Thursday, April 28, 2005

NIH Public Access Policy

From the 2nd May the NIH is requesting that NIH funded investigators submit an electronic copy of the final form of a manuscript for inclusion in PubMed Central. A period of 12 months is allowed, although a more rapid submission to PMC is encouraged. How is this affecting journals? Some journals are publishing editorials about this: today I have seen the NEJM and the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine's responses.

NEJM (this editorial is free)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mobile phone picture of spider helps save bite victim

The Guardian reports the story of a man from Somerset who was bitten by a Brazilian Wandering Spider. He had taken a photo of it with his mobile, which was faxed to a zoo when he became unwell. The spider in question is apparently one of the most venomous in the world.

Read more.
National Library for Health Skin Conditions Specialist Library

The National Library for Health specialist libraries are portals to web based information . An article in BMC Dermatology introduces this specialist library.

Read the article

Visit the library

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Is our Resource of the Month in May. To find out more, come to a session in the Library Seminar Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library on:

Friday 13th May 11-11.30 am
Wednesday 25th May 2-2.30 pm

DNB is useful for history (including history of medicine and health care) and biography - more details at
Academic medicine

Discussed in a paper in PLoS Medicine, by Jonathan Rees of the University of Edinburgh.

A secure online site where physicians can solicit consultations on particular cases, either from an expert in that field or from an online forum. The site is at (registration is required and you need to be a practitioner: all registrations are moderated). Read more in PLoS Medicine.
PLoS Medicine Student Forum

Is launched in the most recent issue of this open access online journal. The article discusses open access to the medical literature, and also the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
How to tell if a website is a good one

This is also something the Library offers training in! And it's the subject of Edzard Ernst's column in the Guardian, particularly relating to complementary therapies. His "guidelines" include:

Who "owns" the website?
Could there be a conflict of interest?
Are claims supported by reliable evidence?
Is there information on the risks?

There are also links to a few suggested reputable sites.
The Microbial Rosetta Stone Database

Is a public database of microorganism names and taxonomic data, for emerging infectious organisms and organisms likely to be used in bioterrorism. It's described in a
paper in BMC Microbiology, an open access online journal. The database itself is at

Monday, April 25, 2005

Prevalence of respiratory symptoms in under 5s

Another paper in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2005; 90(5): 516-9. The authors, from Manchester, find a decrease in the prevalence of symptoms from 1993-2001 which may be due to a real decrease in symptoms or to improvements in treatment.

Use Leicester e-link to find the article online. University Athens needed off campus.
The state of academic paediatrics in the UK

Is reviewed in a paper in Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 2005; 90(5): 450-3. There has been a decline in clinical academic staff, but especially in the number of lecturers.

Use Leicester e-link to find the article online (University Athens needed off campus). This issue is not online yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The influence of the pharmaceutical industry

The House of Commons Health Select Committee has published its report "The influence of the pharmaceutical industry" today.

Coincidentally, this is also a hot topic on ER at the moment, Dr. Carter being much exercised with the reliance of the hospital on pharmaceutical company money, and about a drug that he believes was released too soon.

A note - the current BMJ (16th April 2005) has several pieces about this subject. The Guardian (Thursday 21st April) has an article about ghostwritten papers being placed in medical journals by pharmaceutical companies.
Web of Science links to HighWire

WoS databases (like Science Citation Index) will soon provide links to full text of HighWire journals, according to April's Information World Review.
Kidney International to be published by Nature Publishing Group

From January 2006, according to Information World Review (April 2005). The International Society of Nephrology has signed a deal with Nature Publishing Group, which will also see NPG develop a range of new nephrology titles, starting with Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology in November 2005.
Scholarly journal prices

Are the subject of a report from LISU at Loughborough University, which looked at the trends in prices between 1993 and 2002, of journals from a number of publishers. OUP commissioned the report, Scholarly journal prices: selected trends and comparisions, which is available online.
FEMS journals are to be published by Blackwell from 2006

According to Research Information, March/April 2005. Journals affected are FEMS Microbiology Letters, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology and FEMS Yeast Research. They are all currently published by Elsevier.
Emerging Infectious Diseases

Two papers in recent issues of this freely available online journal:

Borgdorff MW, van der Werf MJ, de Haas PEW, Kremer K, van Soolingen D. Tuberculosis elimination in the Netherlands. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2005 Apr

Fielding R, Lam WWT, Ho EYY, Lam TH, Hedley AJ, Leung GM. Avian influenza risk perception, Hong Kong. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2005 May
Trial access to IOS Press online journals

We have trial access to all 65 journals published by IOS Press (Metapress) until 31/10/05. The journals mainly cover subjects within Science, Medicine and Information Science.

This full text access is available at: Click on Browse in the sidebar, then the Subjects tab, and then click the browse button to see a list of subject areas. Click a subject area to see the journal titles.

There are not many medical titles, but there are a few that might be of interest.
Gobbledegook paper

Lots of coverage for the computer generated paper that was accepted for the 9th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. Jeremy Stribling and colleagues, students at MIT, wrote a computer program which then generated the paper. They did this as a protest at the deluge of emails they had received inviting submissions. Their paper has now been pulled.

Read more in Nature (where there is a link to the software, and other things)
Read more in the Guardian
Read more in Education Guardian (where there is a link to the paper itself)

There is also a mention in this week's New Scientist (sorry, no online access)
Occupational asthma guidelines

I don't usually see the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, but today I did and spotted:

Nicholson PJ, Cullinan P, Newman Taylor AJ, Burge PS, Boyle C
Evidence based guidelines for the prevention, identification, and management of occupational asthma
Occup Environ Med 2005 62: 290-299

University Athens required off campus

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

European Working Time Directive

A commentary in
BJU International, April 2005 discusses the effect of the Directive on the number of hours experience someone will have when reaching consultant grade, and on training standards.
Robotic urology

Is the subject of a commentary in BJU International, April 2005 (University Athens needed off campus). The article talks about UK experience with the Da Vinci system.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Community acquired MRSA

Thursday's Guardian (science supplement) published a feature on this. There is also an article reporting Mark Enright of Bath University about the government's MRSA targets, as reported on Thursday's radio news.
BBC radio programme about plagiariasm in higher education

BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting a documentary today about the rise in the number of students plagiarising material and buying essays online.

Read BBC news item
Free trial of Health and Psychosocial Instruments database and Global Health database

Ovid offer free access to one of their databases each month.

This month, I discover, their resources (in the plural) of the month are:

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI)


Global Health

HAPI is a database of measurement instruments for medical conditions and treatment outcomes. Global Health used to be called CAB Health and is a public health database.

Go to to find a link to Resource of the Month. You'll be asked for some basic personal details each time you access.

Please do let me have any comments, especially if you think we ought to have permanent access to either of these.

These two things will be resources of the month until the end of April.
Free trial of electronic books

We have a two month trial of some of Taylor and Francis' electronic books. These will be accessible on- or off-campus.

There are two trial websites. One is of books that librarians at Leicester have chosen. The other is a larger, more wide ranging, selection chosen by the publisher.

Leicester collection

To access the books we have chosen, go to You will need the password: leicester. This small selection includes

Barnett: Clinical management of hypertension in diabetes;
Vecht: ECG diagnosis made easy;
Sheridan: From birth to five years: children's developmental progress;
Hardy: Human microbiology;
Fineberg: Obsessive compulsive disorder;
and titles in other (non medical) areas.

General collection

To access the general site go to You will need the password: IFLA. This will give access to a larger range of titles, in all sorts of subjects.

Please let me have any comments and feedback. I would like to know if the medical titles are useful, but I would also very much like to know how you find using electronic books - what are they like to read, are there any technical problems, and so on.

We will be acquiring this reference management software, which does similar things to EndNote. RefWorks is web based, though, and so available off campus. Watch for more details.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Influence of environment on asthma

A paper by Juhn and colleagues, in Social Science and Medicine investigates the influence of neighbourhood on the development of asthma in childhood, studying people born in Rochester, Minnesota.
Read the paper (University Athens password needed off campus)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A theme issue of the BMJ by, for and about Africa

The BMJ are planning such a themed issue for September 2005. More details are in a BMJ editorial.

Information needs of NHS staff

The National Library for Health ('NLH') is carrying out a survey of the information needs of staff working for the NHS in England.

If you work within the NHS, please complete the survey at

The survey, which covers all NHS staff, is designed to identify the information needs people experience in the daily course of their jobs. The results of the survey will be used to develop the content and services available via the NLH and through local NHS library and information services, with the aim of supporting not only clinical and management decision making, but also continuing professional development and skills training. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
Thank you for your contribution
Asthma cases fall

The BMJ reports statistics in Social Trends which report a fall in the number of new cases of asthma in England and Wales between 1996 and 2003. The number in children fell the most. Read more in the BMJ.
New standards for cardiopulmonary resuscitation

The Royal College of Anaesthetists and other bodies have issued a statement about this, which is reported in the BMJ at The standards cover training and practice.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

New approval books

Clinical Sciences Library has a new set of books on approval. Library reps should have had a list, and I will email it round as well.

Please let your library rep have any thoughts and opinions. You can view the books in the Library in office hours - sorry that we cannot let them out of the Library.
Respiratory care supplement

This week's Nursing Times (dated 5th April, vol. 101, no. 14) includes this, with articles on lung cancer and the NICE guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of same, on assessment and nursing care of patients with dyspnoea and on home non-invasive ventilation.

There is no online access to this title, but the Clinical Sciences Library has it.
Association for Perioperative Practice

This will be the new name for NATN, the National Association for Theatre Nurses, from the 16th April (editorial in British Journal of Perioperative Nursing for April 2005).

Parental presence

This is the subject of two articles I happened across:

One, in Child, is a systematic review of the role of parental presence in the context of children's medical procedures (Child 2005; 31(2): 233-43). It concludes that it seems appropriate that clinicians allow parents the opportunity to be present.

The other, in the AORN Journal (sorry, no online access, but the Clinical Sciences Library has it) is about parental presence during induction of anaesthesia. (AORN J 2005; 81(4): 780-92). The literature suggests, it says, that parental presence is helpful, but few (US) hospitals involve parents.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Scopus is a new database produced by Elsevier. It includes all the journals included in Embase and Medline.

I and some colleagues went to a presentation of Scopus and have got passwords to be able to try Scopus and see how it compares to existing databases. Unfortunately we cannot share the passwords, which are individual.

As a result of our trial, we are exploring subscribing to this database.

There is a Scopus information site with more details, and a three minute demo presentation.
Burning wood for fuel could kill 10 million in sub-Saharan Africa

Burning wood for fuel can lead to pulmonary disease and this particularly affects women and children. The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere will also make a significant contribution to global warming. Read more.
Fake data

An obesity researcher, Eric Poehlman, has admitted to faking data used in published papers. One paper, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1995, has been retracted, but has been cited twice since its retraction. There are implications for medical journals and peer review, and for those whose work has used Poehlman's and who have cited him.

Read more in the Scientist of March 21 and March 28.

Monday, April 04, 2005

More changes to PubMed - "display" and "send to" buttons

You no longer need to click a "display" button when changing the display format of your search results. You also no longer need to click a "send to" button when exporting your results. Those buttons have disappeared and things will happen when you select the display format or the export option you need.

There is also a "sort by" option - I don't remember this being there before but have not seen an announcement about it, so I guess it was...