Tuesday, 19 June 2007

What's that supposed to mean?

Good news! The National Library for Health is finally reinstating the dictionary search facility we lost when its forerunner, the National electronic Library for Health, closed.

Where else to go for medical and healthcare definitions? I find Wikipedia is often a good place to start. If you search anything on Google it will often offer links to dictionary sites from the blue horizontal bar towards the top of the page. Beware - definitions vary in quality and are often American, it seems. A lot (all of them now?) of the definitions links take you to Answers.com.

Two American sites - www.dictionary.com and www.bartleby.com offer access to dictionaries.

For something closer to home you can access the Oxford English Dictionary and a range of other reference titles, online, for free through the Essex libraries website. All you need to do is apply for free membership of the library service to access this resource.

If you are thinking of buying your own dictionary you'll find a good selection of recent tiles at Amazon - Black's, Bailliere', Mosby and a couple of Oxford publications will all be worth having. I suspect Amazon's bestseller, the BMA/Dorling Kindersley dictionary is aimed at patients. Apart from Black's which has a long and distinguished history - these are all available for under £10 each.

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