Second Occurence of ‘Web 3.0’ in MEDLINE

web20301.jpgI’ve been watching PubMed to see when some of the first occurences of ‘web 3.0‘ begin to trickle in, and I believe that other than the BMJ article – this recently-published article is the only other occurence. What I found edifying was that the authors’ take on web 3.0 and the semantic web is similar to my own, that they don’t shy away from either term – or quote my article, which is another point in its favour (in terms of our independent analyses).

Kei-Hoi Cheung, Kevin Y. Yip, Jeffrey P. Townsend, Matthew Scotch. ‘HCLS 2.0/3.0: Health care and life sciences data mashup using Web 2.0/3.0’. J Biomedical Informatics, In Press, Corrected Proof

‘After providing an overview of Web 2.0, the authors discuss two scenarios of data mashups in health care & life sciences (HCLS) facilitated by 2.0 tools such as Yahoo! Pipes, Dapper, Google Maps and GeoCommons. In the first, the authors use Dapper and Yahoo! Pipes to implement data integration in the context of DNA microarray research. In the second, Yahoo! Pipes, Google Maps, and GeoCommons are used to create a geographic information system (GIS) interface that allows visualization and integration of diverse public health, cancer incidence and pollution prevalence data. Based on the scenarios, the strengths and weaknesses of web 2.0 mashup technologies are outlined. The semantic web – a web 3.0 technology, according to the authors – enables powerful data integration, a salient aspect of the new web. The authors outline the intersection of web 2.0 and the semantic web and the potential benefits that can be brought to health research by combining these technologies.’

Health disciplines & ‘information literacy’ – wiki entry

Hot on the heels of WILU, I’ve created an early draft on the UBC Health Library wiki for information literacy in health libraries. Check out the actual wiki links:

bloom.gif“The ACRL states that information literacy (IL) is the ability to locate, evaluate and use information effectively. Its principles are widely encouraged in academic libraries in North America so that librarians can design effective information literacy programs for their users. Many academic libraries have made commitments to IL through the strategic planning process, and design of programs. The MLA – Medical Library Association (U.S.) initiated its own information literacy taskforce in 2003.

Broadly speaking, health librarians strive to support clinical and research activity in health care organizations. We provide library assistance to academic communities (ie. how to find books, connect to online resources) and when library workshops are required for programs and faculties (ie. how to find/use/evaluate information to support learning and research). Students in health libraries learn some of these skills from professional librarians at reference desks and via librarian-led workshops of various kinds. Increasingly, certain library skills are also self-taught through self-pacing web-based library audio and video tutorials.

In many health disciplines, health workers are required to develop critical thinking and evidence-based skills in order to use information sources effectively. As required, health librarians provide assistance to medical, nursing and pharmacy students (as well as students in other health disciplines) in library workshops, at physical and digital reference desks and by using web 2.0 (media literacy) technologies to meet IL learning objectives. In consultation with users groups, health librarians determine the kind of workshops required to support health programs and determine best practices through various quantitative and qualitative methods, and curriculum analysis. (See curriculum mapping)”

1. ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

2. Medical Library Association. MLANET: Health information literacy task force.

‘My Left SideBar’ – What’s New at GS Blog

From time to time, readers ask me about my top five (5) and ten (10) lists. I will definitely come up with more top ten lists, but in the meantime I have re-aligned my left sidebar to display our top wiki entries. Here, you can link to some excellent scholarly content on the UBC Health Library wiki (getting up to 2000 page views per day, now). I also link to my service to the academic community and teaching.

Notice that my list of teaching activities won’t include presentations at the hospital. Not yet anyway. With residents arriving, there will be too many to list. ~Dean

Google Health – Not Yet For Canadian Consumers

In the midst of MLA, CHLA & CLA conference ‘melee’, I’ve been tracking the launch of Google health. Google-Health.jpgMy spring resolution is to be more charitable to Google, and to be more open to its efforts to help people manage their own (and the world’s) information.

After several years of resistance, due mostly to concerns I had about privacy, I am now an avid Gmail user, and use its suite of collaborative office tools often – notably Google documents. Google’s office tools have helped me to work more effectively with my colleagues on presentations and papers regardless of when and where we happen to be working. Trust me, it’s been a boon.

I can say, unequivocally, that having a Gmail account, and using Google talk on my blog (far left), has helped me manage my own information more effectively and efficiently. I can connect with my users this way. When using these tools, I don’t feel that Google has abused my e-mail accounts, or crawled them for content, or that it is exploiting my use of their tools for profit or advertising gain. What has surprised me is how little spam is thrown my way, and my growing sense that my gmail account is really and truly private. I hope I’m not being naive.

Perceptions are deceiving, though, and multinational corporations like Google make enough profit to warrant my libertarian-democratic suspicions. What is admirable, though, about Google’s new Google health is how it helps patients and health consumers collect and manage electronic information about their health. Its prime-time release – competing with conference season for librarians like me, American Idol finals, and the American democratic primaries – means that Google health hasn’t registered a ripple for early adopters yet. Time will tell if it is useful.

What I can tell you at this point about Google health is that it is not ready for Canadian (or international) consumers. I opened an account but the options did not pertain to me as a Canadian. (One cool feature permits drug information uploading from Walgren’s pharmacy database). I’ll watch Google health over the next few months as it makes its tentative forays into the electronic patient record game.

You have to hand it to the Google guys. They have built an agile enterprise, and created innovative, useful tools – ground-breaking tools. It remains to be seen whether Google health will survive but I’m keeping an open mind.

It’s my spring resolution.

Being Near ‘White Hot’ Knowledge – Welcome Conference Season

know.jpgWelcome to conference season fellow bloggers. My trip to Kelowna and UBCO for WILU was an unorthodox move for me; usually, I go to the CHLA/ABSC Conference – this year held in the very beautiful but too far away city of Halifax – or the Canadian Libraries Association conference (or even a local medical conference). Happily, I’ve been to the McMaster ‘How to Teach Evidence Based Practice‘ a few times as well, and enjoyed myself enormously.

Over the course of my career as a librarian, I’ve also been to more than a few SLA and Medical Library Association conferences – both large, unimaginably impressive conferences that seem, well, a little overwhelming to me at this stage of my life. I’ve been browsing the MLA 2008 websites, watching the Twitter feed and looking at the online poster powerpoints. Even though I can’t really afford the expense, I’d love to be at MLA in Chicago or CHLA in Halifax to meet or reconnect with people I’ve come to know online and F2F over the years.

Today, though, I had the occasion to attend an excellent conference session here in Vancouver. The 2008 Annual Meeting of the Council of Science Editors hosted a panel of open access advocates – Drs. Gavin Yamey from PLoS, Anita Palepu & Claire Kendall both from Open Medicine – and I was chuffed to have heard this talk. Its high calibre made me realize that I don’t need to travel to Chicago or Seattle to learn new things or be near the white hot refiner’s fire of knowledge-making in biomedicine and librarianship. I can stay close to home, review powerpoints of various conferences and still learn. While not the same as being there – it comes close, and is a solution for ‘poor’ travellers like myself. (I’ll look for pod & videocasts, too)

Anyway, that’s my strategy this year. We’ll see if it works out in the coming weeks as I highlight some of the best knowledge-making at conferences, especially sessions pertaining to open access and health librarianship at these conferences.

Top (10) Entries on the UBC Health Library Wiki

hlwiki.jpgAs administrator for the UBC Health Library wiki, I monitor and review activity on the back end of the site: who is altering files, what files are being viewed most often, where the wikispam is coming from, etc.

Over the past month, since receiving so much attention on various blogs about the Open Access entry, we have had a huge surge of use and activity. The original vision for the UBC Health Library wiki was to create a source of information for Canadian health librarians, and we reached a critical juncture about six months ago. Were we going to make the project a success? Would the spam threaten the content to the point where we would have to give up?

Simply put, I think that the wiki team, advisory and volunteers have been editing and writing and making the entries more useful as starting points for many people. I know that the wiki is consulted by LIS students and health librarians internationally. It’s been a hard slog, but I think it’s been worth it.

Next week, I’ll list the many different ways that we have been able to use the wiki for collaborative authoring and information-sharing for our work as academic health librarians.


Top (10) Entries on the UBC Health Library Wiki
1. Evidence-based health care (15,475 views)
2. RSS (13,139 views)
3. Open Access (12,517 views)
4. Wikis (12,146 views)
5. Google scholar (11,602 views)
6. Point-of-care decision-making tools – Overview (9,114 views)
7. Reference collections (8,604 views)
8. Podcasts and Videocasts (8,392 views)
9. Second Life (8,181 views)
10. Systematic review searching (7,307 views)

Grey Literature ‘Matters’ – Campbell Collaboration 2008

Apropos of my sabbatical time at the Canadian Council on Learning, Will Durland, Terri Thompson and I will be speaking at the 2008 Campbell Collaboration about Finding Grey Literature. My role will be to represent the scientific view of retrieving the grey literature which is to provide alternate perspectives and to avoid publication bias, among other reasons. Many of the issues are the same for social scientists.


How’s Your Medical Punjabi? Start Here

medstudent_Punjabipatient.jpgThis wiki entry on medical Punjabi is designed to help medical students and other health workers obtain information on learning basic Punjabi. There are more than a million Punjabi speakers in Canada, but ~350,000 in Toronto and 145,000 in Vancouver – many consumers with health literacy issues.


What is medical Punjabi?

The purpose of medical Punjabi is “…to help the medical interviewer learn to conduct a simple but thorough history and physical examination in Punjabi. This includes a combination of words, simple phrases, and intermediate-level sentences, arranged under sections for taking a medical history and for physical examination, as well as a glossary of body parts/organs and common diseases. Some knowledge of basic Punjabi is helpful.”

For more information (and resources, see the wiki entry). In BC, the Ministry of Health has over 120 one-page fact sheets about a range of public and environmental health and safety topics. They are easy to understand. Some are available in Punjabi, Chinese, Spanish, French, and Vietnamese.