Monday, June 27, 2005

MIMAS services at risk

MIMAS services are at risk on July 5th between 0700 and 0900 while network maintenance is carried out.

This will affect access to the Web of Science (Science Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports and other things).
Globalization and Health - update

This is a new open access journal published online by BioMedCentral.

The opening editorial argues that globalisation is reshaping the world in which we strive to create health or tackle disease. Health is also a measure of the successes or failings of globalisation, and globalisation is affected by health.

As the coordinator of my church's group looking at globalisation, in partnership with three churches elsewhere in the world, I shall be monitoring this journal. Articles so far include one on
health priorities and one on international nurse recruitment and the NHS.

A review in the Lancet, however, points out that almost all the editorial board are resident in the USA or western Europe.. Read the review (I have the password to access it on the Lancet site).
Public Accounts Committee and "superbugs"

Details of the PAC report into the handling of hospital acquired infections is in this Guardian report from the 23rd June. The report itself is (I think) here.

PubMed gets RSS feed - amended

You could already opt to receive email search updates from PubMed. If you have newsreader software on your PC you can now choose to have new references in your subject sent as an RSS feed.

To do this, run your search. Select RSS Feed from the Send To drop down menu. That creates a feed of your results, and you can then click an XML button to open that feed in a new window, with its own URL. Paste that URL into a news reader and you will be able to see new results for that search, as a news feed.

Each time a new reference matches your search, that reference will appear in the RSS feed. I use Klipfolio as my newsreader: this sits on my desktop and receives feeds from a variety of places including Nature, BioMedCentral (and the BBC sports site!). In the PubMed RSS feed, titles of papers appear, and if I click the title, I am taken to the PubMed abstract. I am happy to supply more details about Klipfolio if this is of interest.

There is more information in the NLM Technical Bulletin at
A career in ophthalmology?

Read all about it in this article in the BMJ Career Focus.
West Nile Virus maps

The US Geological Survey has produced these, which detail positive test results for the USA, in mosquitoes, birds and humans, and in veterinary cases.
Respiratory Medicine: COPD Update

This is a supplement to the journal Respiratory Medicine. It is online at but I am not sure if we will have permanent online access.

Printed copies are available free and I have registered to receive them for the library. You can register at
Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net)

I have mentioned this before and the Medicine and Health room (web portal) contains a news feed from it. SciDev.Net now has a Chinese language gateway.

More from Nature

In addition to the editorial on impact factors (see previous posting), the latest Nature also contains:

An article on a funding crisis for life sciences databases (databases of genomic data, and so on)

A piece about BiDiL, a drug for congestive heart failure which will be sold with a label designating African Americans as the target population.

The latest in the PubChem vs. CAS debate (the American Chemical Society has had concerns over PubChem, a free database, in the light of the fact that it produces a fee based service that it says does the same thing) - scroll down to the fourth news item in this link

A research news item on a paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine which looks at the involvement of phages in making Neisseria meningitidis infectious. The actual abstract is here.
2004 Impact Factors now available

These are now available through MIMAS. Go to and use the "Connect ISI Web of Knowledge" button in the top right hand corner. You will need a University Athens username.

I am happy to look impact factors up for you if that is easier!

You might also be interested in this brief critique of impact factors from Nature.
EVAR trial - update!

These two trials of endovascular aneurysm repair, in which Leicester was a trial centre, have now appeared in the Lancet issue dated 25th June 2005. This is available via (username and password needed which the Library can supply if you are a University member). This issue will appear also in ScienceDirect, if it is not there already.

The trials were published a fortnight or so ago as online advance publications.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Scare stories

Ben Goldacre in the Guardian (author of the Bad Science column) argues that health scare stories in the press arise because journalists don't understand the statistics involved.

Read the article.

Articles about aspirin, and about perioperative practice

Some things from last week's BMJ that I forgot to mention before receiving this week's...

1 - Articles exploring the pros and cons of aspirin for everyone over 50. This link is to the Editor's Choice column, which links to the articles.
2 - An article looking at perioperative practice in colorectal surgery in five northern European countries (including Scotland). What is done deviates from the best available evidence, they found.
The role of healthcare delivery in the treatment of meningococcal disease

A paper in today's BMJ looks at whether suboptimal treatment in hospital contributes to poor outcome in children with meningococcal disease.

This is what their study adds to existing knowledge, they say:

The quality of healthcare delivery in hospital for children with meningococcal disease differs in fatal and non-fatal cases;

Optimal early management of septicaemia and meningitis at the admitting hospital can improve outcome;

Improved outcome is associated with children being managed by paediatric teams and junior doctors being supervised by consultants;

Doctors should follow published protocols of care for fluid resuscitation, inotrope therapy, and referral to paediatric intensive care units.

Thresholds for normal blood pressure and serum cholesterol

An editorial in today's BMJ argues that lower values for "normal" values mean that most people over 50 are defined as "patients. This means an increase in the preventive use of drugs for those conditions. The long term effects of using these drugs is not known, the editorial argues.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Unfortunate explosions

The "Improbable Research" column in this week's Education Guardian lists details of papers describing explosions of intestinal gas in the operating theatre, caused by diathermy.

ODP students coming to the library next week for an information skills event will be interested in this as the subject is rather similar to the subject of the exercise that afternoon!

Read the Guardian column (but disconnect all sources of power first)
The Lancet

I have been telling fibs about access to the Lancet.

You can access full text via the Lancet's site, but you need a username and password which the library can give to members of the University. I don't think you need to register (which is what I have been saying), except to see free things without logging in.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ibuprofen and risk of heart attacks

I somehow neglected to blog this last week...

Read the Guardian's report on the paper in the BMJ which posits an increased risk of heart attack if you take NSAIDs including ibuprofen. Read the BMJ editorial which has links to the paper itself. At the end of the paper are the rapid responses with some of the debate that the article has started.
List of bacterial names with standing in nomenclature

I have just found this online at The site says

"List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature includes, alphabetically and chronologically, the nomenclature of bacteria and the nomenclatural changes as cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names or validly published in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (IJSB) or in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM)." (See for a fuller explanation).
New online books

The Library has bought access to five titles through Stat!Ref.

The books are:

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM IV TR
Harrison's Principles of internal medicine, 16th ed., 2005
Hurst's The heart, 11th ed., 2004
Review of medical physiology (Ganong), 21st ed., 2003

We also have access to Stedman's medical dictionary, 27th ed., 2000.

To access these titles on campus go to

To access these titles off campus go to and click the Athens login link. You will need your University Athens username and password.

Please log off when you have finished reading.
RAE 2008

The panels are about to publish their criteria for assessment: see this article in the Guardian earlier this week. The Guardian is maintaining a special report about the RAE at

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Clostridium difficile

The papers this week have been reporting cases of a new strain of Clostridium difficile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Read a report in the Guardian, and another, and a Q and A on MRSA, which also includes C. difficile.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

JAMA issue on tuberculosis

The June 8th issue of JAMA is a themed issue and has a number of articles on TB. It also reviews two TB textbooks. One, Toman's tuberculosis, we already have. The other, Tuberculosis and the tubercle bacillus, by Cole et al and published by ASM, I will try to get an approval copy of.

Access the issue here (you will need a password which the Library can let you have if you are a University member).

Monday, June 06, 2005

Science in the Nineteenth Century Periodical (SciPer)

This is a new database which indexes scientific content in 16 general periodicals from the 19th century. The periodicals so far indexed include the Cornhill Magazine and Punch, and you can search for people as well as subjects.

Get more information about the database.
Emerging infectious diseases: a 10 year perspective

A paper in the April issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases looks at research advances from the NIAID in the last ten years, especially in HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, influenza, SARS, West Nile Virus and emerging bioterror threats.
Environmental cardiology

This is the link between air pollution and adverse cardiac events, and is the subject of an editorial in the latest Thorax.
New online books

The Library has bought four online books from Stat!Ref. We also have access to a medical dictionary. Here are the details:

The books are:

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM IV TR
Harrison's Principles of internal medicine, 16th ed., 2005
Hurst's The heart, 11th ed., 2004
Review of medical physiology (Ganong), 21st ed., 2003
Stedman's medical dictionary, 27th ed., 2000.

Access on campus is IP controlled and is via

Access off campus is via University Athens and is via - click the "Athens login" link before entering Athens username and password.

There are links to these books from the library catalogue (we have them all in print as well), and from the library's ebooks and databases webpages.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Scopus is a new database from Elsevier. It indexes 14000 peer reviewed journal titles in the sciences and is advertised by its makers as the largest database of scientific literature.

The Library has a free trial of Scopus. Go to - if you are on a CFS machine you should get straight in. If you are off campus, you will need a University Athens password.

Please let me have your comments and thoughts, and please get in touch if you need any more information or experience any problems.