Monday, May 30, 2016

Crespo, Javier. “Training the Health information seeker: Quality issues in health information web sites.” Library Trends 2004 Fall, 53 (2): 360-74. In Academic Search Premier [Internet]. Ispwich (MA): EBSCO, c2005 [cited 2005 Jan 31]. Available from; accession No. 15353491

Monday, May 16, 2016

Health and Medical Reference Guidelines

American Library Association. Health and Medical Reference Guidelines.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Health sciences

Health sciences. Hurt, C. D. Informational Sources in Science and Technology, 3rd ed. Englewood, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1998. pp. 263-265. 
The health sciences encompass all aspects of human health and include such disciplines as medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy. Within the health sciences, as defined here, there is heavy reliance on other disciplines, such as chemistry, as a foundation for much of the work done. For example, pharmacy, medicine, and, to lesser extents, nursing and dentistry require a grounding in chemistry as a prerequisite to entering the field. Reliance on these “outside” literatures will necessitate some control of them within the health science literature. 
Within the health sciences, practitioners rely heavily on the journal literature as the main tool for advancement of the field. A mix of researchers and practitioners contribute to the journal literature, with the mixture weighted slightly toward the researchers. Practitioners are heavy users of handbooks, because the amount of information a practitioner needs to master is impressive, and handbooks are a way to handle the sheer bulk of information. The use of handbooks is especially heavy in pharmacology, where a single drug compound may carry several different names. 
A recent development in the health sciences is the increasing integration of activities formerly tightly controlled by each group. An example is the integration of medicine and nursing: a significant number of tasks, formerly the exclusive province of the medical doctor, are now being handled by nurses. The functional integration of these two fields suggests that there must also be literature integration. Although the integration of the literatures is not as rapid or as visible as the functional integration, it is a point of concern for those attempting bibliographic control. 
An example within pharmacy of changes in the field is the shift from broad systematic drugs to more targeted approaches to drugs. Advances in chemistry that were transferred to pharmacy and integrated into the research, practice, and literature fostered this change. This type of advance suggests that the chemistry literature, always important to pharmacy, is now even more critical. 
The last decade witnessed a huge increase in popular medical literature. Those both inside and outside the health sciences are producing such literature at a staggering rate. The consistent publication rates for these materials suggest strongly that this is not a flash-in-the-pan publishing opportunity. Even on the Internet, a number of Web sites offer health information at varying levels of detail. This literature mirrors the desire of citizens to be more informed about their health. However, this literature also poses a problem for the health sciences. Should it be included in traditional bibliographic control? The answer is far from clear. 
An area of growth both in the popular health sciences materials and in some of the research literature is alternative medicine. The first is the public’s fascination with natural means of ensuring or assisting health. Natural products, such as garlic for cholesterol control, appeal to a public that hears how some products offered by the pharmaceutical industry to treat the same condition may cause liver damage. 
The second facet is within the health science research community. Pharmaceutical companies have noted the potential for sales and research in natural/alternative drugs. The synthesis of the specific compounds in natural drugs is a large research focus of most pharmaceutical companies and researchers. Research within the health sciences community is mixed regarding some forms of alternative medicine and treatments. In some cases, the research results are mixed, due to a variety of reasons and explanations. The mixed results add to the scepticisms of traditional practitioners and do little to convince non-professionals of the overall efficacy of alternative medicine. What is clear is that such treatments appear to work well for some patients. These results argue strongly that the health sciences must become multifaceted. The consequence of this movement will be an increase in the types and range of literature within the health sciences. 
Technology has increased the health sciences’ ability to serve a wider population with more varying techniques. The opportunities for telemedicine and the stress that this technique will place on the health science literature are enormous. These technological advances will continue to change research in and practice of the health sciences and to change the literature that underlies them. The health sciences have one of the strongest and best implemented bibliographic control systems in science and technology. Index Medicus and the MEDLINE system are the envy of other fields. They are the best example of what a government project, done well, can accomplish for bibliographic control. The beauty of the system is that all of the areas discussed in this chapter are included. Where appropriate, additional areas are included as well. The place of alternative medicine and popular materials is less clear in the MEDLINE system, but such materials are finding their way into it. 
Without question, the social benefits of the health sciences and the increase in research activity at all levels and in all areas will continue to keep these fields literature-rich. Bibliographic controls are available for most of the health sciences. The difficulty for secondary literature is keeping pace with, or within sight of, the primary literature horizon. In this respect, the health sciences share the problems inherent in the rest of science and technology.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Chapter 8: Medicine
Malinowsky, H. R. Reference Sources in Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Agriculture. Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1994. pp. 188-189.

Medicine, from the Latin word medicina meaning “to heal,” is concerned with preventing and treating disease, as well as maintaining good health. It is an applied science using all of the physical sciences and some engineering disciplines in its research. It is usually divided into clinical and basic fields: clinical includes all the specialities and basic covers the areas more closely related to the biological sciences. The basic medical sciences attempt to discover and describe how the human body functions. They include:
  • Anatomy—the study of all parts of the human body.
  • Biochemistry—the study of all chemical processes that take place in the human body.
  • Biophysics—the application of physics to biology in the study of the human body.
  • Embryology—the study of the early development of life.
  • Endocrinology—the study of the body’s endocrine system.
  • Genetics—the study of genes and heredity.
  • Microbiology—the study of microorganisms that may affect the human body.
  • Pathology—the study of how diseases alter the body.
  • Physiology—the study of vital functions of the human body and how they all work together to maintain life.
  • Psychology—the study of human behavior as it functions biologically and with the social environment.
Clinical medicine has resulted in many specialities in the medical profession. There are two broad specialities, preventive medicine and public health, and many finely defined specialities:
  • Preventive Medicine—the study of how to prevent diseases.
  • Public Health—the study of how to maintain and promote good health.
  • Anesthesiology—the study of anesthesia and anesthetics.
  • Cardiology—the study of the heart and how it functions.
  • Dentistry—the study of teeth and the oral cavity.
  • Dermatology—the study of diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases.
  • Gastroenterology—the study of the stomach and intestines.
  • Geriatrics—treating the aged.
  • Gerontology—the study of the chemical, biological, historical, and sociological aspects of aging.
  • Gynecology—study and treatment of the diseases that affect the genital tract in women.
  • Immunology—the study of how human organisms react to antigens.
  • Internal Medicine—a general study of all internal parts of the human body.
  • Neurology—the study of the nervous system, including neurosurgery.
  • Nursing—the professions of helping individuals in their promotion, maintenance, and restoration to good health.
  • Obstetrics—the treatment of all aspects of child bearing.
  • Ophthalmology--the study of all aspects of the eyes.
  • Orthopedics—-the part of surgery that is concerned with the restoration of the functions of the bones.
  • Otorhinolarygology—the study of medical and surgical treatment of the head and neck including ears, nose, and throat.
  • Pediatrics—the study and treatment of health and diseases in children.
  • Plastic Surgery—the restoration or changing of physical features.
  • Psychiatry—the treating of problems of the mind.
  • Radiology—the study of the use of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
  • Rehabilitation—the study of restoring individuals to normal functions or as close to normal as possible.
  • Serology—the body of serums and their reactions on the body.
  • Surgery—the treating of diseases and injuries through operations.
  • Urology—the study of the male and female urinary tract.
  • Venereology—the study of sexually transmitted diseases.
The most important indexing source for medical research is the Index Medicus, which provides print and electronic access. Other reference materials are many and include numerous well established dictionaries and encyclopaedias. There are also handbooks, some multivolume. Medicine is one where textbooks become reference books. Every special sub-discipline of medicine has older well-established textbooks as well as newly written ones. These become mini-treatises/handbooks/encyclopaedias for that discipline. A few have been included in this chapter but for the most part they are not listed because of the sheer numbers.