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?!

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