CommComm posted on September 21, 2011 02:04

We invite you to listen to our very first Welch Library Podcast. Victoria Goode, Welch Clinical Informationist and one of our the library's many resident "Answer People" is interviewed by your host Alonzo LaMont. Victoria and I parade around a few topics for your listening enjoyment including  a few thoughts about Catalyst, Endnote, RefWorks and SciVal Experts. Victoria is by far the expert, I (Alonzo) just ask the questions. Much like the Wright Brothers---this is our test run, but we're mucho excited to get off the ground.  


It's our first foray into audio and we try our best to stay on point. Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful relationship. Enjoy! It runs about 11 minutes.

WML Podcast 01(1).mp3 (14.20 mb)

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CommComm posted on September 20, 2011 19:02

This is one of those battles you could see coming from miles away. Since libraries are paying out-the-wazoo for journals, it only made sense that some august body would say "cease and desist". Especially given that prices for journals continue to skyrocket with---as they say---no end in sight.

"But with British universities already spending 65 percent of their library acquisition budgets on periodicals — up from 50 percent 10 years ago — and university funding cut back, the pressure for change is mounting."


These are hard numbers to get around. Harder still to envision that budgets can continually spiral upwards for information that could be free for all. The Open Access movement is gaining more than just "ground", it's gaining sympathizers and becoming much more of a groundswell. But will it arrive in time?


Alonzo LaMont

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CommComm posted on September 15, 2011 00:51

          I stumbled across this from the Chronicle of Higher Education today. I thought it was enlightening how it breaks down the "search" process in terms we don't usually hear associated with searching. It may actually re-invent (or re-invigorate) the wheel a little. Here's a quote:

          "Mr. Bergstrom and his colleagues speak like explorers, invoking geographical and urban imagery to describe the landscape their algorithms reveal. Mr. Rosvall compares moving through the scholarly landscape to trying to get from one Rockies mountaintop to the next; the team's challenge is to identify peaks and valleys and help researchers move past the barriers that separate them. Mr. Bergstrom likens the network of citations to a city that is "growing organically as you're trying to navigate through it." Capture it in the right sort of map, he says, and "if that map is there, the story of how fields are changing is all there in this big lattice of citations."

          What's that sound like to you? Sounds to me as if (perhaps) sometime in the near we'll be able to circumnavigate our way around the latest breakthroughs, or create a kind of connectivity that wasn't previously thought to be possible. A little criss-cross pollination, as it were. Somebody's breaking the mold with regards to how citations are measured, evaluated and applied. As the article mentions, creating a google-map getting over the Rockies. A mystery becomes unraveled. A new concept takes the stage. Who knew it could be done this way? This is precisely what I always love about the unknown.

          Someone's always trying to make it known.

Alonzo LaMont


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CommComm posted on September 13, 2011 23:05

Welch is currently running an etrial for Psych Evidence Matters. Etrials can be found on our main page drop down menu for the eResources tab.


“Psych Evidence Matters is an online psychiatric healthcare knowledge management system to assist decision makers in their treatment choices for psychiatric patients.”

Alonzo Lamont

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CommComm posted on September 9, 2011 19:13

          On Sept. 14th our very own Claire Twose, Public Health and Basic Science Informationist, is giving a lecture in the School of Public Health (details on Welchweb) titled "NIH Public Access Policy: Everything you need to know". I wanted to spend a minute or two on this because this policy relates to everyone's health in a more personal way than we might realize. The access policy ensures that the public can view published results of NIH funded research in PubMed Central. 

          Frequently, we receive calls from patrons outside the Hopkins community, and they ask very specific questions about a particular disease, or condition and perhaps even a medication. When we ask if they've consulted their own physician, or even their local library they seem almost baffled. They called Johns Hopkins and they anticipate we'll solve whatever health conundrum they're experiencing. While this is being pro-active, there are other avenues that might bring more direct and rewarding results. And this is where the mental legwork comes in.

          There are many people who get online and start their own research. I'm sure you know people who subscribe to this approach. There is a wealth of available know-how out there for the taking. We recommend you consult your physician face-to-face, or e-mail, or whatever arrangement you can manage. If it involved someone in my family, I'd want to speak to someone directly, someone who has a degree of authority that I trusted. And I'd want to do this in conjunction with whatever information I could bring to the table, or whatever my doctor could bring. Calling an often-times busy medical library might not be my first choice. The "unseen variables" on the other end of the phone might dictate the amount of information I could get. Moral of the story: in this day and age, we all have to be our own advocates. We want to know what's out there. We want to discover what are the possibilities available.         

          Claire's lecture will entail the scholarly approach to NIH compliance. The how/what/& why's of navigating NIH policy. This is the behind-the-scenes insight into paper submittal and copyright agreements. But out in front of all this protocol sits you and I, the audience. We just want to know what's been written or published about the condition Aunt Edna is currently going through. We just want to know how can we help her get through it. A lecture. A policy. Doesn't it all boil down to things we can touch and share. When we look in the mirror, we all want to say we did the best we could do. That we brought something to the equation. In the end, that lecture and that policy might just hit home someday.


Alonzo LaMont

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CommComm posted on September 9, 2011 18:24
The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is an international not-for-profit, membership based, research and development organisation based within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The Institute collaborates internationally with over 70 entities across the world. The Institute and its collaborating entities promote and support the synthesis, transfer and utilisation of evidence through identifying feasible, appropriate, meaningful and effective healthcare practices to assist in the improvement of healthcare outcomes globally. Alonzo LaMont

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CommComm posted on September 7, 2011 23:37

This is the first paragraph which explains what's now available.

"I am writing to share exciting news:  today, we are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR."


Alonzo LaMont

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CommComm posted on August 30, 2011 21:22

          In the coming weeks and months you'll be reading here and in other places about the changes coming to the Welch Library. If you've been around campus (or even if you haven't) you've probably heard these changes involve the Library building itself. This is true. Over time, we've found that more patrons access the library electronically and utilize the physical space less and less. This is also true. What you should keep in mind is that these changes are being made in the best interests of our patrons.

          "Will the Library be the same?"

         The greater question is: what is the Library? Is it the building itself? Or is it the service and services you receive. We want to provide greater amounts of these. Moving forward, this is ultimately the true test. Can we provide the resources you want. Perhaps you'll discover that the "rituals" you enjoyed that are associated with the Library will no longer be in place. There's no denying these will be different. But in the information/technology age change comes almost on a daily basis. Doctors now travel with tablets and gadgets. Health information is conveyed through a variety of protocols. 

          We think the Library is people. And the people at Welch will continually try to serve our community the best we can. You've told us that online access to journals and databases is a priority. We want to make sure you have this access. We also want to continually update our collection, in order to stay as current as possible. The new methods we'll be implementing are designed to make what the Library has to offer easier and more efficient. Think of us as launching a grand "outreach program". We intend to improve and expand our presence on campus, and hopefully our patrons will have a fuller understanding of the collaborative role the Welch Library can play in their future. We're not trying to re-invent the wheel. We're just trying to make your scholastic, academic and research life a little better. 

          We know the shock of the new doesn't always come with a 100% approval rating. Customer service has continual  peaks and valleys. We anticipate some disorientation, questions and perhaps a little anxiety. Our only defense is that we want to be better. We want to do more for you. Behind the numbers, behind all the facts we could present----the heart and soul of the changes we're presenting is...............doing more for our patrons. Providing those services and resources ---- Wherever You Are!

Alonzo LaMont 


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          I saw this and wanted to know which side of the argument you fell on. I think if I'm a grandparent I've earned the right to some serious down-time. But more and more, as you know, grandparents are now in it for the long haul. The article focuses on the monetary arrangements that baby boomers are dealing with, but I think it's more than that. Since we have SO many kids raising kids, and knowing less and less about raising them---the common prevailing decisions center around kids getting dropped off at grandma/pa's place on a very regular basis.

          I think we should perhaps examine this "phenomenon" from a more cultural  perspective. Anyone who's caught a single episode of MTV's "Teen Moms" can see this all too frequently. The grandparents are literally DRAFTED into the complete care and raising of their daughter's children. The daughter are typically impatient with their mom's playing such a high profile role, and then wanting to have a say about it, and then we have all the wonderful crisis moments centered around ungratefulness and name-calling. It's not a pretty sight. Grandparents deserve so much more.


Alonzo LaMont


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I posted this article on FB, but the topic is one close to me beating heart......this quote gives a short summary (link below). 

"The most alarming finding in the ERIAL studies was perhaps the most predictable: when it comes to finding and evaluating sources in the Internet age, students are downright lousy. Only seven out of 30 students whom anthropologists observed at Illinois Wesleyan “conducted what a librarian might consider a reasonably well-executed search,” wrote Duke and Andrew Asher, an anthropologist at Bucknell University, whom the Illinois consortium called in to lead the project.Throughout the interviews, students mentioned Google 115 times -- more than twice as many times as any other database. The prevalence of Google in student research is well-documented, but the Illinois researchers found something they did not expect: students were not very good at using Google. They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources. (For instance, limiting a search to news articles, or querying specific databases such as Google Book Search or Google Scholar.)"


          The issues that should concern everyone are the homogeneity of search information and search skills. Many thought that the internet would breed a greater degree of individuality. Has that come to fruition? We're so delighted when we hear of some school adding all new computers, but what are they learning? E-mail. Youtube? Facebook? Perhaps we should become more excited when test scores rise, more scholarly work is created or more students daring to tread outside the box.

          We hear over and over about new technology "leveling the playing field." Maybe we're just leveling the students. Are students all working on the "same paper?" When students arrive at the Circulation desk and they want HIV data or health reports in Baltimore City? Are they working on the same results, coming to the same conclusions----are they going off the beaten track to find anything? Unfortunately, the internet can't make you search creatively. It can't make you want to take a second look at anything.


Alonzo LaMont

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