Friday, 28 September 2007

Search tips

A while ago I wrote about Scirus and Google Scholar - two ways to search the web in a relatively simple way while reducing the amount of junk that your search turns up.

Today I'd like to mention a couple more ways to do this - INTUTE and the National Library for Health.

INTUTE (formerly known as OMNI - and no - I don't know why they changed from one meaningless name to another nor what it cost them) is a gateway created by a network of universities. Sources are checked out for quality and relevance before being added. So you have just good quality information, and fewer results than from general googling (just 119358 record in the INTUTE database as I type). Your search might turn up websites, journals, patients information or statistics from the UK and beyond. I find that the search function often fails to find anything, so normally use the browse function instead. INTUTE has a whole area specific to health and life sciences. Also helpful is the Virtual Training Suite where you'll find guidance on searching the web that is aimed specifically at different health professions.

The National Library for Health is an NHS product. Technically the library is more than just the website - it includes all the physical NHS libraries in the country, their resources, and the networks between them. The website can be used with or without your ATHENS password. If you log in with your password you'll be told more about local resources.

There are various ways to use the site. You can use the search box on the home page to search across the whole site. You can use the site to reach Medline and the other databases for literature searching. You can also visit the "specialist libraries". These bring together patient information, news, guidance, National Service Frameworks and useful links by speciality. The specialist libraries cover everything from cancer to trauma and from child health to later life.

Also on the National Library for Health a facility to search medical dictionaries (search box at the bottom of the home page) or to set yourself up with RSS news feeds.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Early closing

Due to staff holidays there are only going to be 2 of us in the library in the morning and just one in the afternoon. To ensure we can stay open I've given my apologies for various meetings and events. However, there are two I am really keen to go to. As I can't be in two places at once the library will close when I go off to these (a patient information meeting and a mentoring event).

So the library will close at 3.30 on Wednesday 19th September and at 3.45 on Tuesday 25th September. Don't forget the blue book drop box. You can also email or leave a message on the voice mail.

Friday, 7 September 2007

More current awareness topics

This week I've added more topics to the current awareness service. There are now one-click links to stories on patient information, issues around educating clinical staff and stories on ethics to spark debate.

If the topic that interest you most is missing from the service please contact me and I will add it to the list if possible.


Severalls (the old mental hopital site rather than the local business park) has long been home to a small outpost of Anglia Ruskin University's library. That library closed this summer. A chunk of its book stock has come down to us.

The main impact of this is that my office is full of books to catalogue, the store cupboard is full of books to catalogue and the library shelves are filled to bursting point. You will therefore see me about the library in the days to come shifting journals and books around to make more room for books.

Most of the books are aimed at nursing students and staff, but many are of more general interest (titles from the ABC, Lecture Notes and At a Glance series, books on management, communication, ethics and law.)

The other impact will be (I hope!) more student nurses visiting the library. Welcome to them. I am sure current users will welcome them too, and be understanding if study spaces and computers are in high demand. Don't forget that you can always book a PC in advance to ensure you'll be able to find one free when you need it.