Welcome to OM blog

Submitted by Dean Giustini on April 18, 2007 - 19:33

Welcome to the Open Medicine (OM) blog - a new interactive information and discussion forum for readers of our Journal. Our blog is a place to visit, share and learn something new. Please tell your friends about us.

My name is Dean Giustini, and I work as a medical librarian at the University of British Columbia. Medical librarians and physicians often work together to find and evaluate medical research. I originally started blogging at the UBC Google scholar blog to help doctors find the best evidence for themselves, and to teach them how to use search tools like PubMed and Google. This was a few years ago when there were only a few bloggers in the medical blogosphere; now, many blogs are viewed as useful lifelong learning tools.

So, why visit OM blog? What are the benefits? First, blogs play a key role in the evolution of the web; they bring people together to share knowledge and to help them learn about new information technologies. We are, after all, in the information age. Furthermore, blogs are increasingly used to support continuing medical education, and viewed as an enhancement to clinical practice and rapid research dissemination. I hope that the OM blog will facilitate open discussion and collaboration, and function as a completely open repository of useful clinical cases and websites.

As a medical librarian, I will also share my thoughts about locating reliable medical information on the Web. In contrast to the original research published in Open Medicine, the blog will highlight interesting or emerging ideas from the blogosphere that are not covered elsewhere - thereby filling an important information gap. Topics I will cover include perspectives on information technologies, health care systems, research funding, drug releases and alerts, health legislation and government policies.

Who will find this blog useful? Physicians, medical students, residents and other health professionals; information professionals such as clinical/ medical librarians and informationists; health consumers and patients who need information about emerging diseases (e.g. SARS), global health issues and important research published elsewhere.

I hope you will find the posts about medical research, evidence-based medicine and locating trustworthy medical information to be stimulating and useful. If you have ideas for posts, or if you want something featured, please let me know. I look forward to building our virtual community at Open Medicine blog in the weeks and months ahead.

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Comments

I writing to congratulate all my former colleagues and friends from CMAJ on having published the first issue of this new publishing adventure. It is a great milestone reached. Canada, medical journal publishing, authors and readers can only benefit from having another voice. I wish you all the best in making Open Medicine grow and flourish.

Ken Flegel, MD
Senior Associate Editor,
CMAJ

Dear Dean,

It is very difficult to me to find medical/health related sites/blogs with valid XHTML and CSS.

What do you think about the web standards in our 'environment'?

Congratulation for this blog validation.

Dani Iswara - http://daniweblog.blogspot.com

*) I think there is a little problem with your preview comment system, especially for the link

Hello Dani!

Thank you very much for your comments, and for noticing the valid XHTML/CSS. You'll notice that, today, the main page almost validates in terms of XHTML (it will fully validate as soon as I can patch the underlying code), and does validate in terms of CSS. The blogs, of course, validate easily because they are running Drupal, as noted elsewhere here. Incidentally, I could not find one page on the Microsoft site that was valid (see the main page as an example).

As to what I think about web standards, I think they are essential. The lack of standards-compliant design made it possible for Internet Explorer to hold a monopoly for so long, and in so doing stifle innovation. The Open Medicine team is committed to making information more accessible. As such, we will always use Free Software and adhere to open standards in our code. This leaves our users Free - free to extend, share and examine. After all, isn't that why we're doing this?

yours,

tarek : )
p.s., as concerns the link, the text editing system is supposedly a WYSIWYG. Simply use the menu buttons to create links after highlighting the text you wish to make into a hyperlink.

I'm not a medical student [yet =)], but I can see where this will come in handy if/when I do get into medical school and once I become a physician.  It will also be interesting reading outside of those arenas.  I found out about Open Medicine via Dr. Maskalyk's "Suddenly Sudan" blog.  Kudos to all of those who came up with the concept and were involved in its execution.  We need more of this recognition of global citizenship.

~Alana