EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

News, Information Seeking Behaviors, Research: Project Information Literacy surveys College Students

Wow…  Been away from blogging for so long I’m relieved to remember how it works! 8) *

Health literacy is a key focus for librarians who interact frequently with patients looking for information about their own health issues.

Larger, more universal information-seeking behaviors and lifelong learning strategies are topics of ongoing interest to two information scientists at the University of Washington Information School who started Project Information Literacy (PIL) in 2008. Lead researcher Alison P. Head is the Co-Director of the project along with Michael Eisenberg, professor at the iSchool. Funding is provided by the MacArthur Foundation.  Here is a description of the scope of PIL from the home page:

Project Information Literacy is a study “across” different types of campuses (community colleges, state colleges, and public and private universities) from different geographic areas in the U.S.  Our goal is to help fill in some of the “missing pieces” of the information literacy puzzle and provide data that helps answer some of the following questions:  1) How do early adults (in their own words) put their information literacy competencies into practice in learning environments in a digital age, regardless of how they may measure up to standards for being information literate? 2) With the proliferation of online resources and new technologies, how do early adults recognize the information needs they may have and in turn, how do they locate, evaluate, select and use the information that is needed? 3) How can teaching the critical and information literacy skills that are needed to enable lifelong learning be more effectively transferred to college students? “

The newest progress report from PIL was published Nov 1 2010 and may be of interest to anyone who uses a real or digital library in 2010, as it describes findings from a large survey of undergraduate students from around the U.S., asking 22 standard questions about how they plan, execute and assess their research efforts for required course work.

It is 72 pages in length, and entitled “Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age“, available free and online for anyone to read. Following is an excerpt from the introduction:

In this [2010] report, we continue our investigation by asking how students evaluate information and use information once they have found it. What difficulties do students encounter with course-related and everyday life research from start to finish? We collected data to answer these questions by administering a student survey in the spring of 2010 to 112,844 undergraduates. Our findings are based on a collective sample of 8,353 students enrolled at 25 U.S. colleges and universities “.

Source: http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2010_Survey_FullReport1.pdf

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I was interested to read these “background” questions that Dr. Head and Dr. Eisenberg wanted to learn more about:

Source: http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2010_Survey_FullReport1.pdf

Their work is of practical value to anyone who uses – or works in – an academic library.

Also see a video about Project Information Literacy on YouTube, at this link.

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*My daughter told me to stop using Smiley Faces, but that “it’s OK because I don’t know any better”.

 

 

 

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News: Here’s a new look for the Blog

Whenever WordPress announces that a new theme has been added to their collection of free templates, I test them  out.  This new theme, zBench, is a winner! Hope you like it.  Bear with me while I fidget with the widgets.

Thanks, WordPress.

This week I will get back to blogging after a very active teaching load in October.

News, Patient Education, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: October is Health Literacy Month

 

October is National Medical Librarians Month in the U.S.

The theme for 2010 is Health Literacy

Here is a screenshot of the poster created by Medical Library Association for this event:

Image credit: Medical Library Association – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Health science librarians are in a unique position to work with patients and their families who seek current, credible and authoritative medical information in order to learn more about their recent diagnosis, review options for choosing treatments, or to anticipate changes in their lifestyle or living situations after treatment has ended (as examples).

Medical Library Association (MLA), a nonprofit educational organization with 5,000 members worldwide, has devoted time and care over the past decade to develop websites and resource guides specifically targeted at training librarians who provide information services to patients or family members. Their Health Information Literacy page can be viewed at http://www.mlanet.org/resources/healthlit/

One of the larger special interest sections sponsored by MLA is Consumer and Patient Information Section (or CAPHIS). A related program directed by MLA staff is the Consumer Health Information initiative, and in 2007, the association created a formal certificate program in that specialty for information professionals.

Open to everyone on the MLA website are topic pages about educational resources. Here are two examples: Resources for Health Consumers and Deciphering Medspeak which links to medical terminology handouts (in English or Spanish languages), online medical dictionary, a prescription shorthand guide and a list of the “Top Ten Most Useful Medical Websites” for patients.

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For those pursuing research on strategies to address Low Health Literacy, Health Disparities or Health of Minority Populations, some valuable step-savers are available on the PubMed Special Queries” which provide links to pre-formulated, highly specific search statements (or search queries) that can be run singly in PubMed or combined with other relevant subject searches.

Below are screenshots from two Special Queries websites: Health Literacy and for Health Disparities & Minority Health Populations

and

Image credit(s): National Library of Medicine – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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Other teaching or service organizations that offer patient-centered tutorials, podcasts or written information addressing disparities in health care delivery can be found on this very brief list:

  • From a workshop in 2008 sponsored by Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM), read a 3-page handout on teaching “Health Literacy for the Clinician Educator“at this link. There are many useful links in the bibliography section of this report.

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Finally: In May 2010, a 73-page report detailing a National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was announced by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources, Division of Health Literacy. Following is an excerpt from that HHS website, explaining this public health initiative:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Limited health literacy affects people of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels, but the impact of limited health literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups. “
” It affects people’s ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, and act on important public health alerts. Limited health literacy is also associated with worse health outcomes and higher costs….   ”
” This report contains seven goals that will improve health literacy and suggests strategies for achieving them: Develop and disseminate health and safety information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable ; promote changes in the health care system that improve health information, communication, informed decision-making, and access to health services ; incorporate accurate, standards-based and developmentally appropriate health and science information and curricula in child care and education through the university level ; support and expand local efforts to provide adult education, English language instruction, and culturally and linguistically appropriate health information services in the community ; build partnerships, develop guidance, and change policies ; increase basic research and the development, implementation, and evaluation of practices and interventions to improve health literacy and increase the dissemination and use of evidence-based health literacy practices and interventions“.
Text Source: http://www.health.gov/communication/HLActionPlan/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

The Friday Post #53: Bicycles, Anatomy Illustrations and Barney Rubble

This is The Friday Post for Oct 1 2010.  The fall season is upon us… say goodbye to summer!

Image: Courtesy of YouTube.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

First up: New Yorkers are walkers by nature… it’s just that kind of place. Here’s a video which illustrates a wildly different perspective on traveling the streets of New York. It makes one wonder what the average life-expectancy of a NYC bike messenger is?  Do they have good health insurance (in case they get squished between two buses)?  How many pedestrians did they narrowly avoid mowing down in a crosswalk?  Watch it here.

As an aside: the 8th annual Open House New York takes place on the 2nd weekend in October this year.  The brochure explains all the 350 attractions on this years’ list (mostly free admission).

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AnybodyTechnology has created a video library available on YouTube.com with short illustrations showing human kinesiology (the science of physical activity and movement).  Below is one example: a 15-second Bike Pedaling clip; it’s a neat way of illustrating real-time human anatomy and physiology:

Image: Courtesy of YouTube.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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Yabba Dabba Do! Anyone of a certain age in the United States will recall watching the Flintstones cartoons on most Saturday mornings.  This week marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of this cartoon sitcom created Hanna-Barbera Productions.  Here is their enduring theme song, played on this video by pianist Paul Wells:

Image: Courtesy of YouTube.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Image: Courtesy of CMR – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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That’s the Friday Post for Oct 1 2010, folks.  Have a nice weekend!

Clinical Tutorials, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: That Old Krebs Cycle, with Singing

I apologize for the lack of blog-posts this month… it’s been pretty busy around here.

Today’s post is about metabolic pathways, which the first-year students are deep into studying this month. Here is a link to a pretty illustration which was found on Wikipedia:

Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Metabolic_pathways – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Each year in PBL, I struggle to re-remember facts about biochemistry, cellular signaling and metabolism including steps in the Krebs cycle*. (Why? Because I never took biochemistry.) Two years ago, I found the illustration below so useful that I decided to post it on the blog for the second time!

Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krebs_cycle – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010
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Next, a small joke: WWSD (or, what would Setlow do)? He could sing along to this Krebs Cycle song, found on ScienceGroove.com.

Image Source: http://www.science-groove.org/Now/Krebs.html – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010
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Publisher McGraw-Hill has placed some content from their textbook Anatomy & Physiology (7th edition) online for free, including this tutorial and quiz titled “How the Krebs Cycle Works“.  After you take the quiz, relax by working a few of their Crossword Puzzles:

Image Source:  http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072507470/student_view0/chapter25/crossword_puzzles.html – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010
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Salman Khan founded a non-profit group, The Khan Academy, with the goal of providing high quality free online educational materials to anyone in the world.  This year, their collection of videos about Science, Math, Humanities, History, Finance and other academic subjects has grown to 1,800. A 10-minute video describing the educational content is here: Khan Academy.

Found on their ScienceBiology category: a 13-minute lecture describing the ATP (adenosine-triphosphate) process.

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On YouTube, author Faxe14011991 has posted this series of short animations/tutorials on cellular mechanisms, each of which is less than two minutes in length:

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Finally, a video found on YouTube called Cellular Respiration (hey there Delilah)

Image Source: http://YouTube.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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* Dr. Krebs was a Nobel Prize laureate.  Read the following text, found on the nobelprize.org page: ” The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1953 was divided equally between Hans Adolf Krebs for his discovery of the citric acid cycle, and Fritz Albert Lipmann for his discovery of co-enzyme A and its importance for intermediary metabolism.

News, Health Science Literature: Elsevier introduces SciVerse

Wow! For those of us who use information resources produced by Elsevier on a daily basis, it’s been a bit of a shock to tune into Scopus®, SciTopics® or ScienceDirect® this week to see how different they now look. (Or as a corny analogy, that figurative, proverbial 800-pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room has decided to move house in September 2010.)

On Monday, Aug 30 2010, Elsevier announced their plans to combine and morph these sites into one platform named SciVerse Hub®. Read their press release here. First, I wanted to provide some definitions from the company as to which resources will be combined by this single search engine:

Image Source: http://www.scitopics.com/faq.jsp – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

In plain terms, SciVerse Hub is an entry point for library users to simultaneously search the contents of:

  • Scopus (a subscription database indexing 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 international publishers including coverage of 16,500 peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences literature)
  • Science Direct (a subscription access point for searching 10 million articles from over 2,500 journals and 6,000+ e-books, reference works, book series and handbooks issued by Elsevier)
  • SciTopics.org (a free online expert-generated knowledge sharing service for the global research community)

Scirus.org® is a scientific search engine (created and maintained by Elsevier).  Scirus currently indexes 38 million websites found on open-access and mostly educational, scientific or government sites, incorporating what librarians refer to as grey literatureScirus will search these sources separately and bring back a sorted list of retrievals (with duplicate citations removed) to the SciVerse Hub site.

(Note: When I teach a Google Scholar class, considerable time is spent comparing along with the class participants why retrievals using Scirus.org to search for scientific information tend to produce “better” results than G–gle Scholar. Time well-spent, IMHO.)

Following are two screenshots from the SciVerse site:

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

And this page:

Image Source: http://www.scopus.com/home.url – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Note that the capability of searching each individual resource separately has been retained.

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An informational video on SciVerse is well worth watching (and short at 3.5 minutes in length)… link to it here.  Another helpful reference resource: an 8-page training handout for using the new site which can be downloaded here.

In promotional materials, Elsevier refers to SciVerse as a “new knowledge ecosystem“. Their information products are integral to the daily work of clinical, health science and scientific research library users worldwide. Here’s hoping this migration runs seamlessly (as in: invisibly and glitch-free).

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

The Friday Post #52: Medical Students, Video: Tips on How to Survive Medical School

Welcome back, everyone!  This is the Friday Post #52 for Aug 27, 2010.

The area in the pink box (below) has been the focus of instructional activities this week:

Image source: http://library.uchc.edu – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

August is a challenging month for academic reference librarians.  This week at UCHC, an interactive instructional session for first year medical and dental students (140 of them) was our main event. In 2009, the reference librarians presented a mock PBL case, written with a fourth year student who narrated the case while the librarians linked to the databases on the overhead screen in one of the large teaching auditoriums.  As each clinical scenario was described in the case, librarians linked into an assortment of resources.

This year, the 90-minute instructional session was more interactive. Everyone was handed an electronic clicker (aka audience response system) to use to respond to our librarian-questions which were interspersed between live demonstrations of PubMed, Lexi-Comp, 3-D Tooth Atlas, ADAM (Interactive Anatomy) and others.

Their new laptops also came in handy as the students quickly tried a “test run” on each of the resources. The live interactive feedback from this group was something new to try in 2010, and it was both fun and instructive. Although perhaps next year we will skip the video procedure showing the skin punch biopsy… when it is projected onto a 24 ft. square overhead, it’s just way too graphic for the first week of medical school (LOL).

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The Girl with the Blue Stethoscope (a fourth-year medical student and blogger from Australia) began a series in July 2010 titled “How to Survive Medical School.  For the members of the Class of 2014 this should be pretty much essential reading.

Her first installment was “How To Survive Medical School Part 1: Friends“.  The second installment:  How To Survive Medical School Part 2: Ask For Help. Thank you, Girl with the Blue Stethoscope… I’m looking forward to the next installment!

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Then this: Tufts University medical students raise the bar with this video for – and about – first year medical students called 99 Problems til First Years Done!

Video source: http://youtube.com – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

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That’s the Friday Post #52 for Aug 27, 2010, folks.  Enjoy a summer weekend!

News, Students, Technologies: Welcoming a New Class

As those of us in the library begin to meet our newest Class of 2014 medical, dental and doctoral students who have arrived at UCHC this week (and who were likely born in 1988), I am reminded of the Beloit College Mindset List, just published this month.  Read it here: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2014.php

Here is an excerpt from the intro to the 12th edition:  “These students [born in 1992] will be armed with iPhones and BlackBerries, on which making a phone call will be only one of many, many functions they will perform. They will now be awash with a computerized technology that will not distinguish information and knowledge. So it will be up to their professors to help them.  A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship. They will discover how to research information in books and journals and not just on-line.”

Folllowing are a few statements from the current list, reflecting on the formative environment of the newest crop of college freshman:

  • ” DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
  • ” Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.
  • ” Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.
  • ” Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive
  • ” The first home computer they probably touched was an Apple II or Mac II; they are now in a museum.
  • ” The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing. “

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Post Script…   Readers, this new WordPress theme is called Twenty Ten.
What do you think of the new blog design? 8)

News, Progress: New Look for the Blog

Imagine my surprise to return from vacation this Monday to discover that the EBM & Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog has been given a new look…. not chosen by me!  WordPress has discontinued the former blog-theme Cutline in favor of a theme they introduced in early August, called Coraline.  So while I am sorting out where all my widgets and doo-dads went, please bear with me.

News, Questions: Celebrating a 3rd Blogiversary… And Stay or Go?

Today, Tuesday, Jul 27 2010, is the third Blogiversary of the EBM & Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog on WordPress.

My question for today is:

After 380 posts, 280 comments, 1,598 tags and 89,000+ spam comments, the question is: should I keep blogging or should I hang it up after three years?

Please, dear readers, provide me with some direction on whether to continue blogging… or not.

While you listen to this classic by The Clash

Video Credit: http://www.youtube.com – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

Thanks!