Medical and Health Science Libraries


Medical and Health Science Libraries

A group dedicated to exchanging ideas and information about medical and health science libraries throughout the world. Academic, consumer, industry - no matter! All are welcome!

Members: 48
Latest Activity: Oct 4, 2013

Discussion Forum

Computer that can read promises cancer breakthroughs

Started by Janice Flahiff Nov 22, 2011.

Do you use or create infographics?

Started by Janice Flahiff Nov 17, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Janice Flahiff on November 17, 2011 at 2:30pm

Glad to be of use! No need to comment on the articles...this alone let's me know the postings are useful.

With appreciation,


Comment by Justin Lillard on November 17, 2011 at 9:08am

Janice,  thank you for posting all of these valuable links to articles.  Though I'm not one to comment on many of them, I wanted to let you know that they are being read and they're EXTREMELY helpful.  I've already printed out a couple and forwarded others to colleagues of mine. 

Comment by Janice Flahiff on November 17, 2011 at 6:39am


How tight is policy at your library with computer devices?


From the Krafty Librarian posting (November 16, 2011)


I just saw this really good article on iMedicalApps, “How to Use DropBox in Medicine.”  It explained in very easy terms what DropBox is and how it can replace your USB drive.  Bascially, you can download PDFs, docs, emails, etc. into DropBox on your computer and it allows you to access them anywhere using your smart phone.  You can also take something from your smart phone and save it to your DropBox using the smart phone app.  DropBox items can also be shared with people, you create an individual link to any document in a particular Dropbox folder, then share the link with anyone.  So if you read a really great article you can download the PDF to DropBox then share the link to your friend so they can read the article.  It is kind of like having your office on the go.

While DropBox can be used for all sorts of things, the article on iMedicalApps describes how it can be used in Medicine.  Of course the first thing I think of is security and patient data.  To be fair iMedicalApps does not mention storing patient data on DropBox and I think they would be against that idea.  As iMedicalApps mentions, the downfalls with DropBox and other cloud storage options are reliability and security.  DropBox is probably perfectly secure for somebody wanting to store PDFs of articles and non-patient data.  But you know that somewhere along the line somebody is going to start using the cloud to store something with patient data.  So I have go to ask, is the IT department facing a losing battle when it comes to restricting access to only certain devices?

Many hospital IT departments have a strict policy on “approved” computer devices.  In our institution the only approved smart phone device is an institutionally supported blackberry device.  The iPhone, iPad, Androids, are all “consumer” devices” and doctors who use those devices cannot get those devices on the network.  While I understand  IT is rightly concerned about the security of data, but has technologies like DropBox made it so that IT should start re-thinking their stance.  Should they be less concerned with device security and more concerned overall security?  As ITs focus on specific devices (approved or not approved)  are they kind of like the little kid with his finger in the leaking dam? 

Overall patient data security has always been a concern.  Before the cloud there is/was USB drives, before USB drives, there were burnable CD/DVDs, before burnable CD/DVDs there were floppy discs, before floppy discs there were (and still is) the photocopier.



Comment by Janice Flahiff on November 1, 2011 at 7:34am

The Medical Library Association (MLA) recently sponsored an online class on mobile technologies.

Although the class is over, the content is available at


The 6 week, 6 CE course was a great overview.

It included videos, slides, resources (as Web pages from health science libraries, reference URLs)

Not only was it a great learning experience, but it is also now a great source of information.

Some highlights:

Comment by Ayo Onatola on August 1, 2009 at 9:14am
Dear Gotz, your great interest in library development is found interesting and appreciated by me and (I guess) by other librarians and information scientists on this blog.

However, for a very pragmatic effort for the achievement of enduring solution to be attained, I will suggest you enlist the service of a trained Library and information personnel. The project before you can be better executed with useful outcome by collaboration.
Comment by Götz Huber on July 30, 2009 at 6:22am
Dear colleagues,
I am a german medical doctor specialized in Public health working since 10 years in the development sector (Liberia, DRC, Haiti, Cameroon). My actuel post with the german development cooperation (DED en collaboration avec GTZ) is to create a digital (virtuel) library for the health sector in Cameroon. I am posted in a Ministry of health division DROS (division de recherché operationelle. I have a strong public health background, but no real documentary and library knowledge. Gradually I am trying to work myself into it.
Until now we have questioned 70 partners and Ministry of health official what is the actual situation regarding the “disponibilite et accessibilite” of important/strategic/essential documents in the health sector and asked the differents categories on the differents levels (capital, region, district) what are their needs.
We wrote TDR for the virtual documentation center and a description (caier de charge) how the website and Dokument management system/library system should be structured and the “navigation structure” (all in French).

I would like to ask your opinion about the software choice.
1. CMS: As we want to decentralize the writing rights of different sections of the website I understand we need a CMS . So far the choice is DRUPAL, which seems to offer advantages over Joomla. Joomla is the easiest to learn, but weak in distributing rights.
For our project it is important, that the final choice is not too complex, that it will be managed as well in the future by Minsitry of Health staff, with less support from donors.

Initially I tried to find a DMS to connect with the CMS (i.e. Alfresco, Knowledge Tree stc) , but they seem to be very complex and I learned in the process that there are le open source library softwares like Koha, PMB, Castor, CDS/Isis which are more appropriate to libraries.

But these seem to administrate primarily physical libraries and I learned, that for primarily a virtual library Greenstone, DSpace seem to specialize on digital libraries.
Apparently Unesco / UN Family with OMS are stronger implied with CDS/ISIS , there are documents which transfer/link CDS/Isis libraries with Greenstone.
CDS/ISIS has further developed into ABCD, but which is currently in Beta version.

Drupal has connection with Koha via a SOPAC. Koha needs Perl and is not easy to install. Koha is very much promoted be the Organisation “Electronic Information for Libraries
(EIFL), which together with others software types (Greenstone, CDS/Isis ) is promoted to support the informatisation of libraries in Africa.

We are still working on the report of our Evaluation study, but the next step is the choice of relevant softwares.

Do you have any ideas or elements (documents) which can help me to find the right choice of software for the purpose I have described.
The major language will be French with English as 2nd navigation structure.

Götz Huber

NB : Link to relevant electronic library software (french)
L’actualité des logiciels libres pour bibliothèques et centres de documentation

NB-2 : extract from the TDR of the CDSS-Cam (in elaboration)
1. Justification et Contexte

1.1 Introduction
Sous l'impulsion du ministère de la Santé Publique (MINSANTE), le Centre Documentaire secteur santé du Cameroun (CDSS-Cam) est crée pour capitaliser les connaissances et le savoir développés au sein du MINSANTE, de ses partenaires (nationaux, internationaux) et des institutions de recherche.

La documentation mise à la disposition aux acteurs par ce centre constituera une importante aide aux acteurs pour la prise de décision et pour effectuer le travail au quotidien (écrire des rapports, - faire des propositions, travail de conceptualisation, de recherche etc). Ce centre diffusera principalement les documents de politique, de stratégie, d’évaluation, résultats des recherches et d’autres documents pratiques (Algorithmes, recommandations/bonne pratique, manuels de formation, etc. ) du secteur santé.

De cette façon tout nouveau programme/intervention dans le secteur santé pourra prendre en compte les expériences et les résultats déjà obtenus, il ne s’agira plus de réinventer la roue mais de faciliter une démarche de progrès et d’évaluation régulière. Les connaissances et le savoir faire qui constituent un véritable capital sera mis à profit pour l’innovation, la productivité de qualité et la gestion axée sur les résultats.

1.1 Présentation synthétique du CDSS-Cam

1.1.1 Mission CDSS-Cam
Le Centre national collecte, gère et diffuse les ressources produites par le MINSANTE et par le réseau des partenaires nationaux et internationaux dans le secteur santé.
Ses ressources sont des documents méthodologiques, théoriques et techniques ainsi que des documents de référence élaborés par le MINSANTE. Il assure l'information des utilisateurs sur les ressources et les pratiques disponibles.

Le CDSS-Cam est une bibliothèque à grande échelle (centre de documents), utile en tant que base de connaissances et archivage historique pour le secteur santé au Cameroun. Il comprend des fonctionnalités qui peuvent aider les utilisateurs à naviguer, à rechercher et à gérer un grand nombre de documents dans une hiérarchie complexe. Il ne s’agit pas d’un centre des enregistrements qui gère les fichiers et les documents qui témoignent des activités ou des transactions effectuées d’une organisation i.e DROS.

1.1.2 Contenu
• Le site a comme vocation principale de rendre disponible la documentation disponible dans la base de donnes du secteur santé (Il reprend une communication d’un point de vue global et national)
• Le site donne une vue sur les activités des entités ministérielles et des partenaires dans le secteur santé au Cameroun.
• Il donnera aussi le suivi de sa mise en œuvre (expérimentation et généralisation) du projet « centre documentaire »
• le site comprendra essentiellement des pages web, des documents en format pdf et des liens vers les forums sécurisés en https du DROS .

1.1.3 Activités :
• collecter et capitaliser les ressources produites par le réseau des partenaires,
• gérer et maintenir d’un fonds documentaire,
• informer les utilisateurs sur les ressources capitalisées et le fonds documentaire (réalisation d’un bulletin d’information) notamment par le biais du site Internet CDSS-Cam et des sites webs en liaison
• traiter des demandes documentaires et diffusion de ressources auprès du réseau

A une stade plus avancée de la réalisation du centre :
• Mise en réseaux de gestionnaires de programmes, cliniciens et chercheurs, organiser et animer des échanges au sein du réseau,
• Donner l’espace d’élaboration de documents en commun de la communauté scientifique et des cliniciens intéressé (cadre de travail collaboratif)
• Approfondir le système de gestion des documents pour contrôler le flux de documents: comment ils sont créés, révisés, publiés et consommés, et comment ils sont finalement supprimés ou conservés.
• Intégrer une démarche assurance qualité dans la gestion du centre
• Assurer la gestion quotidienne du CDSS-Cam dans une solution globale

1.1.4 Public
Le CDSS s'adresse à l’ensemble des acteurs dans le secteur santé et le grand public avec un accès spécifique

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