cold call."

Social networking online is not just for the young.

Web users of all ages in Ann Arbor have embraced online social networks, jumping on sites like LinkedIn - a strictly business network that creates a form on online resume; Plaxo - a network that catalogs and updates contacts' information; and even the popular social network Facebook to spread information, reach out to customers, contact and collect connections they've met in person and collaborate on business projects.

Posted by schnitzr at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2007

Sure You've Googled but Have You Facebooked?

Posted by schnitzr at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2007

I thought this podcast Tech Therapy: Do Professors Know Their Copyrights? - would be about Open Access, but it's about faculty not knowing what they can and cannot put online for their courses. Still, it has *very* nice things to say about libraries and librarians, good tips on working with faculty, and interviews Bill Shell, our neighbor at EMU.

Posted by janeblum at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

Tech Therapy

I thought this podcast Tech Therapy: Do Professors Know Their Copyrights? - would be about Open Access, but it's about faculty not knowing what they can and cannot put online for their courses. Still, it has *very* nice things to say about libraries and librarians, good tips on working with faculty, and interviews Bill Shell, our neighbor at EMU. And it's short.

Posted by janeblum at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2007

MLibrary Staff Blogs

Those of you not members of the MLibrary2.0 SIG may find this list of University Library Staff blogs from Suzanne Chapman of interest.

Posted by janeblum at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2007

Infomercial for Cochrane Collection

YouTube - What is the Cochrane Collaboration?

Thanks to for blogging this video. If you're a Cochrane groupie, hop over to his post and check out the link to Cochrane podcasts as well.

Also, I think this was filmed at an MLA meeting, so I was looking for HSL cameo appearances in the background. I think I found a couple - take a look and see if you agree.

Posted by janeblum at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2007

Med School FAQ

UM Medical School is a good resource for general information on the Medical School that isn't immediately obvious on their web pages. Mostly consisting of web links, you may find it a good resource for members of the public and prospective students.

Posted by janeblum at 09:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2007

Interesting Development in MIT's Open Courseware Initiative

MIT Offers Learning Materials to High Schools -

An interesting outgrowth of MIT's open courseware initiative, an outreach to high schools highlighting the most useful and relevant materials in their collection.

Posted by janeblum at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

Kudos to Patricia Anderson

Patricia had a very nice mention in David Rothman's blog, - Blog Archive - Social Technologies for eHealth (presentation slides), one of the most read and most influential blogs in health sciences librarianship. The recognition is well deserved, and exemplifies the advantages to sharing materials through slideshare and other social networking sites.

Posted by janeblum at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2007

Courant Blog noted in Chronicle

U. of Michigan Librarian's New Blog Defends Institution's Deal With Google -

Posted by janeblum at 12:27 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2007

AA/Ypsi Reads Program

"The Eighth Promise," by William Poy Lee. Book emphasizes humanity of Chinese and was selected with intention of bridging two worlds. Article from Ann Arbor News tell story about choice made by Rachel Cheng, UM SI grad and now librarian at EMU:

Posted by schnitzr at 05:52 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2007

Can a library-based reality show be next?

Stephen's Lighthouse: The Librarians on ABC (Australia)

I haven't seen this, but it sounds like my kind of show, so I probably will when I get a chance. Make of that what you will, given that Stephen's post contains this wording: "It's rated M for mature. Hurray. (I am sick enough to truly enjoy the children's librarian character). Please don't watch this unless you have a slighty warped or tilted sense of humour."

Sounds somewhat NSFW to me, but of course none of us would watch this except lunchtime, right?

Posted by janeblum at 09:46 AM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2007

Open Access Redux (from Chronicle)

October 29, 2007

Senators Support Open-Access Measure

Open-access advocates cheered last week when the Senate passed HR 3043, a bill making appropriations for the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. That’s because the measure included language requiring all researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health to submit their final manuscripts to a free online archive:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, that the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.
That language had already made its way into the House’s appropriations bill, which passed earlier this year. But Sen. James M. Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, led an effort to remove the mandate from the Senate version of the measure. (According to the blog DigitalKoans, one of Mr. Inhofe’s campaign contributors is Reed Elsevier Inc., the for-profit science publisher.)

In the end, Mr. Inhofe relented, and the bill passed by a wide margin. But open-access enthusiasts shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet: As Open Access News points out, it’s “not at all clear that the full Congress will be able to override a Bush veto, something both sides know very well.? —Brock Read

Posted on Monday October 29, 2007 | Permalink |

Posted by schnitzr at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2007

Afternoon news from The Chronicle

October 25, 2007

Are Computers in Libraries on the Wane?

If your college library is planning a renovation, consider tuning in to this Podcast to hear a group of librarians from the University of Rochester talk about what they discovered after conducting a study of their students’ research habits. The librarians were recently interviewed by David Free, editor-in-chief of College & Research Libraries News.

Many colleges are reconfiguring their libraries to make room for computer workstations. But one of the librarians said that’s not exactly what students are looking for. The Rochester librarians solicited students’ design recommendations when a portion of the library was being upgraded.

“I thought that since students are online so much that they always wanted to be near a computer,? one of the librarians said. “But it turns out that part of the reason they’re coming to the library is to unplug, is to actually have some time where they can concentrate on their work. So we wanted to make sure we had lots of big spaces, where they can study, and can be quiet, and can concentrate.?

The librarians also said students favored big tables, lots of natural light, and quiet study spaces.—-Andrea L. Foster

Posted by schnitzr at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

Avatar Defamation (from The Chronicle of Higher Ed)

October 24, 2007

Law Review Editor: Courts Should Handle Avatar Defamation

Digital characters in virtual worlds like Second Life whose income drops because they have been defamed should be able to seek redress in a real court, according to an article published in the current issue of the Brooklyn Law Review.

The author of the article, Bettina Chin, the publication’s editor in chief and a student at Brooklyn Law School, supports her thesis, in part, by arguing that the relationship between an avatar and his human operator is comparable to that of a sole shareholder and his business entity.

“Like corporations or partnerships, avatars have no separate consciousness, but are efficient mechanisms through which users conduct their businesses in cyberspace. Words directed at avatars as non-living entities affect a user’s in-world reputation and communal existence,? the article states. —-Andrea L. Foster

Posted by schnitzr at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2007

Major Libraries Rejecting Deals on Online Books

Some shun tech giants. Goodle and Microsoft offered scanning with restrictions.

NYT 10/22/07 (front page, above the fold story)

Posted by schnitzr at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

Detroit Project Food/Clothing Collection

You will see a big box inside the front inner doors of Taubman Medical Library for the

food and clothing drive connected to the Detroit Project. Please feel

free to drop off clothes, winter gear and nonperishable food items.

Collection date until November 20th.

Posted by schnitzr at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2007

Librarians Protest Science's Departure from JSTORS

When the American Association for the Advancement of Science announced in late July that it would pull its flagship journal, Science, from JSTOR, the popular, nonprofit digital archive of scholarly publications, the association cast its decision as a natural evolution.

According to the announcement, the AAAS, as the association is known, was merely joining "an increasing number" of large scientific-society journals that were "digitizing and controlling their own content."

Why, then, are so many librarians kicking up a ruckus about it?

Over the last few months, several library consortia have passed unanimous resolutions depicting the move as a major blow to libraries. They also say the association's decision conflicts with its stated mission to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people."

David H. Carlson, dean of library services at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, has spearheaded the librarians' revolt. "We understand a little better when a commercial, for-profit publisher makes a decision like this, guided by the bottom line," he says. "But when the AAAS, whose members are 98 percent our faculty members … makes a decision that is inimical and in conflict with its stated role, it's puzzling."

Librarians are also examining their options in the wake of the decision, which will take effect at the end of the year. From that time, no further back issues of Science will be stored on JSTOR, although JSTOR subscribers will continue to have access to already-archived holdings. Many librarians see the move as a portent of profound new pressures on their budgets and their facilities.

Bundles and Bottom Lines

Since its inception a decade ago as a project of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JSTOR has attracted more than 450 publishers and 900 academic journals to its digital archive. More than 3,600 institutions subscribe to the archive's 14 multidisciplinary and discipline-specific collections.

Until now, Science has been available to about 1,600 subscribers, mostly through the archive's Health & General Sciences Collection. Science joined the archive in 1998, and issues have come online five years after their first publication�a somewhat longer delay than is the case with most JSTOR holdings.

The association's decision essentially stops the clock at 2002. No Science issues beyond that year will be added to the archive, but none will be removed. Institutions that join JSTOR after this year, however, will be denied access to the existing Science archive.

In its announcement, the association stated that it would work with JSTOR "to ensure a seamless transition and to make sure that the needs of our mutual customers are fully met."

But many librarians contend that that is merely a contorted way of saying that the AAAS will offer access to Science only through its own Web site, which offers two access plans: Science Online, which includes issues from 1997 on, and Science Classic, a new digital archive dating back to 1880.

Individual subscribers to Science get online access to all issues for $99 to $142 per year. Institutional subscribers, which are charged on a sliding scale based on size and usage, get access to issues since 1997, or back to 1880, by paying an extra $2,200 per year or a one-time fee of $15,000.

For small libraries, such fees are high, especially when combined with JSTOR subscriptions. Fees for the digital archive's bundle of health-and-sciences journals, including Science, are between $750 and $8,000 a year, plus a one-time joining fee of $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the institution.

Revolt of the Librarians

Looking at the AAAS's decision, librarians see more than a clash between profit seeking and the association's mission. They fear that the group's abandonment of JSTOR is the beginning of a trend that will make libraries regret having eliminated print subscriptions and removed journals from shelves. They also wonder how libraries at smaller institutions and in poorer countries will be able to afford new subscriptions to titles removed from "online aggregators" like JSTOR.

Even large library systems say the move, which could push them to return to print journals, may create a new space crunch.

"A lot of us are not looking at getting physical renovations to our buildings anytime soon," observes Celia Rabinowitz, chair of the Council of Library Directors of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions.

The aggrieved librarians are not standing by silently. Mr. Carlson wrote a resolution condemning the science association's move that was adopted by the Greater Western Library Alliance. Others have used the resolution as a model, including the Maryland council that Ms. Rabinowitz leads and the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. Several other library groups have voiced their support, and delegates at the annual meeting of the International Coalition of Library Consortia, held this month in Stockholm, adopted a similar resolution that has yet to be ratified by its member organizations.

Some librarians' condemnation of the move is based on other factors as well, including its effect on researchers. Mr. Carlson points to the archive's unintended but useful role as a research tool. Scientists will always look to Science, he argues, but having it on JSTOR has meant that "people who would never think to go to Science find that it is in fact a key resource on a subject. For example, if they are interested in the teaching of evolution, which Science has written about again and again."

Joni M. Blake, executive director of the Greater Western Library Alliance, agrees. "That sort of serendipitous stumbling across information�where one good lead leads to another good lead�is very much the way that science is done. Without it, users are much more likely to hit dead ends," she says.

Mission and Motive

Alan I. Leshner, chief executive of the AAAS, says the decision to part with JSTOR is in keeping with both the association's mission and its bottom line.

Mr. Leshner sees the association's mission as the dissemination of scientific information "in a way that is an effective business model." All publishers, particularly nonprofit publishers, are struggling, he says. "We're doing fine, but we're constantly looking for innovations."

"From a business point of view," he says, "it makes more sense to control our own archive than fundamentally to give it away for free."

Mr. Leshner observes that thousands of libraries have already bought AAAS site licenses, and that the publication is available "in over 100 countries for free." But he acknowledges that the decision does suggest a change in academic publication.

"We'll see many different mechanisms for aggregating and searching content become available, and we want to be able to make arrangements with any aggregator that makes access to Science the broadest possible," he says.

Michael Spinella, executive director of JSTOR, argues that his archive has been a key instrument in making Science available to that broad audience. And he points out that the archive does not demand exclusive rights to content. "So," he says, "there's no impediment to their going out and doing whatever else they want with their content."

Mr. Spinella acknowledges the financial pressures on scholarly societies to maximize revenue. "We very much understand that this is a need of publishers, and we're trying to take some of the cost out of it," he says. But publishers' creating their own sites, he argues, doesn't "change the value or necessity of having a third-party archive."

One thing that won't happen soon is a reduction in JSTOR's own fees, says Mr. Spinella. To compensate for Science's departure, the archive has recently added 16 new titles to its Health & General Sciences Collection, including BMJ (the British Medical Journal) and Science News. Nor does the archive plan to increase its fees for that bundle, which have held steady since its debut in 2000.

Critics such as Mr. Carlson say that publishers are realizing that they can now make money by doing what JSTOR did: bearing the expense of digitizing their back issues.

"We don't want this to be a trend," he says.

Mr. Spinella believes it won't be a trend. "Science is a pretty unique publication, and other publications we've talked with have said that they're perfectly happy to stay with JSTOR," he says. "This is not the tip of an iceberg."

Librarians, however, say they see the need to take a stronger position on behalf of the values they profess. Library deans are "tired of being pushed around," says Ms. Blake, of the Greater Western Library Alliance. "This is not the last issue upon which we will take a stand."

What else will they do?

"That isn't clear yet," she says. "But this is the first step in the push back."

Copyright © 2007 by The Chronicle of Higher Education | Contact us
User agreement | Privacy policy | About The Chronicle | Site map | Help
Subscribe | Advertise with us | Press inquiries | RSS | Today's most e-mailed
Home | Chronicle Careers | The Chronicle Review

Posted by schnitzr at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2007

Fighting over virtual territory (from Chronicle)

October 2, 2007

MIT and Princeton Face Off in Second Life

It’s no secret that the most competitive colleges tussle over attracting the brightest students. Now it appears that their conflicts extend into ownership of virtual land.

Janet Temos, director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton University, told a universitywide council on Monday that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had complained that Princeton’s campus in Second Life was encroaching on MIT’s campus, according to an article in Princeton’s student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian.

The article says that as a result, Princeton shifted its virtual campus farther away from MIT’s.

“They have us blocked off,? Ms. Temos was quoted as saying. “You can go to Cornell, though. They’re quite nice to us.?

Princeton recently unveiled its Second Life campus, which includes eight islands and 3D reconstructions of many buildings from the institution’s real campus, including Nassau Hall, the campus’s oldest building and home to administrative offices. —-Andrea L. Foster

Posted by schnitzr at 05:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007

New wrinkle in medical publishing--online ads

A Medical Publisher's Unusual Prescription: Online Ads

By some measures, the medical publishing world has met the advent of the
Internet with a shrug, sticking to its time-honored revenue model of
charging high subscription fees for specialized journals that often
attract few, if any, advertisements.

But now Reed Elsevier, which publishes more than 400 medical and
scientific journals, is trying an experiment that stands this model on its
head. Over the weekend it introduced a Web portal,, that
gives doctors free access to the latest articles from 100 of its own
pricey medical journals and that plans to sell advertisements against the

The new site asks oncologists to register their personal information. In
exchange, it gives them immediate access to the latest cancer-related
articles from Elsevier journals like The Lancet and Surgical Oncology.
Prices for journals can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars a year.

Elsevier hopes to sign up 150,000 professional users within the next 12
months and to attract advertising and sponsorships, especially from
pharmaceutical companies with cancer drugs to sell. The publisher also
hopes to cash in on the site's list of registered professionals, which it
can sell to advertisers.

Mainstream publishers have wrestled for years with the question of how to
charge for online content in a way that neither alienates potential
readers nor cannibalizes their print properties. So far, few definitive
answers have emerged. Reed Elsevier, which is based in London, is taking a
risk that its readers will drop their paid subscriptions and switch
allegiance to the new Web site, which will offer searches and full texts
of the same content from the moment of publication.

From Dave Dillard at Temple University

Posted by schnitzr at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2007

Chronicle on faculty publication preferences

Posted by schnitzr at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2007

Of interest, from the Chronicle

A Report on Scholarly Publishing Gets the Web 2.0 Treatment -

It's MLibrary's SPO that made this available - kudos to the team!

Posted by janeblum at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

UM on Scholarly Publishing/Technology via Web 2.0

August 23, 2007 Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus:

A Report on Scholarly Publishing Gets the Web 2.0 Treatment

How better to mark the arrival of a much-discussed report on scholarly publishing and technology than to post the document online, in full Web 2.0 glory?

“University Publishing in a Digital Age? — a report released a few weeks ago by Ithaka, a nonprofit group that promotes IT in academe — argues that campus administrators have been slow to react to an uptick in “informal scholarly publication? made possible by the Web. The paper has sparked a good bit of discussion, so the University of Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office decided to put it online and solicit public commentary.

The digital copy of the report was created with a tool called CommentPress. The software — which was released the same week as the Ithaka paper — lets Web surfers annotate a common text by creating the digital equivalent of margin notes. CommentPress was designed by the Institute for the Future of the Book, an academic center run by the University of Southern California. —Brock Read

Posted on Thursday August 23, 2007 | Permalink |


Publishing in academe is critically important for ensuring success in higher education. Publishing in national refereed journals is highly prized in higher education. The competition to publish remains fierce. As an editor of several national periodicals, we have about a 90% rejection rate. Space is limited so only best manuscripts are featured in our scholarly journals.

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
PhD Program of Educational Leadership
Prairie View A&M University
Member of the Texas A&M University System

— William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Aug 24, 0

Posted by schnitzr at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2007

New Consumer/Patient/Outreach Librarian Blog - Blog Archive - MedLib Badge at Learn to Live

Posted by janeblum at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2007

Dr. Google and Dr. Microsoft

Rather lengthy article on how Google and Microsoft plan to mine and use health information--since everyone seems to be desperately seeking it these days. From front page of today's NYT's "Business Section:"

By combining better Internet search tools, the vast resources of the Web and online personal health records, both companies are betting they can enable people to make smarter choices about their health habits and medical care.

Posted by schnitzr at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

More Good PR!

David Rothman picked this up as well - Congrats to everyone who worked on the project and to Nancy for starting the PR ball rolling. MI-INFO Online

Posted by janeblum at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2007

Yale Libraries drop BMC

SciLib - Weblog: Library drops BioMed Central's Open Access membership

Yale's Libraries, including the medical and science libraries are dropping out of BioMed Central due to rapidly escalating costs. There's a difference of opinion on whether this is the start of a trend or not.

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

August 07, 2007

Going Native in a Virtual World

Tom Boellstorff, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine, talks about his research and his forthcoming book about the virtual world Second Life.

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

August 06, 2007

SPH Findings ranked second

The SPH alumni magazine, Findings, has been ranked second among all SPH magazines by Epi Monitor.

You can see Findings here:

Posted by gmayman at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2007

Second Life Video

At the request of the School of Dentistry and in partnership with them, we made a video this week about science in Second Life. Here it is!

YouTube: Science Learning Opportunities in Second Life:

Posted by pfa at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2007

How to Talk to Your Doctor (for Seniors and others)

26 Jul 2007

*New Topic added to NIHSeniorHealth: Talking with Your Doctor

Posted by schnitzr at 06:17 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2007

More details re: Conversation with a Provost:

Note: Since it is very difficult for me to abandon thinking about this terrific meeting from last week, I am taking the liberty of including the official meeting minutes in this blog:

Core Team Meeting
July 17, 2007
10th FL conference room, 9:00-10:45

Present: Michelle Barnes, Barbara Bassett, Claudette Brower, Pat Cooke, Altorian Derrick, Anita Greca, Linda Hart, Stephen Hipkiss, Pat Hodges, Greg Lambert, Doritta McDaniel, Denise Moore, Byron Myer, JoAnn Peraino, Marlene Pruitt, Kevin Reynard, Ann Ross, Anna Schnitzer, Katherine Roth Van Deventer, Laurita Thomas, Jarrod Van Kirk, Ramona Ward, Lynette Wright, Cathy Zawacki

Guest: Provost Terry Sullivan

Welcome & Introductions:
The meeting was opened with a welcome by Laurita Thomas and roundtable introductions by each member of the Core Team.

Conversations with Provost Sullivan
Provost Sullivan spoke about several objectives and goals she plans to work on over the next several months. Several items discussed were:
• Differences in culture between faculty and staff - the Provost plans to initiate a University-wide training program for department chairs on performance management, and generate discussion to raise awareness of faculty and staff cultural differences.
• Expand a program practiced in LSA and Engineering which is to promote younger faculty members to full professorship. The Provost would like to overcome the practice of newer faculty members often receiving only harsh criticism from seasoned faculty members. In order to retain young talented faculty members, it’s important to overturn such negative customs.
• Remove roadblocks – the academia is very decentralized which creates various barriers across units and between faculty and staff. There is a great deal of innovation and creativity that can be captured by eliminating unconstructive behavior, and encouraging excellence in service and performance.
• Improve space utilization – many work areas throughout the University are underutilized, and can be used for research and projects.

Debrief – various comments from the members:
• The group was thrilled to learn that one of the Provost’s objectives is to start a training program for department chairs. They hope both department chairs and department managers receive the same type of training.
• “It was insightful to hear and talk with the Provost. She was very approachable.?
• “The fact that she took the time to attend our Core Team meeting was very encouraging.?
• “She’s a living bridge between the academic side and the staff side.?
• The team felt hopeful after hearing there is a legitimate concern for bridging the gap between academia and staff.
• The group was pleased to hear about her dedication and passion for balancing work and home life.

Human Capital Report
Laurita encouraged the members to use the Human Capital Report as a resource for their teams’ projects and research, and for their own departments.

At the next Core Team meeting, members will be asked to give team reports.

Next meeting: TBD

Meeting adjourned

Posted by schnitzr at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2007

Interesting Article in PLOS

PLoS Medicine - A Student-Led Campaign to Help Tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases

Posted by janeblum at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2007

Conversation with a Provost

Provost Terry Sullivan took an entire hour out of her busiest week of the year (she said that she was actually glad to get out of the Fleming Building for a while)--the week she presents the budget for next year to the Regents--to have a very meaningful conversation with the Core Team of VOICES of the Staff, yesterday. She talked about all kinds of objectives and ideas that she had for all sections of UM, she answered all our questions, she laughed and told a few humorous personal stories, and, in general, was a most delightful guest. I took notes, but the selections that remain most vivid in my memory are her focusing on nurturing new members of the UM community, her emphasis on department chairs needing to acquire both people and managerial skills, her highlighting excellence in service and performance, and her overall concern for and understanding of all levels of academe and how these elements can be improved. During the debriefing by Laurita Thomas, after the Provost's departure, one could really tell how enthusiastic and energized the Core Team members were--to a person!

Posted by schnitzr at 05:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

It's all about the penguins

For those of you tired of wondering "who moved my cheese?" there's a new management book by John Kotter, based on his classic Leading Change and featuring penguins. Our iceberg is melting should be a best seller, not that I'm biased in favor of penguins. :)

Posted by janeblum at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2007

A new look at librarians from the NYT

A GREAT article from the New York Times on Librarians,,,, great hope for the future!!!

July 8, 2007

A Hipper Crowd of Shushers


Posted by schnitzr at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2007

The Death of a Virtual Campus (Chronicle 7/6/07)

The Death of a Virtual Campus Illustrates How Real-World Problems Can Disrupt Online Islands


Woodbury University has been obliterated. The real-world campus of 1,500 students still stands, in Burbank, Calif. But in the freewheeling virtual world Second Life, Woodbury has been deleted.

Linden Lab, the company that runs Second Life, simply blanked Woodbury out of existence sometime during the last week of June.

The company took the drastic step, officials said, after administrators for the university's area ignored warnings to stop avatars -- digital characters -- affiliated with its region from engaging in disruptive and hostile behavior.

Posted by schnitzr at 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2007

Chronicle, Academic Blogging re: Google Library Search

June 22, 2007

What Does Stealing Laptops Have to Do With Google Library Search?

When a British publishing executive swiped two laptops from Google’s booth at Book Expo America this month, he said he wanted to make a point about Google’s Library Search. Noting that Google did not specifically prohibit people from walking away with the computers, Richard Charkin, CEO of Macmillan, waited near the booth to see what would happen. When Google finally discovered his prank, he said he was doing exactly what Google was doing to publishers with respect to intellectual property.

On the Oxford University Press blog, Evan Schnittman says he was greatly amused by the prank but thinks Charkin’s effort ultimately failed. “Had Charkin taken the laptop and given it to a third party – he would have been closer to what is going on with GL.?

Posted by schnitzr at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2007

Great source of ideas for our SL presence

Top 10: Virtual Medical Sites in Second Life! ScienceRoll

Interesting list, not all of which we want to emulate. But at least we can see what's already being done and not reinvent that particular wheel.

Posted by janeblum at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2007

Interesting News Bite

The Chronicle: Daily News Blog: Open-Access Policy Would Be Strengthened in House Panel's NIH Spending Bill

The possibility of mandatory open-access deposit is once again on the agenda.

Posted by janeblum at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2007

Chronicle presents Tech Therapy podcast next month

June 7, 2007

Introducing 'Tech Therapy'

In July, The Chronicle will offer a new podcast called Tech Therapy. Scott Carlson, a Chronicle reporter, and Warren Arbogast, a technology consultant who works with colleges, will talk about the headaches, anxieties, and general problems you might be having with technology on your campus.

The podcast will be interactive. Scott and Warren will take your questions and comments about campus technology and talk about the issues the questions that they raise. File-sharing, security, dealing with vendors, figuring out how to talk to your president, or how to talk to your CIO — it’s all game for a therapy session.

The Tech Therapists will respect patient confidentiality: If you want to submit your questions anonymously, just say so in your message.

Posted by schnitzr at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2007

Google's New Interface

Google just updated their interface and menus. To my disappointment, clicking on the "MORE" no longer takes one to a page listing the various Google services. Most notably lacking (to my mind) is Google Directory.

Where in the World is Google Directory?

One of the really nifty things to do with Google Directory was to search for just a few good links by searching your broad topic and limited the results to those in the directory. So, now how to do that? Well, you kind of have to know that the directory is there. Luckily, it is, although for how much longer might be questionable, since they no longer list it in their menu. Check it out, if you haven't tried it before.

Google Directory:

Oh, and by the way? Google Directory is really from DMOZ, just with a faster server.

ODP - Open Directory Project (DMOZ):

Posted by pfa at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2007

Keeping up with NLM
(sorry that the above is not a "live link"--my Safari browser won't do it)

Skill Kit: Keeping Up with What’s New @ NLM ®

It's happened to all of us — we use a system or software package we feel reasonably knowledgeable about and something has changed with the interface or the data. It's difficult to keep up with change today in our fast-paced world. Subscribing to the NLM-Announces weekly list of new and updated pages on the NLM Web site, MedlinePlus, HSTAT, PubMed, and NLM Anonymous FTP server is one way to keep up with what's going on at NLM. We hope the following information will assist you in discovering RSS feeds, listservs, and Web pages that will help you keep up with your favorite or often-used NLM resources.

Posted by schnitzr at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2007

Update on hospital reimbursement for GME

The Chronicle: Daily news: 05/30/2007 -- 04: Tucked Into an Emergency Spending Bill, a Reprieve for Teaching Hospitals

A one year moratorium on cuts in federal funds for residency and other post-graduate training at teaching hospitals.

Posted by janeblum at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

May 29, 2007

Of interest

Main Page Summary - WikiSummaries, free book summaries

Collaboratively written summaries of fiction and non-fiction books, including some of interest professionally as well as best-sellers

Posted by janeblum at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2007

The Ultimate Distributed Computer

Today's Chronicle of Higher Ed had blogged an interesting article, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog: Saving Books by Solving Puzzles, about an interesting application for CAPTCHAS (those annoying, garbled boxes that ask you to "type the letters you see in the box").

For animal lovers and those of you who are more visually oriented, here's a link to another version of the idea: ASIRRA

Posted by janeblum at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2007

New Resource available from UM

The Chronicle: Daily News Blog: Web Site Offers New Clearinghouse on Issues of Academic Work and Life

Posted by janeblum at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2007


Found this in a message on MEDLIB-L from Dean Giustini:

Supposedly, this is a personalized medical search created by doctors for everyone ("for informational purposes only"). Take a look. Dean says that he would blog on it but his blog is on semi-hiatus.

Posted by schnitzr at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2007

HSL Librarian to attend Rare Book School

Barbara Shipman has been accepted to attend Rare Book School, an
Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship, taking place 16-20
July 2007 at the University of Virginia. As part of Barbara's new
responsibilities in the Health Sciences Libraries, she oversees special
collections at the Dentistry, Public Health & Informatics, and Taubman
libraries. We are very excited for Barbara on her acceptance to Rare
Book School and hope the knowledge she gains will allow us to provide
better stewardship of and increased access to these rich collections.

Posted by dbradley at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2007

From evidence-based research to practice

Found this interesting"factoid" asked and answered on MEDLIB-L today:

How many years does it take to put evidence-based research into practice?

"New and more effective health care treatment practices often do not
quickly find their way into clinical practice, despite attention
garnered in professional journals and at medical conferences. Recent
studies indicate an average of 17 years is needed before new knowledge
generated through research, such as randomized clinical trials, is
incorporated into widespread clinical practice-and even then the
application of the knowledge is very uneven."

Posted by schnitzr at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

U. of Pennsylvania Switches Its E-Mail Service to Microsoft

After a negotiation process that lasted months, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences and Wharton School have decided to replace their campus Webmail system with a commercial service provided by Microsoft.

Campus officials had planned to settle on a new service, run by either Microsoft or Google, by the end of January, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. Microsoft finally won out because it promised the university more exclusive features — including e-mail, Web hosting, and instant messaging — than Google, which offered the tools native to its popular Gmail service. —Brock Read

from "Chronicle of Higher Education", dated April 19, 2007

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

April 17, 2007

Update on Health Sciences Libraries Liaison Services

The Health Sciences Libraries have a variety of initiatives underway as part of its new Liaison Services. Dr. Rajesh Mangrulkar, Department of Internal Medicine, was invited to the April 3 all-staff meeting to discuss Encore (Ensure Competence, Inspire Excellence), a proposed pilot program for a new system of medical student education. The program emphasizes systems-based approaches to learning; team-based practice; self-assessment; and competencies in clinical skills, diagnosis, therapeutics, the social context of health and disease, scientific reasoning, educational technology, and information management. The Health Sciences Libraries (HSL) are also working with the Department of Internal Medicine on another pilot program to provide real-time searching and discussion of clinical information resources during residents’ Ambulatory Morning Report as well as partnering with the Department of Internal Medicine to investigate the involvement of librarians as onsite consultants to patient safety teams to support patient care and residency education. On April 6, the HSL launched a collaborative project with the Department of Surgery to assess the searching skills of all surgery residents and to obtain data on their information seeking behavior.

The HSL recently offered informal brownbag Learn @ Lunchtime demonstrations, entitled Finding Information Fast! and Using Literature Alerts, focused on helping hospital staff search library resources effectively. Other liaison activities include a new symposium series to assist grant applicants with the electronic submission of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. The series featured sessions on NIH Electronic Submission and Deep Blue, Deep Blue and Intellectual Property (Copyright), and the NIH Electronic Submission Process. In June, the HSL will be presenting two hands-on computer sessions in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan on Finding Health Information on the Internet. The lifelong learning institute is a program established by a group of Turner Geriatric Clinic volunteers.

In other areas of the health sciences, the HSL is providing support to the public health practice community by teaching classes on new web technologies at the Michigan Association for Local Public Health annual conference. These classes are in addition to instruction on library services and resources to audiences including the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy researchers and workshops on software resources for working with survey data for courses in the Department of Epidemiology. The HSL is offering a training series teaching overviews of current awareness skills and techniques at the School of Dentistry. Each training session is also provided as a podcast. A pilot, for-credit elective course was taught for graduating seniors at Dentistry, and it has now been approved for Fall 2007 and Winter 2008 terms.

As part of Liaison Services initiatives, HSL librarians have been invited to serve on curriculum committees in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Dentistry.

Posted by nallee at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

Questions about LinkOut Icons

The Krafty Librarian blog reports that LinkOut Icons are not in production yet but are still in beta test.

Posted by janeblum at 01:27 PM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2007

Librarians have more fun?!

Just discovered this on today's RefDesk" US News has identified '25 professions that will be in growing demand as baby boomers age, the Internet becomes ubiquitous, and Americans seek richer, simpler lives' and - librarian is one of them. Here's a link to the summary about librarians - - even though we're 'an underrated career' they do recognize that we get to have fun.

Posted by schnitzr at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2007

Sources of Information

Here are three sources of information on UM's medical education, research, and patient care. What do you read to keep up with the rest of the university?

UMMS: E-News, your source for quick and current news from the medical school community.

The Biomedical News is available online for immediate viewing. The April 2007 issue contains information on: Anand Swaroop receiving the Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award in Biomedical Research, BMRC Bridging Support Program for Basic Science Research, UMMS Dean’s Faculty Research Awards, educational opportunities, various funding and award opportunities, and UMMS awarded grants and research publications.

University of Michigan Health System - Bulletin

Posted by janeblum at 12:02 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2007

NCIBI Portal Powered by Sakai

I just wanted to direct you to the official National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (NCIBI) portal using the Sakai technology. They will be redirecting their address to this portal shortly.

This is a really effective deployment of what is basically an uber-CTools site. The integration of public site versus private login is a nice feature and the PubMed RSS feed also works on this site, even though it does not work in the current CTools deployment(but slated to be fixed with the next release).

We might want to consider this type of site for the overall HSL website in the long-term to integrate staff-only versus public pages.

Posted by jeansong at 09:55 AM | Comments (1)

March 21, 2007

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Today is the first annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - "A Celebration of Life...Protecting Our Future, Protecting Our People". The start of Spring represents a time for change and new beginnings. It represents an opportunity to increase awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indian, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Here are some facts that I learned today:

- Despite having the smallest population, American Indians/Alaska Natives have the third highest rates of HIV/AIDS diagnoses following Blacks and Hispanics.

- Women accounted for 29% of the HIV/AIDS diagnoses among American Indians and Alaska Natives.

- Of persons diagnosed with AIDS during 1997– 2004, American Indians and Alaska Natives survived a shorter time than Asians and Pacific Islanders, whites, or Hispanics.

For more information, please read the CDC March 2007 fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among American Indians and Alaska Natives available at

Posted by hlook at 04:09 PM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2007

More mountains to traverse

Tuberculosis in South Africa - A Global System in Crisis - Health - News - New York Times

Those of you who are reading Mountains beyond Mountains will recognize the arguments in this article about the best way to treat tuberculosis.

Posted by janeblum at 06:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2007

Health System News Letter Posted Online

Inside View Volume 2 Issue 3

Page 5 has a story about interpreters, and a picture of ASL interpreter Rose Hawver at work.

Posted by janeblum at 12:09 PM | Comments (2)

March 16, 2007

Welcome our new webmaster

Goodbye Boston, Hello Ann Arbor (RSS4Lib)

Our new Web Systems Manager has a pre-existing blog - check it out.

Posted by janeblum at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2007

Introduction to Health Informatics: The first few weeks

Thanks to Anna for getting my blog on the Health Informatics class added to the HSL Staff Blog list. Trying to catch all of you up on the topics covered in this course so far will be the focus of the next few blogs. We began with a discussion of basic concepts by the instructor for the course, Kai Zheng. Among these concepts were (1) defining what health informatics is or, more precisely, what does it involve; (2) a brief survey of the history of health informatics; and (3) what are the future goals and objectives for health informatics, particularly in the United States. We were also introduced to two systems that we will learn more about: the Clinical Reminder System (CRS) in use in Pennsylvania and CareWeb here at UMHS. For those interested in more information about health informatics, there are a couple of associations that provide useful information. These are the American Health Information Management Association and the American Medical Informatics Association.

Posted by mlswanso at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2007

Are You in Second Life? Check out ALA's Island

Kudos to the American Libraries Association for taking the plunge! I thought ALA was cutting edge to have Dance Dance Revolution at ALA Midwinter. A new project has been announced. ALA will be sharing an Island in the online community of Second Life. According to its press release, ALA will be "reaching out to new audiences, holding events, interacting with members and the public, and exploring the future of library services. The half-island was given to ALA by an anonymous donor." If you're one of the 400 librarians in Second Life, check it out. The island will be directly next to Cybrary City I.

Posted by hlook at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2007

LUNAFEST comes to Ann Arbor

March 15: LUNAFEST film festival

LUNAFEST is a nationwide fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women's issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities. The event, from 7 - 10 p.m. Thursday, March 15, will highlight women as leaders in society, illustrated through nine outstanding films by female filmmakers. The films, which will be shown in the Pendleton Room at the Michigan Union, range from animated shorts to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women's health, body image, spirituality, relationships, cultural diversity, and breaking barriers.

Cost is $5 for students and $8 for community members. All proceeds will benefit the U-M American Medical Women's Association and the Breast Cancer Fund.

Posted by janeblum at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2007

Librarian of Fortune--Bates Information Tips on Google

From Mary Ellen Bates:
Want to read even more stuff I write? I've started a personal blog, Librarian of Fortune, which you can get to at, coincidently,

A version of this Tip with live links is available at An RSS feed for my InfoTip is at

If you want to see where I will be speaking next, check out

Posted by schnitzr at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Did you know Kramer wanted to be a standardized patient?

The AARP Bulletin features this interesting article, Good Rapport Is Good Medicine, about standardized patients. If you are not familiar with standardized patients and how they are used in medical education, this article explains the program as well as talks with medical educators, medical students, and the patient actors about the program and their experiences. The LRC downstairs in this building has a standardized patient lab for UM students.

Posted by janeblum at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2007

EBM for the layperson

Are Doctors Just Playing Hunches? -- Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007 -- Page 1 -- TIME

Evidence-based medicine in the mainstream media

Posted by janeblum at 01:52 PM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2007

Big Medicine at Michigan

This article in the University Record Michigan medical schools and teaching hospitals make major economic impact focuses specifically on UMHS while discussing the AAMC report The Economic Impact of AAMC - Member Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals

Posted by janeblum at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2007

Women's Health and Fitness Event at Ypsi High

Merle, Pat M., and I (anna) attended the UM Women Medical Students' event called Women's Health and Fitness held at Ypsilanti High School on February 17th from early morning until early afternoon. We set up a little table with our HSL name, our brochures about MedlinePlus, two laptops featuring PowerPoint of a number of relevant MedlinePlus topics (we tried to match them up with the workshops held at the event), and we distributed over 50 NLM flyers and a number of library brochures (plus a lot of good will). Several of our colleagues were present to attend the workshop, as well (Agnes, Barb G.). After the crowds had dispersed we attended a number of excellent workshops (e.g., "Hiding in Plain Sight"--about violence to women; "Chair Yoga," and "It's Not Just Potty Talk"--about colon cancer and the need for screening. We also made contact with Debbi Smith who runs the UM Women's Health Resource Center, and we promised to collaborate with each other. She will drop off bookmarks for her unit soon and will pick up some of our brochures, she said. All in all, I would say that it was an outstanding outreach venture from the standpoint of reaching local women of all ages and ethnicities and promoting the fact that HSL care and are there to provide further good health information.

Posted by schnitzr at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2007

Look who's in second life

e-Learning at UM: SI in SecondLife

Posted by janeblum at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2007

Neat tool for scheduling

I just learned about Doodle: Scheduling meetings from a colleague in Medicine. It might be useful for some of our scheduling and/or decisionmaking.

Posted by janeblum at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

After Katrina..(last of MLK events)

I attended the following seminar: "The Social and Political Implications of Hurricane Katrina: Looking Back and Looking Ahead." Panelist: John Logan, Professor of Sociology, Brown University, and Michael Dawson, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago. Moderator: Alford Young, Jr., Department of Sociology and Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. February 9, 2007. 1-3 p.m. Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union.

The seminar focused on whether New Orleans should retain its former footprint or become a smaller city, the fact that the poorest people--the ones who were the last to leave--are now the ones who have no funds to return and rebuild, whether the discrepancies in being rescued were based on race or class, and the difference of opinions between African-Americans and Caucasians as to whether or not a major race problem still exists in the United States.

Posted by schnitzr at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2007

Paul Farmer presents Building a Health Care Movement

Paul Farmer presents Building a Health Care Movement: From Haiti to Rwanda
Time: Monday, Feb 12, 2007 5:00pm

Address: Ford Auditorium, University Hospital
Address: 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Paul E. Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard University, attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and founding director of Partners In Health will present "Building a Health Care Movement: From Haiti to Rwanda." The speech will focus on PIH's philosophy and approach to providing integrated health care solutions to the poor. PIH is an international charity organization that operates in eight countries and is best known for its work in Haiti, where it has been treating impoverished people since 1983; and in Rwanda, where it is pursuing an integrated approach to health and development issues for rural residents.

This will be simulcast to Ford Auditorium and the West Lecture Hall. To view a streaming video, visit

Posted by schnitzr at 09:24 AM | Comments (2)

February 09, 2007

Interesting new journal

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Magazine & journal reader: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

I wonder if this is going to become a separate discipline within medicine. Isn't it just a particular aspect of Family or Internal Medicine? How is lifestyle medicine different from the (non-medical) field of health education?

Posted by janeblum at 10:22 AM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2007

UM Alums in NLM exhibit

As you know from Helen's email, the HSL are hosting the NLM African American Surgeons Traveling Exhibit August - October 2009. In case you were wondering about the identity of the two UM alums featured in the exhibit, they are Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr, and Dr. Alexa I. Canady

Posted by janeblum at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2007

A step forward

Test to Predict Breast Cancer Relapse Is Approved - New York Times

Posted by janeblum at 08:42 AM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2007

Be careful with the pit bulls

Science Publishers Face Backlash from PR Foray - February 6, 2007 - Library Journal

Interesting follow up to the earlier news about new PR efforts against open access by scientific publishers.

Posted by janeblum at 08:52 AM | Comments (1)

February 05, 2007

MedlinePlus goes local

Current Health News

In the Spotlight
A new Go Local site is now available in MedlinePlus. Find health services in your hometown in:
* Michigan
Lots of specific local resources are listed by county. This should prove very practical and helpful.

Posted by schnitzr at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2007

Free e-learning site

The Stingy Scholar is an interesting site with links to online repositories and tutorials, both personal and professional, at a variety of grade levels. For example, the January 31 entry highlights "Science, Optics, and You." While that program is targeted to the elementary grades, those of you who, like me, have taken advantages of the old librarians' trick of looking at children's literature for quick and understandable introductions to a topic may find it and similar links useful.

Posted by janeblum at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

February 03, 2007

MelCat ILL at AA District Library

MeLCat is here!

I found the information below on a link from the AA District Library Home Page while searching for something else for a patron (a typing class, which I could not find and am still searching for--gone the way of the dodo bird?). This information below could come in handy for patrons who are not UM affiliates or for questions about items that are more public-library-collection oriented. The AA District Library is getting better and better every day!

The Ann Arbor District Library is pleased to announce the return of patron-initiated interlibrary loan service through the Michigan eLibrary Catalog (MeLCat), a statewide-shared catalog.

You may request interlibrary loans directly by going to MeLCat. There is also a link to MeLCat from the Request ILL page on our website.

All requests will require your name and library barcode (found on the back of your library card) and a pickup location of your choice.

When a book is ready for pickup you will receive a message similar to the one you receive now for AADL holds ready to be picked up. Books will be checked out at your pickup location for three weeks and be available for one three week renewal unless there is a request at the owning library. Renewals may be done through your online account, at any Circulation Desk, or by calling 327-4219.

Please let us know if you need more information about this service by going to Contact Us or asking at any of our public service desks.

Posted by schnitzr at 05:33 AM | Comments (1)

January 31, 2007

Local News Gone Global: Pfizer

I thought people might be interested in seeing the article in todays NATURE about the Pfizer changes impacting on us locally.

A changing drug supply
Research cuts by the world's largest drug company reflect a challenging
outlook for the industry.

"Pfizer's announcement last week that it will cut its research marks a watershed for the pharmaceutical industry (see page 466). Until now Pfizer, the leading drug company in terms of both sales and research spending, and an important industry bellwether, has refrained from cutting its efforts to discover new drugs. Yet its $7 billion in annual R&D expenditures has failed to generate anything near the number of discoveries needed to cover those costs."

Posted by pfa at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2007

Courts Turn to Wikipedia, but Selectively

From today's NYT "Business" Section

Posted by schnitzr at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Don't miss out--free rec passes

Don't miss out: enroll in Active U

As an added incentive to Active U 2007 participants, recreational facilities on all three campuses will offer free admission during the Feb. 6-April 3 physical fitness challenge. Several employees who participated last year in Active U say the program not only has helped them set fitness goals, it has enabled them to renew their commitments to a healthier lifestyle. Details below:

Posted by schnitzr at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2007

Doctor's Office Gets Crowded on the Web

Steve Case, of AOL fame, launches a health site with pay services as WebMD makes more offerings free (posted in today's Wall Street Journal)

Posted by schnitzr at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2007

Interesting development

MedlinePlus to be Enhanced by Vivisimo

from: * Blog Archive *

Pat, it appears your choice of an article for journal club was particularly timely.

Posted by janeblum at 03:32 PM

January 13, 2007

BSRB wins design award

Univ Michigan Biomedical Research.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Our neighbor down the block has received one of the 2007 American Institute of Architects Honor Awards.

Posted by janeblum at 02:14 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2007

What have blogs done to medical publishing?

Time Global: Health Blog: Name That Life Saver!:

An interesting blog entry from Time Magazine about the impact of web 2.0 on medical journals. Interesting!

Posted by pfa at 09:20 PM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2007

The treat you brought in for the HSL holiday party...

Anna Schnitzer asked me to post a recipe for the carob chocolates served at the HSL 2006 Holiday party. This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to the National Underground Freedom Museum in Cincinnati & the Classic Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates.

…or keys, as they are called, interspersed among them. It was about a mile in circumference, with a white sandy beach running in a regular order along it. On that part of it where we first attempted to land, there stood some very large birds, called flamingoes: these, from the reflection of the sun, appeared to us at a little distance as large as men; and when they walked backwards and forewards, we could not conceive what they were: our captain swore they were cannibals. This created a great panic among us; and we held a consultation how to act.

-Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African (from the Classic Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates)

Interesting Slave Narrative Locust Bean Confections

This makes about a dozen of these confections, with some supplies left over to make more maple sugar creams, buy a ¼ lb. more chocolate &/or carob for this purpose.

-Solanum Melongena Esculentum Preserve (from the nightshade “eggplant?)
-Maple Sugar Cream
-Carob (from the locust bean)


-1 large eggplant
-Maple syrup (24 or more ounces)
-Candy wrappers
-Chocolate ( ½ to ¾ lb.)
-Carob ( ¼ to ½ lb.)
-Butter, margarine or butter substitute
-Half a box of no sugar needed pectin or other gelling agent
-A few pints of heavy whipping cream

-Non-stick cutting boards (or non-stick surfaces) for freezing
-Electric beater
-Electric rice cooker/steamer or a way to steam eggplant that extracts eggplant syrup
-Small melon baller or spoon
-Double boiler

Frozen Solanum Melongena Esculentum Preserve:

Cut 1 large eggplant and steam in an electric steamer, with not more than 1 1/2 inches of water. Steam eggplant sections with just enough water to extract an eggplant syrup; Do not over steam or this syrup will evaporate or “burn on?, check steaming water about 15, 20,30 minutes into steaming and then check every few minutes. You could need to steam more than once because of the quantity of eggplant, so check the syrup often.

Using half a box of powdered pectin bring eggplant syrup to a boil and follow pectin directions. Add some water to eggplant syrup before boiling, if you are concerned it will not make enough preserve.

Refrigerate eggplant until it gels to preserve, a few hours.

Using a melon baller spoon small amounts of eggplant gelatin onto a non-stick surface & freeze.

Cut frozen eggplant preserve to the size of the candy wrappers and return to the freezer for dipping in chocolate.

Frozen Maple Sugar cream:

In a double boiler heat real maple syrup to a low boil. Boil long enough create a thicker syrup. Let cool.

Warm double boiled syrup or warm non-boiled syrup with a pint or more of heavy whipping cream. Beat with (preferably a non-hand held) electric beater. Use the whipped cream directions with a stand alone beater, should you have a hand held electric beater try not to completely churn out maple butter. This can take up to an hour.

Using a melon baller spoon maple sugar cream balls onto a freezer safe surface and let harden.

Chocolate for dipping:

Using a double boiler melt a spoonful of margarine with a quarter of the dipping chocolate. Keep this on a low heat. Add a quarter of your dipping chocolate for each item dipped: wrappers, eggplant preserve, and maple sugar cream balls. The last quarter will join the filled parts.

Line about a dozen candy wrappers with chocolate and freeze.

Dip about a dozen of the frozen solanum melongena esculentum preserve and freeze.

Dip about a dozen of the frozen maple sugar cream balls and freeze.

When these have hardened (a few minutes) assemble in each lined wrapper: 1 eggplant & 1 maple cream sugar ball. Fill with enough chocolate to join but, not melt, the filled chocolate parts. Freeze.

Carob for dipping:

Using a double boiler melt the carob with margarine. Use a lower heat than the chocolate, overcooked carob is bitter.

Fill the Interesting Narrative Confections with carob from the locust bean until it covers the frozen filled parts. Freeze until the confections harden.

Remove from the freezer to a cool non-refrigerated place, not directly in the sunlight. Store in an airtight rubber or plastic container.

Do not leave these for over an hour in the heat or sun.

-Karin Smith

Posted by karinsmi at 09:47 AM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2007

Dr. Bloom's Reading List

From a message sent to UMHS by Dr. Bloom:

1. The December 15, 2006 issue of SCIENCE (314:1696-1704) contains the
superb Presidential Address of Gilbert Omenn: "Grand Challenges and
Great Opportunities in Science, Technology, and Public Policy." Gil,
currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), explains how identification of
"grand challenges" in science and at the intersection of science and
society can accelerate progress for the good of the planet. If you have
not seen this article, it is worth reading. If you can't access it, we
can send you a PDF or hard copy.

2. Also for your reading list - consider Janet Gilsdorf's "A Piece of
My Mind" (JAMA, 296(23):2777-2778, Dec 20, 2006). This is a terrific
piece of thought and writing.

Posted by schnitzr at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2007

Michigan Library Closings in the News

FYI, a news article from ALA about closings of Michigan libraries.

American Libraries Online: Michigan Library Closes Branches, Slashes Jobs after Tax Defeat:

Posted by pfa at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2006

Brilliant Collection coming to PHLI

Wondering what makes the Brilliant Collection brilliant? It's the collection of Dr. Larry Brilliant, UM SPH alum and former faculty, who is now the Executive Director of the Google Foundation. Our library will be making available materials from his days fighting the last case of smallpox on the planet. To learn more about his inspirational work, check out the article in the latest issue of the UM SPH Findings or watch the video of his wish for the world.

Happy Holidays!

Posted by hlook at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)

Medicine and Web 2.0 - New From the BMJ

Dean Giustini is well known as a blogger on medical libraries and search engines. Tomorrow's issue of BMJ includes an editorial by Dean about trends in medical information as impacted by the Web 2.0 interactive applications. An interesting essay and worth a quick read.

D. Giustini. "How Web 2.0 is changing medicine -- Is a medical wikipedia the next step?" BMJ 2006;333:1283-1284 (23 December):

Posted by pfa at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2006

A(n) Historical Discovery

In a gift book entitled"The People's Common Sense Medical Advisor in Plain English," our Anne discovered a loose, folded intake application for a medical examination, a History & Physical form, published in the late 1880's. I posted a copy on the bulletin board on 4 if you are interested in looking at it. It has a section for "Ladies" and a section for "Gentlemen," covering a multitude of personal physical details. (I assume that this book is sort of a 19th century equivalent of current versions of "Medical Care from A-Z" or "Medical Care for Dummies" and similar titles.) Anne has sent the book out for some repairs because the cover is not in the best possible shape. This is the Mirlyn record:
Pierce, R. V. (Ray Vaughn), b. 1840.:
The people's common sense medical advisor in plain English :or, Medicine simplified /by R.V. Pierce..
Buffalo, N.Y. : World's Dispensary Printing Office and Bindery, 1888, c1886..
1008 p. : ill. (some col.), map, port., plates ; 21 cm..

Owning Location Taubman Medical | RC 81 .P261 1888

Posted by schnitzr at 07:45 AM | Comments (4)

December 07, 2006

The Stadium and the people with disabilities

Yesterday, at our monthly meeting of the Council for Disability Concerns, we discussed the renovated Stadium vis-a-vis people with special needs. (You may have read in the newspapers that there is considerable controversy about this topic and that a lawsuit by the Disabled Vets is possibly being considered.) A representative from the Athletics Department and three UM lawyers were present at the meeting (one being our very own Council Chair, Jack Bernard). The discussion was lively yet extremely civil and quite productive. Various suggestions were proferred, e.g., flexible temporary seating that could be removed if more wheelchair users were present at the games. There was also a discussion of ease of finding accessible restrooms. We discovered that handrails will be added in sections where they are needed (the ends of some seats need to be removed to make room for them), and the meeting concluded on a positive note, I am happy to report.

Posted by schnitzr at 04:18 PM | Comments (1)

December 05, 2006

Managing generational differences at work

Several of us attended a workshop today called Managing Generational Differences at Work. I don't know about the others who attended, but I found some of the information very helpful. Especially interesting is a chart comparing 3 generations with regard to such things as work ethic, attitude toward authority, management style preferred, etc. I have an extra copy of the slides and can route it around if people are interested.

Posted by bshipman at 03:20 PM | Comments (5)

December 04, 2006

Google and SearchMash - Kissing Cousins or Squabbling Sibs?

Rumor has it that Google has released a new search engine based on the Google database, but using a different search algorithm and ranking. The new searchengine is named SearchMash, which I interpret to be a reference to mashups.

For myself, at the top level, I see only slight differences in the rankings and retrieval. I notice more differences in the display and "features". SearchMash seems to be more a place to see what Google might be doing in the future. Definitely not a full-featured search engine, but as a testbed for new ideas, hopefully a place to watch.

I tried a number of searches in both for comparison. Here is one, just for your amusement.

Google: (inurl:library OR inurl:lib) aids hiv

SearchMash: (inurl:library OR inurl:lib) aids hiv

So, different? Perhaps not a great deal. Flavor of the day seems to be that Google is beginning to offer some of the custom limits as checkboxes, like A9 used to do. A nice touch, especially if they take it farther. Meanwhile, SearchMas doesn't seem like either a kissing cousin or a squabbling sib, but more along the lines of a baby who gets left behind by the big kids, but every now and then does something absolutely amazing that the big kids couldn't.

Posted by pfa at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2006

This might be of interest to you or to some of our patrons

AIDS Posters - UCLA Digital Library

Posted by janeblum at 12:44 PM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2006

First Woman to head Oxford Library

News: First woman to become Bodley’s Librarian

Posted by janeblum at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

If at first ...

Adieu to Google Answers was posted on the Official Google Blog today. I think it's interesting not for the demise of the service, which will undoubtedly be cheered by many of my colleagues in libraries around the world, but for the mindset behind it.

Google saw a need, tried a solution, and pulled the plug when it didn't work. They see no shame in having an idea not work out, and put it behind them, moving on to the next one. The same approach is reflected in an article in the Harvard Business Review, "The Quest for Resilience" HBR 2003;81(3):52-63 , brought to my attention by Patricia Anderson.

A challenge to us is to generate the required stream of ideas to keep us moving forward and responding flexibly to our environmental challenges.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas as we brainstorm together.

Posted by janeblum at 06:26 AM | Comments (8)

November 28, 2006

What's a mashup?

Check out this post on the Krafty Librarian blog for an explanation of mashups and several good examples.

Posted by janeblum at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

CIC Conference in Minneapolis

I recently attended the CIC Conference on Learning Technology ( held in Minneapolis along with five others from Michigan: Kim Bayer, Jon Maybaum, Ted Hanns, Eric Frierson, and myself. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is made up of 12 universities (the Big Ten and the University of Chicago) who regularly share information and conduct conferences on specific topics. For more on the CIC:

I was involved mainly with sessions addressing Training, Support, and Faculty/Educational Development. The most interesting thing about it was the realization that though we were discussing technology - Web 2.0 and other emerging technology - we kept coming back to the fact that technology alone does not solve a problem. All technology *must* be examined and understood based on its intended use. We must evaluate a given situation or problem first, and then consider technology that may meet the need.

Content and desired outcome are still the most important principles when considering how to use *any* technology.

I will share my Take-Aways as separate items and welcome your feedback or ideas of how we might use them here.

Posted by npulsiph at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

About Today's Students

College Students Fall Short in Demonstrating the ICT Literacy Skills Necessary for Success in College and the Workplace
PDF [60KB]:

"Despite the assumption that today's college students are tech savvy and ICT literate, preliminary research released by ETS today shows that many students lack the critical thinking skills to perform the kinds of information management and research tasks necessary for academic success."

Also of interest, the ETS Education Issues 2007 publication.

Educational Testing Service (ETS): Education Issues 2007
PDF [1.3 MB]:

Posted by pfa at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2006

Google Book Search Tracks Down Plagiarists

Interesting article from Slate.

Dead Plagiarists Society -- Will Google Book Search uncover long-buried literary crimes? By Paul Collins
Posted Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006, at 12:22 PM ET.

Posted by pfa at 09:32 PM | Comments (3)

November 22, 2006

Turning to One Another, by Margaret J. Wheatley

This poem was read at the beginning of the first committee meeting (Integrated Disability Management Advisory Committee or IDMAC)by Laurita Thomas:

There is no power greater
than a community
discovering what it cares about

Ask "What's possible?: not
"What's Wrong?"
Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others
share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a
conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you
don't know.
Talk to people you
never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect
to be surprised. Treasure
curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares
to work on what is possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is
an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions
come from new connections.

Remember, you don't fear
people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings
people closer together.

Trust that meaningful
conversations can change
your world.

Rely on human goodness.
Stay together.

Posted by schnitzr at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2006

Views of the Digital Divide: Economic, Usability, Empowerment

In case you haven't seen this. For the librarians, note this line from the section on the "Empowerment Divide"..

" ... [W]e've found that many users don't know how to use search to truly master the Web. People don't understand advanced search features, they rarely employ query reformulation, and many uncritically select the first search results."

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for November 20 is now online at:

The economic divide is a non-issue, but the usability and empowerment divides alienate huge population groups who miss out on the Internet's potential.

Posted by pfa at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2006

State of the Health System

Leadership Forum

This page has link to a video of Dr Kelch's Nov 13 "State of the Health System" remarks. There are no slides, but I have a copy of the handouts, which have brief text and list some links. The most interesting links to me were the Medical School's response to prop2 ( and the Health System's Strategic Principles (

Posted by janeblum at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

AAHSL Annual Meeting

As you know, Preet, Doreen, and I attended the AAMC and AAHSL annual meeting earlier this month. The AAHSL workshop title was:

Developing the Evidence Base: Making Effective Use of Assessment and Statistics Data in Academic Health Sciences Libraries

Slides and notes from the workshop are now available on the AAHL homepage at

Posted by janeblum at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2006

Remembrance Day - November 11

Some of you have asked been asking why some patrons and I have been wearing poppies this week. So I thought I'd let you know. It's to commemorate Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the US). Until November 11, Canadians, Britons and those from other countries wear poppies to commemorate the sacrifices of veterans and civilians in war. On the 11th minute of the 11th day of the 11th month (the time that World War I ended), a moment of silence is observed in remembrance.

The significance of the poppy comes from the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian physician who served and died at a field hospital during WWI. Poppies grew in profusion in Flanders Field, Belgium, where war casualties had been buried. Back home, I remember learning the poem in school and reciting it at assemblies every year. Here it is:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Posted by preet at 10:55 AM | Comments (2)

Googling for a Diagnosis

This new article from BMJ has some possibly surprising findings.


Hangwi Tang & Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng
Googling for a diagnosis--use of Google as a diagnostic aid: internet based study.
BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.39003.640567.AE (published 10 November 2006)

Objective: To determine how often searching with Google (the most popular search engine on the world wide web) leads doctors to the correct diagnosis.

Results: Google searches revealed the correct diagnosis in 15 (58%, 95% confidence interval 38% to 77%) cases.

Posted by pfa at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)

November 03, 2006

Libraries Beckon, But Stacks of Books Aren't Part of Pitch

Libraries Beckon, But Stacks of Books Aren't Part of Pitch

This article was mentioned at the AAHSL workshop last weekend. It's short, but it and the follow up letters encapsulate the two views of the issue.

Other materials from the meeting will be posted on the AAHSL website later in the month - I'll let you know when they are available.

Posted by janeblum at 11:41 AM | Comments (2)

October 31, 2006


If you are interested in identifying new and emerging technologies in
library or clinical settings and learning more about using blogs, podcasts,
and wikis to support professional growth and information sharing, please
consider attending the Medical Library Association's Educational Webcast:
"Moving at the Speed of Byte: Emerging Technologies for Information

The Webcast is co-sponsored by Library Staff Development, the Center for
Research on Learning and Teaching, and the Health Sciences Libraries.

Nancy Toronto, Interim Head, Public Health Library and Informatics, will be
facilitating the session. No registration is needed, just your attendance!

Date: November 8, 2006
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Place: Forum Hall, Palmers Commons

Posted by gmayman at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2006

Food Drive now through Nov. 13th

We now have a Michigan Harvest Food Gatherers collection box (generic box simply decorated) in place at Taubman Medical Library. The food drive will be from Oct. 30 through Nov. 13th. More information about this particular UMHS project is available at:

The Food Gatherers also accepts monetary donations...if anyone asks, please have them contact me directly ( or take their contact information and I will get back with them.

Our participation in the food drive is just one example of community outreach activities that we, along with our patrons, can be involved with.

Please message with other suggestions for community outreach.

Posted by dlauseng at 09:38 PM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2006

New Health Search Engine: MedStory

"There's a new kid in town
I don't want to hear it
There's a new kid in town
I don't want to hear it"

There are so many different health search engines available, you might very well be tired of hearing about the new ones. They start up, do very little new, and fail, quietly fading away. Most people just use Google, and why not?

For myself, it has been a long time since I was really excited about a new Internet search engine focusing on health. But. (You knew there was going to be a "but", didn't you?) But now there is MedStory.

This new kid in town is following in the footsteps of such other hot new players as Kosmix, ClusterMed, Healia and Google: Coop: Health (which has since been folded into Google proper). All of these use a new approach to searching called clustering. They allow you to enter a medical term, and then they make suggestions for focusing your search that are based on automatically grouping the results into categories of pages that have information in common.

This new approach is exciting, and all of these new search engines are worth exploring, testing, and comparing. MedStory is, however, the one that makes my toes tap and want to start dancing. MedStory groups items into categories that make sense for clinicians as well as the general public, and it is pretty clear which is which. They show you graphically how the results group, what are the main groupings within a top level group, who are the main researchers in the area, and what is complementary or alternative. Not only that, but the sponsored links are in a different part of the page, and actually labelled as "Sponsored Links". Worth checking out. Me? I think I might have a crush on "the new kid in town."


Posted by pfa at 01:03 PM | Comments (1)