Ebola: No hype, just information

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Everywhere you turn these days, Ebola is in the news: on TV, in print, on the internet, and on social media. The best way to not get overwhelmed by the hype surrounding this very deadly disease is to arm yourself with quality, authoritative information. Here we provide links to some trusted resources for information on the Ebola virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The most comprehensive Ebola site from the experts in disease. This site contains information on signs and symptoms, guidance for healthcare worker s, prevention and treatment, questions and answers, outbreak map, guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), transmission information, and much more.

Disaster Information Management Research Center

This site from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the National Library of Medicine provides a host of information resources on Ebola. Links are provided to various U.S. Federal Organizations providing information on Ebola, including the USDA, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. There are also links to international organizations, free resources from publishers for medical responders, and multi-language resources.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) website has a fact sheet on the Ebola virus, frequently asked questions, information on vaccines, and the latest news.

MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine

This site from the U.S. government contains basic information including definitions from a medical encyclopedia, symptoms, latest news, and links to many additional resources. Also available in Spanish.

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Ebola Resource Center offers information for physicians and other healthcare workers, as well as for the general public. Information for healthcare providers includes preparing your hospital or practice, treating patients, how to handle travel and infections.

Open Access Week and Predatory Publishers

120x600October 20-26, 2014 was Open Access Week, a global effort, now in its eighth year, to promote the free, immediate, online access to scholarly knowledge. Open Access is the practice of making published scholarly research available online for free. To further this end, there are many open access journals in existence to which authors could consider submitting their work.

Authors can participate in open access by either submitting their work to an open access repository (known as the “green” path to open access) like PubMed Central, or by publishing in an open access journal (known as the “gold” path to open access). Some of these journals charge authors a fee in order to publish their work. Some of these fees can be outrageously high, as publishers try to take advantage of authors wanting to make their work available. The blog, Scholarly Open Access, has compiled a list of such so-called predatory publishers. A list of inclusion criteria is also provided.

Authors should be wary when submitting their work of publishers who, among other things:

  •  depend on author fees as their own means of operating and sustaining their journal;
  • do not identify a formal editorial or review board;
  • provide no academic information regarding the editor, editorial staff, and/or review board;
  • are not listed in standard periodical directories or library databases;
  • publish journals that are too broad – often done to attract a greater number of articles and thus bring in more revenue through author fees;
  • do minimal or no copyediting.

Always thoroughly investigate any publisher and/or journal, along with their editorial process, scope, reviews, reputation, and impact factor, before deciding whether or not to submit your work.

Celebrate Multicultural Day at the COM!

We hope you’ve had a great Diversity Week and had a chance to go to some of the sessions during the week. If you happened to miss any of our activity on Twitter, we’ve been posting links to relevant resources and exhibits to do with Diversity in Medicine this week. Be sure to check out our feed for links to a number of National Library of Medicine provided resources; all of our tweets have “#DiversityWeek” attached to them.

Today at 4:30pm on the Piazza, the College of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion will round out the week with a Multicultural Day Celebration. One of our library staff, Natasha Williams, is in charge of the planning committee for the event. A lot of work has gone into making the event successful, but what’s a party without a crowd to have fun with? She encourages everyone to come out to enjoy samples of international foods and drinks, and enjoy a unique performance by some of our students at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. There’s plenty of fun to be had, so please consider stopping by before you head home for the evening. The event is scheduled to conclude at 6:30pm. We hope to see you there!

multicultural day

 

National Medical Librarians Month – Myth Busting Edition!

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In honor of National Medical Librarians Month, let’s bust some information myths with the help of the Medical Library Association!

Myth: The internet is a highly reliable source of information.

Truth: There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, but people still need information training and skills to understand what constitutes valid information. Your medical librarians provide such information training.

Myth: Google Scholar is an all encompassing database.

Truth: Google and other internet search engines access only 7% of available health-related information. Google and other internet search engines cannot perform searches using a controlled vocabulary and extensive limits and do not search databases that reside behind firewalls or sites requiring internal searches.

Myth: Physicians and nurses can quickly find the same information as a librarian.

Truth: Information retrieval is a complicated, time consuming, multi-step process, and librarians are more proficient searchers, reducing the time spent on information retrieval and evaluating search results.

Myth: Evidence-based medicine can be practiced with point-of-care software.

Truth: The purpose of Point-of-Care software is to provide quick reference to summaries for answers to common clinical questions. Complex questions are not appropriate for Point-of-Care software and quality, content and currency varies by product.

In-house libraries managed by qualified librarians provide the most cost effective, efficient means to manage and locate quality medical information. A balance between print and electronic resources augmented by interlibrary loan services will best serve the needs of health care professionals. Librarians are part of the health care team. Finding the right information for the healthcare professional is Mission Critical. The end result is improved patient care.

Stop by your Health Sciences Library today to find out how one of our expert medical librarians can help you find what you’re looking for and save you time!

Sources:

Darves B. Strategic searching. Med Net 2004;10(5):1-4.

Glanville J, Lefebvre C. Identifying systematic reviews: key resources. Evid Based Med  2000;5:68-69.

Henderson J. Google scholar: A source for clinicians? CMAJ 2005;172(12):1549-1550.

Medical Library Association. Myths and Truths About Library Services. https://www.mlanet.org/resources/nml-month/index.html.

Williams L, Zipperer L. Improving access to information: librarians and nurses team up for patient safety. Nurs Econ 2003;21(4):199-201.

October is National Medical Librarians Month!

nmlm_poster_2012_lgThe Medical Library Association (MLA) has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month! Your team of librarians at the Health Sciences Library is proud and pleased to serve you every month out of the year, and we hope to continue working with each and every one of you to make the UCF College of Medicine an excellent place of research and learning. This month we will be posting some facts about medical librarianship and providing you with other resources  you may find useful, so please look out for them. To learn more about the people that make up our library team, visit our Library Directory page on our website, or stop by the library to chat!