Clinicians, Online Access, & Info retrieval

This study, published in 2013, provided insight into the procedures that were in place at  Columbia University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, related to clinicians and their access to necessary information to care for patients.  The research completed found that depending on the type of health professional seeking information, there existed preference of reference tools.  Their roles within the healthcare system, as well as the context of the patient situation, influenced their use of the online access to pertinent research.  These are two key facts, which known and understood, could benefit medical librarians and enable them to provide more efficient information retrieval services to clinicians.

Another insight, discussed within the introduction, which I found interesting, were the barriers that come into play during information seeking processes  – ineffective search skills and perceived lack of time.  These seem to be common sense , although realization that they exist can only benefit search processes.


Hunt, S., Cimino, J. J., & Koziol, D. E. (2013). A comparison of clinicians’ access to online knowledge resources using two types of information retrieval applications in an academic hospital setting. Journal Of The Medical Library Association, 101(1), 26-31 6p. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.101.1.005


Job Searching…

Although I still have an entire year of classes left to take, I frequently find myself checking out job postings on various platforms and websites.  I have always struggled with the whole “living in the moment thing“, particularly when the moment involves homework and uninspiring work.  During my searches, when I find a job that sounds fascinating I daydream about what it will feel like to obtain it and then live it each day.

I cannot wait until I am officially qualified (or nearly) to begin the application process, although the anxiety that comes with the interview process in another story- that being said, I suppose it is all a part of the process, a necessary evil.

For those out there like me, there are a plethora of job searching tools.  One option I just recently found is LibGig.  It also includes a variety of descriptions for several library professions, including the one I am interested in – medical librarianship.  Check it out!

More Health Literacy Facts…

Did you know that individuals  with “…limited health literacy skills are associated with an increase in preventable hospital visits and admissions”?

Or that these same individuals are more likely to have chronic conditions?

Lear more interesting facts, while also increasing your health literacy by checking out the’s, “Health Literacy and Health Outcomes” webpage:

Website Usability Analysis

Through the Usability Assignment I have acquired a greater understanding of how website functions and features are viewed by end users.  Of course I, myself, have been an end user on many websites and could come to many conclusions about the company site my group was assigned – however, reviewing a variety of other professionals’ feedback I realized that users are made up of individuals from a wide variety of technology backgrounds.  Each participant’s prior experiences resulted in personal preferences, and surfaced through the surveys our group distributed to our participants.  Many were satisfied with the website – one for a business offering communication services to those in the deaf and hard of hearing – as is, although others desired greater functioning and updates made to the site’s aesthetics. Companies must consider the perspectives of all users, in order to appeal to the mass.  This project has heightened my critical analysis skills related to websites, as well as reminded me of the benefits of having more than one mind working towards a single end.

Doody’s Core Titles

Article Summary #9

AKA Article Summary #9

Doody Core Titles began in 2004, when it’s predecessor, the Brandon/Hill list announced it would be ceasing publication that year.  This meant that a void would need to be filled for the medical library field, in terms of collection development reference.  Discussions of potential options for filling the newly established void into the future, originated at MLA’s 2004 annual meeting.  Many of those in attendance agreed that Doody’s Electronic Journal (DEJ) was a suitable substitute.  This collection development tool encompassed print and software titles, in a database format.  From these initial conversations and the encouragement of MLA members and book vendors, Doody enterprises decided to take on the challenge of creating a replacement for the Brandon/Hill list.

To set the stage, so to speak, the authors of this article selected to summarize the history of the Brandon/Hill list, in order for readers to understand the need and intent of this type of publication.  The original intention of the list was to create a guide for library professionals involved in collection development for their library, including those who were new to the field and had little knowledge or experience.  The original list was published by Brandon in 1965, in the form of an article.  This article listed numerous journal and book titles, which were recommended for medical library collections, it also included suggestions of how libraries could expand their collections through a variety of considerations.  These considerations included, the specialization of medical practices which their institutions offered, as well as reviewing local needs.  Eventually a variety of specialized lists emerged, in order for there to be collection development guides which covered pertained to best practices within specific medical professions.

Once Brandon/Hill ceased, DCT was established to continue the work that the previous list had set out to do, while incorporating new online communities.  In order to successfully provide reputable resources for recommendations, Doody employs expert reviews as books and journals are published.  Each new resource is considered and if it is decided that it should potentially be included DEJ editors create bibliographic content within the database.  Reviews provide information such as, field item pertains to, title, description, purpose, audience, features, and then finally an assessment of the material.  Once these reviews are completed and bibliographic information entered, library selectors are able to complete their own reviews.  The library selectors make their selections and review items based on a rating system, which allows them to give each item one to three stars in the following categories: authoritativeness of the author and/or publisher, scope and coverage of the content, quality of the content, usefulness of the title, and value relative to the cost of the book.

Due to the fact that library selectors are able to evaluate titles provided through the review of the content specialists (DEJ editors), DCT is peer-driven.  This is beneficial, since this means you are working with and trusting the review of those in the field, however there have been questions about how objective the reviewers and selectors are.  The opinions sought after to compile the core list are subjective, although through the rating and evaluation process there are a variety of professionals and experts completing reviews for the items, so ultimately the top resources should be included within the final published list.

As we learn about collection development in class, it is apparent that there are a variety of factors taken into consideration when making selections for collection purchases.  It would be overwhelming if guides, such as the DCT did not exist for professionals to use as a reference.  Although this article highlights speculation that exists regarding the objectivity of the list, I  am confident that through the various filtering and reviewing layers of processes the experts working on these stages provide sound advice on which titles are the most beneficial to their fields.  We must work together, collaboration is key in our field, so this is just another example of how that occurs.  The process laid out in the article, related to DCT, seems logical and I am not sure how else items would be rated or decided upon without expert and peer input.



Shedlock, J., & Walton, L. (2006). Developing a virtual community for health sciences library book selection: Doody’s Core Titles. Journal Of The Medical Library Association, 94(1), 61-65 5p.

Health Care Literacy

As a patient, outside of the medical field, it can be overwhelming trying to understand terms within diagnoses and treatments – so the ultimate trust is placed in the hands of medical professionals.  Too many times people have assumed that what their doctors prescribe must be the best option, otherwise they wouldn’t prescribe it, right?  Unfortunately there have been many cases where this is not the reality, and patients are not receiving the treatment they need and deserve.  Health care and health literacy are crucial for everyone, education is key.

Check out this video of real patients beings asked questions about their health care, including prescriptions and treatments: 

MEDLIB-L Listserv

Anyone working in or interested in pursuing a career in the medical librarianship field should be sure to take advantage of the MEDLIB-L listserv and all the opportunities for outreach and collaboration it offers amongst professionals in the field.  Many of the daily requests sent out through the listserv pertain to interlibrary loan requests, although a wide variety of other topics and questions are discussed within the community.  This is a great resource, offering a wealth of information from experts in field,  to subscribe to the listserv and expand your personal learning network today, click here!