Friday, January 26, 2007
Read more in the Guardian
Thursday, January 25, 2007
The National Library of Scotland have a site about Burns, who was born on this day in 1759.
At http://www.robertburns.org/works/ you will find a searchable archive of Burns' poetry.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Later note: a correspondent to this blog comments that St. Lawrence is the patron saint of librarians. Wikipedia certainly lists him as such, as well, along with him being the patron saint of students and chefs, among others. Thanks to my correspondent for alerting me to St. Lawrence. Another correspondent (living in the same house as me, and a theologian, to boot) points out that Jerome had some rather difficult views about women. Discussion of this is beyond the scope of this blog, but I did want to mention it in case I appear to be supporting everything he ever wrote. I am not a theologian, so I will stop there before I appear to be more knowledgeable than I actually am.
So, librarians have two patron saints! St. Lawrence was a deacon of Rome, martyred (on a gridiron, hence the chefs) during a persecution by Emperor Valerian in 258. My home town (Ipswich, Suffolk, UK) has a church dedicated to him.
Information about the journal was emailed to the HIF-NET email discussion list.
An abstract on quality assessment of laboratories in Germany - how good were they at detecting influenza virus in samples:
Zeichhardt, H; Schweiger, B; Lindig, V; Grunert, HP. First national external quality assessment scheme for avian influenza A virus (H5N1). JOURNAL OF CLINICAL VIROLOGY 36: S13-S14 Suppl. 3 AUG 2006
Using prediction mechanisms (like the markets do) to predict influenza activity, using clinical data supplied by health care workers:
Polgreen, PM; Nelson, FD; Neumann, GR. Use of prediction markets to forecast infectious disease activity. CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 44 (2): 272-279 JAN 15 2007
A useful looking general article, interestingly published in Biochemical Society Transactions:
Schuklenk, U; Gartland, KMA. Confronting an influenza pandemic: ethical and scientific issues.
BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS 34: 1151-1154 Part 6 DEC 2006
Lastly, a news piece in Science about "participatory epidemiology", which uses information from local people to know where outbreaks are happening:
Normile D. Indonesia taps village wisdom to fight bird flu - Participatory epidemiology is Indonesia's first step on a long road to controlling avian influenza. SCIENCE 315 (5808): 30-33 JAN 5 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Interestingly, a quick Google search reveals at least two previous stories on the same topic, one from December 2006 about a cream that attacks MRSA in the nose, and another from May 2006 about platensimycin, a new antibiotic.
Read more in CMAJ
Read more in CMAJ
The pieces are at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/334/7584/74?etoc and http://bmj.com/cgi/content/short/334/7584/75?etoc.
The most recent Journal of Advanced Nursing has a paper looking at a small Muslim community in Canada, and how things changed after 9/11. It reports that the community passed from "cultural safety" to "cultural risk" - from a situation of social integration and invisibility to one of visibility as a minority and being in a media spotlight.
PLoS One publishes reports from all areas of science. Before publication, reports are reviewed but only with an eye for their methodology. Anything published is made available for open peer review, that is, anyone can make comments, and the paper can be rated. Papers are viewed as the start of the discussion, as the Nature piece quotes a PLoS person saying, and not as the end. Papers are published on payment of a fee, on the same model as used with other PLoS journals, and journals from other publishers, so that they are then open access.
The Nature piece does articulate the view that this is PLoS' way to make money (it has not been making much, thus far). It also argues that new journals often struggle to attract papers until the journal has an impact factor, and seems to suggest that this new journal may not be able to get an IF, as it "accepts everything". We shall see.
Monday, January 15, 2007
UKPMC mirrors the journal archive content of PubMed Central but will contain manuscripts submitted by people mandated to do so by the conditions of their grant. Several grant awarding bodies, among them the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, are mandating people who they fund to place the final manuscript of their work into UKPMC.
Go to UKPMC itself.
Read more from the Wellcome Trust or from JISC.
'What does qualitative research tell us about the facilitators and barriers to accessing and complying with tuberculosis treatment?"
"What does qualitative research tell us about the diverse results and effect sizes of the randomized controlled trials included in the Cochrane review?"
A Cochrane review apparently did not find anything to distinguish directly observed treatment with people treating themselves.
The abstract is at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.04092.x and the bibliographical details are:
Jane Noyes, Jennie Popay (2007). Directly observed therapy and tuberculosis: how can a systematic review of qualitative research contribute to improving services? A qualitative meta-synthesis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 57 (3), 227–243.
The BBC found the head of a policy institute to criticise the figures, and, judging by a comment by one of their correspondents in the studio afterwards, that institute is a staunch supporter of George Bush (who also disputes the figures). This makes it clear that you should always ask who has produced the publication or website that you are looking at.
They also stated that the publisher supported the research, and backed this up by producing the editor of the Lancet (who wrote an article in the Guardian on the 12th).
The Guardian headlines the story "One in 40 Iraqis "killed since invasion"". Not sure where that quote comes from, but I want to read the paper to see if that is really what it is saying. 1 in 40 may well be so, but I thought the paper was talking about excess deaths from all causes, not just people killed. (Reading the paper: most of the deaths are attributable to violence).
The paper has now appeared in the Lancet, as Lancet 2006; 368: 1421–28. You can also find it by going to http://dx.doi.org and pasting this DOI:
into the search box.
Science (20th October 2006, p.396) reports a debate that has now started over the methods of this paper, and whether the sampling method and extrapolation is valid. The Guardian, certainly, has picked up on this debate as well.
The Lancet of 13-19 January 2007 includes several letters in response to the original article.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The memo reports that targets for the reduction of MRSA are not being met (although MRSA incidence is falling), and also reports concern over Clostridium difficile.
The Guardian's discussion is at http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,1987602,00.html.
This Library has a short list of resources about Clostridium difficile, downloadable from our website (scroll down, past the lovely picture, to find it). The site also enables you to run a PubMed search for the latest articles.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Read more in the Lancet (link via DOI).
Libworm collects RSS feeds from 1400 blogs, and has medical librarianship as a category. You can also search it.
It looks very useful (and I am not just saying that because it includes me, although thanks to them for that!).
There is also Medworm, which does the same thing with medical topics. (There is a mention of this in the Libworm FAQs)
Monday, January 08, 2007
The Lancet for 23rd December publishes a paper by researchers from Harvard, Queensland and Johns Hopkins, which uses mortality data from the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic to estimate a figure for deaths for any pandemic now, and which parts of the world are likely to be most affected.
Link to article: doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69895-4
Details are: Medical Journal of Australia, 2006, 185(10), s25-s80
This is part of issue 10, and is online at http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/185_10_201106/suppl_contents_201106.html
Friday, January 05, 2007
The December Archives of Dermatology includes a "research commentary" on a paper in the BMJ from 2005, which also compares the two treatments and concludes the opposite, that is, that bug busting is best. But the commentary goes on to talk about the study design, and points out a number of places where the study design may have influenced the results.
Makes me think that headlice is indeed a good subject for critical appraisal classes.
The Archives of Dermatology commentary is Archives of Dermatology, 2006, 142, 1635-7, available to University of Leicester members from http://archderm.ama-assn.org/, with password available from me. There is a reply from the authors of the BMJ study, also, on p. 1651.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
This caught my eye as I have a long interest in scientific publishing, and in retractions and related areas. But it is also interesting because the things that were being analysed were proteins from E. coli, Vibrio cholera and S. typhimurium.
The full news piece is at: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/314/5807/1856 and has more detail about how the error was discovered.
Pandemic flu: clinical management of patients with an influenza-like illness during an influenza pandemic, Provisional guidelines from the British Infection Society, British Thoracic Society and Health Protection Agency in collaboration with the Department of Health
Read it at http://thorax.bmj.com/cgi/data/62/1/DC1/1
Read the report at http://thorax.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/62/1/5 (you will need to login with Athens if you are off campus, and of course University of Leicester members can contact me if this causes problems).
I aim to use this blog to record things of interest (to me or to "my" academic departments) from the literature, as well as more general library and information related things.