UoL Library Blog

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e-Information for Biomedical Science

Posted by sarahw9 on 28 November, 2008

On Wednesday 27 I attended a UKEIG course e-Information for Biomedical Science held at the King’s College Information Services Centre, Guy’s campus.  It provided me with a excellent opportunity to brush up on some areas I don’t know much about, as well as some more familiar ground. It included:

  •  Data for biomolecular sciences – a quick skirmish‘ was an overview of this highly specialised area.  Frank Norman, giving the presentation, confessed that being able to deal with queries in this area requires phD level knowledge of the subject area, however he gave us some useful resources and an overview of the topic which you can view at this blog, Data for Biomolecular Sciences.
  • Pharmaceutical information: key issues and key electronic resources, presented by Shaida Dorabjee was also an invaluable overview.  She gave an overview of the R & D process, and walked through some key information resources (from the Patent Office Regulatory bodies, Statistics, market data). 
  • In Expertise Profiling Services Andria McGrath talked about the emerging area of social networking services for researchers many of which are being built into databases.  These services are in their fledgling years, and there was some scepticism from the floor about the value of these services. Many people thought that researchers already know from the literature who the key people in their area are, and would be unlikely to contact someone ‘cold calling’ if they found them in a service like this.  There was also concern about the number of different services and work involved setting up and maintaining a profile.  Dispite sceptisim this talk was useful as I had now idea about the number of such services
  • In The Best of Web 2.0 for Biomedical Sciences, Ian Mulvany from Nature talked about a number of social networking services (some very familiar such as Twitter, Connotea, Nature blogs) for researchers.  This was an introductory level talk, however there were some interesting snippets: If you are using Connotea you can add your own functionality, for example, Entity Describer which allows user to annotate their tags with items from controlled vocabularies such as MeSH. 
  • E-learning and Information Skills for Biomedical Science at King’s was an overview by Nick Woolley of their information literacy programme for medical students.  You can view parts of Information Skills (the full version is on their VLE).  The main thing that stood out to me personally was their coverage of the type of ‘bread and butter’ information literacy I think we need to focus on more.  NIck said that they cover informed use of Wikipedia and that this was met with no controversy from either librarians or academics.  Others in the audience thought they may have more problems introducing this type of material at their institutions.  Another theme of Nick’s talk was to avoid basing the training around library resources, for example tell students how to find books, which inlcludes library catalogues and ebooks but also Google books. Another idea of Nick’s I liked was he likes to emphasise the ethical duty the medics have to have reviewed the literature thoroughly. 

One Response to “e-Information for Biomedical Science”

  1. knockels said

    Thanks, Sarah – very interesting. I have a plan to find out more about the sort of resources described on Frank Norman’s blog (but without a PhD in anything, I have to say!), which I think impact on my role as subject librarian for genetics. The ethical dimension to literature searching I also like!

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