A Day in the Life - Monday

Why not participate?  It'll give me something to write about.

  • Prepared for a 1.5 hour Pharmacy presentation that's coming up on Friday.  Part of it will be promotion of clinical resources they (the students) will need to use in clinic.  The other part will be an active learning bit on EBM.  In any case, I'm prepping for that.
  • Spent a lot of time exploring an EBM simulation tool the Dental school is developing.  Will provide the faculty w/ feedback. 
  • Finalized questions for upcoming liaison librarian interviews.  I'll be convening the librarian panel.
  • Helped a dental hygiene student figure out our shelving system.  Successfully to, I think.  
  • Worked on a search for a Dental Grad student. Search related to children's perception and attitudes of the dentist office and dental procedures.  
  • Thought about buying books, but didn't. Although I do select books, it's way down the priority list.  I get around to it once every 2-3 months.  The collection focus is elsewhere.  
  • And, of course, caught up on weekend email, answered student and faculty questions, and helped other 'brarians with 'stuff'.  

Keeping Current

Yesterday I gave a 'Keeping Current with the Literature' presentation to a group of Dental Residents.  I didn't have intertube access, so the slides were (and are) comprised almost entirely of screenshots - in other words, they were (and are), for the most part, contextless.  The presentation itself was, I must say, elocutionarily tremendous. For reals. No lies.

We spent a lot of time discussing RSS, primarily in relation to saved search and table of contents alerts, but we also delved into Google Alerts, Twitter, iGoogle, CDSR (Ovid-style), and some other stuff.



MLA '09 Follow-Up

I guess MLA partnered with Trapeze Media Solutions to make the '09 conference posters digitally accessible.  It's a drag that you have to open the posters individually to read them, but I do like the zooming capabilities.  In any case, it's nice to have this part of the conference available digitally.

* Poster #83 is particularly nice


The UpToDate Debate

There's a great post on Laika's MedLibLog about UpToDate and its claim to be an evidence-based resource.  Sure its information is based on some level of evidence - everything is - but the unsystematic manner in which it presents supporting evidence, and its heavy reliance on expert opinion, and its overall lack of transparency certainly positions it well below truly evidence-based resources like ACP-PIER and CDSR.


UpToDate used to be entirely an online book with (excellent) narrative reviews written by experts in the field. From 2006 onwards UpToDate began grading recommendations for treatment and screening using a modification of the GRADE system. Nowadays evidence UpToDate calls its database an evidence based, peer reviewed information resource. According UpToDate the evidence is compiled from:

  • Hand-searching of over 400 peer-reviewed journals
  • Electronic searching of databases including MEDLINE, The Cochrane Database, Clinical Evidence, and ACP Journal Club
  • Guidelines that adhere to principles of evidence evaluation
  • Published information regarding clinical trials such as reports from the FDA and NIH
  • Proceedings of major national meetings
  • The clinical experience and observations of our authors, editors, and peer reviewers

Although it is an impressive list of EBM-sources, this does not mean that UpToDate itself is evidence based. A selection of journals to be ‘handsearched’ will undoubtedly lead to positive publication bias (most positive results will reach the major journals). The electronic searches -if done- are not displayed and therefore the quality of any search performed cannot be checked. It is also unclear on which basis articles are in- or excluded. And although UpToDate may summarize evidence from Systematic Reviews, including Cochrane Systematic Reviews it does not perform Systematic Reviews itself. At the most it gives a synthesis of the evidence, which is (still) gathered in a rather nontransparent way. Thus the definition of @kevinmd comes closest: “it gives an evidence based slant”. After all, Evidence-based medicine is a set of procedures, pre-appraised resources and information tools to assist practitioners to apply evidence from research in the care of individual patients” (McKibbon, K.A., see defintions at the scharr webpage). Merely summarizing and /or referring to evidence is not enough to be evidence based.




Hi, ______.  I'm currently a health sciences librarian at the University of Michigan.  I have sporadically maintained another blog over the last couple of years, but have since, as of the writing of this post, killed it off.  My previous blog began as an assignment for a course I took in 'library school' way back in the day (c. 2006), and it eventually morphed into an output for a learning 2.0 program.  In between all that it was primarily a dumping ground for, well, ______ nonsense.  I'm hoping that doesn't turn out to be the fate of this one, but you never know.



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