Friday, 27 June 2008

This librarianship malarkey is such hard work!

Ok, so we have found time for a little fun here at the Medical Librarians' EAHIL conference here in Helsinki but rest assured medical students that I have been thinking about you all whilst here.

V & A (us)

Now some might say that having a gobby type as your medical librarian is a bit of a liability but today I have used my high quality negotiating skills (aka gobbiness) and secured several very impressive prizes for you guys. These include an iPod Nano (top spec type where you can choose your own colour), several USB sticks and an OUP medical textbook. Many many thanks to Swets, Ovid, OUP, and Proquest. A competition to win these prizes will be launched next week. Keep logging in to find out more :-)


Thursday, 26 June 2008

Are citrus fruits the answer?

Today in Helsinki, medical librarians from all over Europe had the opportunity to consider how we might deal with uncertainties.

Why, for example, did it take 40 years to acknowledge that the issue of lemon juice on ships would be beneficial in the treatment of scurvy?

Uncertanties? Are we all certain about what is uncertain? You know, it is ok to say that we are uncertain about what the effects of a treatment might be. In fact, if there is no systematic review of the evidence on a topic or if the only systematic reviews are inconclusive then we have no choice but to say “we are uncertain”. DUETs (the Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments) has recently been introduced under the aegis of the James Lind Alliance.

So, if you have a clinical question for which you cannot find an answer from the evidence base, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are searching incorrectly or that you are asking the wrong question. It may be that your question constitutes an uncertainty and that further research is necessary. Find out about registering your question with DUETS by visiting the website at .

This may help to get your question onto the research agenda and to ensure that research reflects the questions that appear at the cutting edge of medicine. Influence how research grants are allocated by registering gaps in the evidence base. In doing so you may make a real contribution to improving patient care.

Alison and Vic

Partying and conferencing in Helsinki. Don't tell our Director about the former ;-)


Monday, 23 June 2008

Blogging live from Helsinki

Tomorrow I'm off to Helsinki with the Health Sciences Librarian to present at the very prestigious EAHIL Medical Librarians Conference ;-) . I'd just like to say that the rumour insinuating that our main priority during this holiday (oops I mean conference) is to party in the midnight sun is absolute nonsense. To prove this point we will be blogging, live from the conference centre and reporting back on all the latest information resources for medicine.

Keep checking for posts. There may be freebies on offer :-)