Midwest and Midcontinental Chapter 2007 Joint Meeting – interesting papers

Just saw that the paper abstracts (warning: PDF) for the Midwest/Midcontinental meeting are up.  Here are some that caught my eye (sadly, I will not be attending).

Developing and Marketing an RSS Journal Service for your Library
Authors: Erika L. Sevetson, MS, Christopher Hooper-Lane, MA, AHIP, Allan R. Barclay, MLIS, AHIP, Ebling Library, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Deborah Copperud, MA, School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Abstract: More and more journals are making their tables of contents available via RSS feed; however, barriers still exist between the user and the content. A working group at a large, Midwestern academic health sciences library set out in Fall 2006 to “explore possibilities for developing an RSS current awareness service that would categorize health sciences RSS feeds and integrate them with SFX, document delivery, and RefWorks.” We developed a 4-phase plan, including overhauling our existing RSS journal feeds pages, developing bundled OPML packages for quick subscription to several journals, developing a shopping cart-like application for users to easily create customized collections, and developing instructional and promotional plans for staff and patrons. This panel will provide an overview of the project, focusing on work process, technology, marketing, and instruction and education. The panel discussion will include 15 minutes for audience discussion.

I know of Erika from MLA and the LiME groups of the GEA’s–she and her colleagues are doing great work!

Analyzing Similarity Functions in Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed
Author: Rebecca S. Graves, MLS, AHIP, and Gabriel M. Peterson, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library, University of Missouri – Columbia
Theme: Research
Abstract: While database producers offer functions that allow searchers to automatically find related articles, how well these functions work or compare is unknown. This project explored how the PubMed’s Related Articles and Ovid’s Find Similar similarity functions work and how they compare to each other.

Not to steal Rebecca’s thunder, but my guess is that they just don’t compare.  I’ve never had success while using Ovid’s related articles feature. Maybe it will be better in the new version (still due in October???).  For a good recent blog post about PubMed related searching, see Shelved in the W’s.

A Blank Stare No More: Helping Students Navigate the World of Historical Research in the Health Sciences
Authors: Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, Mary Hitchcock, and Rebecca J. Holz, Ebling Library, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Theme: Teaching and Learning
Abstract: Writing a history based research paper can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the process and/or resources of a specific subject field. It is a task made more difficult in the academic world with the voluminous databases and beliefs that “everything is online.” Helping students research topics in the history of the health sciences through traditional workshops coupled with a stagnant, dense, and unruly student handout perpetuated the confusing and frustrating work of historical research. A new “Resources for Students” guide has emerged into an online blueprint to help students conduct historical research, along with identifying largely history focused databases which may assist in their research.

I am helping students with a historical research project this fall again–perhaps I should expand my resource guide.

Too Many Medical Students and Too Little Time: Transitioning Instruction to an Online, Asynchronous Format
Authors: Kristina Appelt, MSIS and Kimberly Pendell, MSIS, Library of the Health Sciences, University of Illinois – Chicago
Theme: Teaching and Learning
Abstract: Librarians at the Library of the Health Sciences at University of Illinois-Chicago developed an online tutorial for third year medical (M3) students. Previously, librarians offered hands-on library instruction to M3 students over two-weeks. The M3 online tutorial, Clinical Tools for Information at the Point of Care, includes patient care scenarios, video demonstrations of clinical tools, and a practice patient scenario assessment. Instruction online has proved to be a more effective method of reaching students during their busy orientation and rotation schedule. Tutorial evaluations and usage data suggest that M3 students strongly preferred the online format.

I largely agree with their conclusion–but I wonder what the long-term follow-up to this would be.  I can’t help but notice the students I’ve taught in person come to me for help more than those I taught online, and recent comments have led me to reconsider this.

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3 responses to “Midwest and Midcontinental Chapter 2007 Joint Meeting – interesting papers

  1. Hey, Google Alerts really worked! For the first time, they’ve caught something that wasn’t just a page update (or about my sister).

    Too bad you won’t be at Omaha, but you can preview one of the results of our project at http://ebling.library.wisc.edu/bjd/journals/rss/index_cat.cfm.

    And once we figure out what we’re actually talking about, I’ll be happy to give you the full picture.

  2. Great! Thanks for letting me know. I really am interesting in the OPML part of your project–what a good idea!

  3. I’ve noticed that students (at any level) seem to use my services more once I’ve worked with them, especially after a formal class. It may be that taking the class “gives them permission” to admit that they don’t know everything, and it really is ok to ask for help.

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