Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Thought this would be a suitable colour for reviewing some of our e-books. I can't say that it was a raging success. If you can access them then they are wonderful - all with little idiosynchrasies, depending on publisher.

University Library ones:- Tried a few from Newton:-

ABC of Aids was basic - disappointing with its links. It had a clear font and decent pictures.

Lecture notes on clinical medicine - Netlib supplier again. Basic - no links from index.

Devita's cancer - yes still on Newton as electronic - but no longer accessible. We cancelled the subscription and nobdy has removed it. Hmmm. Will contact "help" to take it off.

I knew "Harrison's principles of internal medicine" had been paid for with StatRef. as supplier, so tried this. The presentation was much better than that of Netlib and it was more flexible. Nice clear font, linked references to article abstracts on PubMed, and links to tables.

NHS - Booo! "Flow control warning" came up for everything I'd chosen, with a note, "Contact a librarian"!! I tried a variety of books from psychology to general medicine. Also, even if there was a heading in the index it didn't mean there was a book eg. "Chronic leg ulcers" heading had no books. - Very frustrating!! Will try again.

Freebies - Project Gutenberg - very interesting selection and very easy to use and read. Some texts were better than others eg. "Anomalies and curiosities of medicine" had no links, whereas "Old-time makers of medicine" linked from the index to the relevant pages.

My favourite - needless to say is the "Oxford textbook of medicine" - wonderful links to articles from references, easy to read, good graphics. One problem - it's still not on Newton and we bought it 2 months ago - grrr! Must pursue.

All in all, the ease of access should make e-books very popular. No more lugging heavy tomes around. Very good for clinical students on placement. The big hang-up - the publishers won't let us have e-book format on the most popular textbooks as they lose revenue and therefore the possible prohibitive costs if they finally are worked round to the idea.

Have run out of time for ipod touch - maybe tomorrow?!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Follow that journal

Not my best graphic - have messed up the cropping for the second time - but it gives the right idea of the workflow if you can read it..Either you need glasses or you'll have to cope with it fluffy! I'm only going to note the bits re the selection of journals of which you may be unaware.

This represents journal purchasing
Basically, selection comes in 3 ways - Legal Deposit, offering trials of journals, and from requests. Legal Deposit is the easiest. The Periodicals Dept stacks journals which have a medical flavour up for me and I wander over there every 3 months. I check to see if they are already online through a package, the publishers, the editorial boards, where they are cited, the Journal Citation Index, etc. If they look good and we've received > 3 issues I'll consider them, otherwise I leave it longer. They're no use to us if the supply peters out.

Trials of journals - a lovely proactive approach, but since we can't afford them anyway, I'm not prepared to offer day!

Reader requests - with no money, this is a challenge - but I still have to go through the hoops. Lesley, as Journal Consultation Committee coordinator has given all of us a long list of evaluation points.(See Anna's blog for some of the evaluation methods used.) If, after evaluating, I consider they're worth recommending, I feed them onto the journals recommendations website with the details of costing,(having contacted the publishers,) and any comments justifying my recommendation.

The journal recommendation then has to be scored by the Journal Consultation Committee and then forwarded to the Steering Committee if the score is high enough. The Consultation Committee for us covers the biosciences. Pre the Journals Coordination Committee, Lesley sends out the list of recommended journals from the biosciences and we all have to score them. 10 is the highest - and this score means that the title will automatically be considered by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee controls the purse strings and sets the strategic policies for the process. All the titles are ranked according to the perceived needs of each of the biosciences departments. For more information re scoring do come and see me and I'll show you the crib sheet-it's quite complex, with doubling some scores and multiplying by 1.5 for others. (This system came from the humanities groups - bless them! - It does show up the front runners very clearly though.) Our highest ranking journals will later be weighed against those titles from the social sciences and also the humanities.

Over the last year the whole process has become more formalised, but rather discouraging, due to the work input needed and the lack of funds. :(
Last year we were allowed to order 2 titles, but we were allowed none this year. However, I have a waiting list of 26 titles which I have ranked for when money is available.
For the rest of "Follow that journal.." do come and and ask if you can't fit into a group - I can bore you further!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Thing 17 - podcasts

Woops - have started to run behind.

Podcasts are wonderful. I've had a listen to the BMJ ones giving some comment on the current events. They sound really good so have subscribed.

The Cambridge podcasts were interesting - just wish I made more time to listen to them. It's great to here the world's movers and shakers debating on"What future life on earth". The pictures were pretty ropey but it was produced in 2006. I love the podcasts on "Cambridge ideas" - and particularly like the "Bird tango"

I think I could spend many happy hours listening to them.

Yes, very useful for the clinical students - but not that obvious in the mass of other information on the ERWEB site.

Re other medical practitioners - surgeons watching complex operations, (before trying them out!) is an obviously useful feature of podcasts. Ditto showing good techniques when consulting with patients.

Applicability to our library - well induction podcasts are the most obvious possibility, but could also put basic training in the use of reference tools on . It all depends on time and possible take-up.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Maps Thing 18ish

What fun - could stay on this all day.

However, 19.6 miles between my home and here (Cambridge), for some reason the AA didn't like the end of our hospital postcode - wierd and probably me.

Google street map - yes I can appreciate the privacy angle. However, they haven't been created in real time, so burglars can't check when you're in or out. I loved the Streetview, which I haven't tried before. So useful if your in a new place. Intend to play with it world wide. Photos must've been taken when the whole family was out working - no sign of any cars. Hmm, Amazed that it had some photos of our tiny village. It did find the middle of a road junction in West Road for the UL, but can't win them all -guess it was the postcode.

I thought the TED video was amazing - so useful and interesting. Open Street map is such a good idea with the local folk having the ability to edit it. Very useful for the planners too - (have forwarded it to older daughter to see if Brent is up with it). I think it's a wonderful tool and well-worth collaborating. I liked the bus stops and particularly the cafes!!

I think both the Google street maps and Open Steet Maps have their place - it just depends what you need. I reckon the cycle map must be really useful

I had a quick try at creating a map with a local walk -could spend many happy hours. I hope it's embedded itself here. I thought I might try a footpath, but time is wizzing on so had better stop. It seemed fairly strightforward, except the route I was trying to set up kept moving the markers. I think this may be a home project.

View Walk around Ashley in a larger map

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Follow that reader - Optional extra

Can't find 2,3, and 9.

Suspect 5 is "MRCPH part2, data interpretation questions."

...a challenging reader - great!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Thing 13 and 14

No problems with the logging in on the laptop - either in the library or in the hospital.

I'm not keen on ipod touch - didn't find it intuitive - how did I know how to get up the Querty keypad!? Anyhow, with help from both Connor and Jenni I'm happy to say I won in the end. Am also not keen on the tiny keys - my peasant fingers don't fit on them properly and misspelling passwords is a pain. I guess I might stay a luddite with this one - would prefer something bigger - sign of my age!

Thing 15 - NHS Reforms

Thought I'd better add something topical and sensible. ...Also up-to-date!

Thought I'd also add a link to this one:- should you want to make your own soloar panel. I used Google to find this and tried another couple of sites. However, in one I was bombarded with adverts - which I haven't had on YouTube. - Mayhap it's 'cos I haven't used it much. The YouTube videos look better and they also link from Google videos. -Quite fancy making my own panel for the greenhouse heating.

Finally, my favourite singer:-

I could spend a long time on YouTube....

Hey ho - iprocurement training online calls!