Category Archives: Librarianship

Dementia Books (#DemBk) — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of May 19, 2014)

Strange Relation, by Rachel Hada, pg. 100
Rachel Hadas. Strange Relation: a memoir of marriage, dementia, and poetry. Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2011. [Author's Site | Goodreads | Mirlyn | NPR]

I was introduced to a really clever idea recently. You know how we are always looking for stories to help us or others understand conditions and diagnoses? It’s a fairly common question at all libraries, but especially public libraries (“Can you help me find a book on XXX?”). Librarians have all kinds of tips and tricks for finding recommended and high quality books on both common and obscure topics. Reading lists for patients are created by libraries and healthcare facilities, as well as both professional and advocacy organizations. The twist that made this especially intriguing was a patient advocacy organization using social media to crowdsource the development of a booklist on their condition of interest, in this case, dementia and Alzheimer’s. The main hashtag used is #dembk, but there also exists a bookclub tag for the same community (#DemBkClub) as well as folk who simply use the combination of #dementia #books.

This is how it started.

This was when I realized this was “a thing,” and started looking for more. He’s the list they came up with for Dementia Awareness Week, and some other outcomes from the Twitter conversations around this topic.

Books About Dementia for All Ages to Read:

Here are some of the conversations and range of tweets I found sharing books on dementia.

First posted at THL Blog:

More on Emerging Technologies in Libraries

Gear: Emerging Technologies

Following up on last week’s post about emerging technologies, I’ve found several other very recent slide decks about emerging technologies in libraries. These range from what’s interesting, what’s being done, how to strategize approaches and adoption, what pays off and what doesn’t, concerns and challenges, and other interesting useful bits.


This deck by Jennifer Baxmeyer was developed to support a lecture in a library school course, and seems to have been intended to provide a broad overview of some of the technologies now being used in libraries. It is a rich, long, slide deck with a lot of slides, a lot of examples, and many ideas. It also serves to provide context around the idea of emerging technologies in libraries.

Emerging Technologies for Libraries and Librarians, 2013
by Jennifer Baxmeyer, Leader, Serials and E-Resources Team; Princeton University Library on Aug 01, 2013


The most visually engaging and inspiring deck from today’s collection, Samantha Chada’s slides are worth looking at just to try to learn more about making gorgeous slides. What it doesn’t do (as is common with visually beautiful slide decks) is to clearly communicate the content without having the speaker present. Few words. There are fabulous screenshots and examples of ways in which other libraries are using some of these technologies, with a focus on apps, games, cloud computing, and makerspaces. Then she gets really fun and expands with some I’ve been wanting to blog about here – MOOCs, Raspberry Pi, hackathons … I will say that this deck makes me want to sit down with her and chat for a while!

Emerging Technologies in the Library
by Samantha Chada, Associate Director of Technology; Sandusky Library on Feb 18, 2013


I was delighted to see a deck from Michelle Kraft because she always does such thoughtful work, and provides a real world counterbalance to folk like me who want to try everything. She focused on disruption and broader societal change, and how the evolution of the world arounds us leads to needed change in libraries.

Emerging Technologies & Evolving Library
by Michelle Kraft, Medical Librarian; Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library on Oct 04, 2013


This might be my favorite of the batch. It appears to be a report out from an analysis of a survey of medical librarians looking at skills, attitudes, training opportunities, and other questions, all presented with nice graphs and charts and data visualizations. I was particularly intrigued by the comparison of the Horizon Report and the Gartner Hype Cycle as to what most interested this demographic. I was also intrigued to see that the interests driving future adoption seemed to be focused on media production skills and educational technologies. The two greatest barriers, by FAR, were lack of time and hospital firewalls. All in all, a very useful deck.

Emerging Technologies in Medical Libraries: Librarian Interest and Perceived Challenges
by Andrea Wright et al, on Mar 20, 2013; NN/LM SE/A Beyond the SE/A March 2013

Bioethics & Bias — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 6, 2014)


During last night’s #HCSM Twitter chat, the conversation began with what changed in healthcare social media during 2013. What I particularly noticed was the shift from including ethics and bioethics in broader Twitter conversations (on health, medicine, policy development, palliative medicine, and so forth) to Twitter chats explicitly focused on bioethics.

I’m particularly impressed that the #BIOETHX chat was just founded in October of last year and has rapidly become one of the “always-trending” influential hashtags in healthcare on Twitter. The most recent #BIOETHX chat was on sexuality and gender, with prior chats on research ethics, competence & decision-making, CAM, disability ethics, and medical disclosure. They meet at 8:30PM Eastern Time for their weekly Twitter chats, so please drop in tonight for their chat on brain death.

On a related note, the medical librarians community this year founded another Twitter chat on a related topic – healthcare disparities (#MLAdisparities), for which the inaugural topic in December was implicit bias. In today’s post, I’d like to highlight tweets from these two hashtags as an indication of the growing maturity of Twitter for discussing the hard issues in healthcare.



First posted at THL Blog:

Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Healthcare Leaders on the Future of Medical Librarians (Week of September 2, 2013)

Gear: Emerging Technologies

This week I was privileged to participate in a Twitter chat for the healthcare leaders group, #HCLDR.

Health Care Leaders (#HCLDR) Sept 3 Chat – What’s Emerging Tech Got to Do With Us?

As part of this chat, they were discussing how they envision what medical librarians and libraries can be engaged with emerging technologies in healthcare. There were some very interesting and insightful perspectives that I’d love to share with you here.

First posted at THL Blog:

#HCLDR Chat: What’s Emerging Tech Got To Do With Us?

Gear: Emerging Technologies

From social media to wearable technologies, from bioprinting to the quantified self movement, emerging technologies have the potential to change lives and clinical practice. At the same time, change isn’t always welcomed, and it is often difficult to determine which proposed changes bear the most value and the least risk. Even for those high value innovations, there have always been challenges with disseminating new ideas, testing and validating them, and promoting adoption of validated innovations.

These are some of the issues that have driven and continue to drive both the evolution of translational science and newer research methodologies such as systematic reviews and comparative effectiveness reviews.

Medical librarians have been intimately involved in aspects of evidence-based clinical practice, and the systematic review and comparative effectiveness review methodologies. They are also deeply engaged in providing information, expertise, and support to clinicians, patients, and administrators. They also support dissemination of innovation throughout an enterprise by acting as conduits, cheerleaders, or gatekeepers for new information, policies, and technologies.. But could they be doing more to help support proactive strategic decisionmaking with respect to emerging technologies?

The Deloitte 2013 Survey of Physicians showed significant lags with physician adoption of health information technologies. Another 2013 report, this one from Kaiser Permanente, begins with this:

“Electronic health records (EHRs) have been available for decades, and yet hospitals, doctors, and other caregivers have been slow to adopt them. This is true even though 74% of U.S. physician EHR adopters in 2011 said that using their systems enhanced overall patient care, and 85% reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their systems (Jamoom, Beatty, Bercovitz, Woodwell, Palso, & Rechtsteiner, 2012).”

With concerns about lags in adoption for proven technologies such as EHR which have been shown to have value for decades, how will the practice of healthcare accommodate the ever increasing pace of innovation in health IT? How will emerging technologies be identified and integrated into practice? Increasingly, patients are taking the initiative for solving personal healthcare challenges with areas such as the quantified self movement, the maker movement, personal genomics, and personalized medicine.

The Medical Library Association has initiated a large systematic review project to assess the level of evidence available to support the profession and practice of medical librarianship in several very important questions. Team #6 has been assigned to explore this topic: “The explosion of information, expanding of technology (especially mobile technology), and complexity of healthcare environment present medical librarians and medical libraries opportunities and challenges. To live up with the opportunities and challenges, what kinds of skill sets or information structure do medical librarians or medical libraries are required to have or acquire so as to be strong partners or contributors of continuing effectiveness to the changing environment?”

We would deeply value the thoughts and insights of healthcare professionals and leaders in helping to define these questions.

T1: What emerging technologies do you find most important and relevant in healthcare?

T2: What are appropriate roles for medical libraries and librarians with respect to emerging technologies?

T3: What issues concern you most about adoption of emerging technologies? What barriers to adoption are you aware of, or solutions for overcoming barriers to adoption?

Here is our current draft of emerging technologies that have been identified as being of interest.

Mindmeister: MLA Emerging Technologies:

Please join us for the weekly #HCLDR chat on Tuesday September 3, 2013 at 8:30pm Eastern Time (North America). Hosted by: Patricia Anderson. Moderator: Lisa Fields


American Hospital Association. Adopting Technological Innovation in Hospitals: Who Pays and Who Benefits? (2006)

Anderson P. Maker Movement Meets Healthcare (2013)

Cain M, Mittman R. Diffusion of Innovation in Healthcare. (2002)

Coye MJ, Aubry WM, Yu W. The “Tipping Point” and Health Care Innovations: Advancing the Adoption of Beneficial Technologies (2003)

McCann, Erin. Docs still lag with health IT adoption, Deloitte study sheds light on health IT to-do list (May 2013).

Physician adoption of health information technology: Implications for medical practice leaders and business partners (2013)

Plsek P. Complexity and the Adoption of Innovation in Health Care. (2003)

Porter, Molly. Adoption of Electronic Health Records in the United States (February 2013).

Will It Work Here? A Decisionmaker’s Guide to Adopting Innovations. (AHRQ Publication No. 08-0051 (2008)


Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Medical Librarians Take On Emerging Technology (Week of August 5, 2013)

MLA Systematic Review: Emerging Technologies
MLA Systematic Review: Emerging Technologies: OR

The Medical Library Association has initiated a large systematic review project to assess the level of evidence available to support the profession and practice of medical librarianship in several very important questions. This team, #6, has been assigned to explore this topic: The explosion of information, expanding of technology (especially mobile technology), and complexity of healthcare environment present medical librarians and medical libraries opportunities and challenges. To live up with the opportunities and challenges, what kinds of skill sets or information structure do medical librarians or medical libraries are required to have or acquire so as to be strong partners or contributors of continuing effectiveness to the changing environment?

MLASR6: Who we are:

MLASR6: Emerging Technologies Mindmap:

As part of this process, the group (chaired by THL librarian Patricia Anderson) has a survey and is hosting Twitter chats and other events to try to discover what emerging technologies means both to other librarians and to the communities served by medical libraries. The first Twitter chat on this topic was last night, Thursday, August 8, 2013.

The main technologies highlighted in the conversation were 3D printing and bioprinting, augmented reality, data visualization and big data, Google Glass, medical devices, near field communication, quantified self, and wearable technology. The conversation also included issues such as the digital divide, accessibility, and global access, as well as significant insightful conversation about the economics of emerging tech, roles for librarians, and the importance of having a clear vision of the enterprise goals and purpose as a context for developing new areas of service.

What do you think medical librarians should know about emerging technologies? Fill in the survey and tell us! For more of the conversation, supporting links, and related information, see the Storify:

Medical Librarians Take On Emerging Technology:

First posted to the THL BLog:

Archiving the History of Our Profession: MeSH 50th Anniversary

Medical Library

Many of you know that part of the reason for the decline in my online presence is that I’ve been hard at work for several months now on a few book chapters, the most recent pair about searching for information to support evidence-based practice in dentistry. The one I’ve trying so hard to finish right now is on searching PubMed. As part of this, I am trying to give a little bit of background on where PubMed comes from as part of trying to explain why certain features work the way they do now, sort of how evolution and early constraints shapes the later versions of the tool. For this, even though I rarely spend more than a sentence or two on any specific piece of history, I am searching for articles and content to validate dates of when I think things happened, and similar sorts of proof to support what I’m saying. God forbid I cite the evidence, eh? (Yes, that’s sarcasm, or irony, or something along those lines.

At one point last week I was searching for information about the origins of MeSH, and was delighted to discover a link on the MeSH homepage for their online exhibit about the 50th anniversary celebrations for MeSH.

MeSH 50th Anniversary

Unfortunately, it was a dead link, which surprised me. When did the history of MeSH and the 50th anniversary celebration become “grey literature”, or rather simply lost? Well, last week. I sent a quick email off to Customer Service at NLM on July 31st, and received a reply the following day. To my complete surprise, the reply stated that the link was to old content that had been deleted from the site, and the link to the content should have also been deleted. “The link was meant to be removed but we have the contents as pdf files.” True to their words, they promptly deleted the link from the page.

MeSH 50th Anniversary

I asked why, and was told it is part of their policy to keep web content fresh and lively, as is true of so many other organizations.

web content policy (currency OR current OR lively OR fresh or “up to date”)
Web content policies

Alright, yes, that is a good idea in general, and it is official policy, and there are good reasons for it, but … but … but … how on earth is someone supposed to know that such content ever existed, or that it was preserved as PDFs? How would someone discover that it existed to even ask for a copy? Don’t we want copies of information of interest about the history and origins and evolution of our profession? MeSH is so inextricably intertwined with medical librarianship that it seems to me essential to preserve not only this information but also ready access to it, DISCOVERABLE access.

I understand that the persons involved are simply doing their job the best they can and as they have been instructed to do it. I am not blaming them (which is why I am not giving any names). I see this as a symptom of a broader problem at a higher level. Policies of that sort are usually developed by and for the workflows of “webmasters, IT staff, and those program officials responsible for web content.” Personally, I find it shocking, perhaps even distressing, that a library, especially a library the caliber of the National Library of Medicine would choose to honor a well-intended policy that diminishes access to useful public information rather attempt to inform policy makers of the impact and to try to inject some insight and perspective into the policy reformation process. But that is my perspective, and possibly only mine.

The official guidelines from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) do include policies that allow for the retention of information as well as for the disposal of information, or, as they put it, “records that have been destroyed.” Those NARA guidelines focus on trust, risk, mitigating risk, and responsibility. The guidelines include answers to such questions as “Does managing agency web sites as Federal records mean that I must keep all page changes for a long time?” That was a particularly interesting answer, also.

Q: Does managing agency web sites as Federal records mean that I must keep all page changes for a long time?
A: No. As MANAGING WEB RECORDS and SCHEDULING WEB RECORDS discuss in greater detail, your agency business needs, including the risks to the agency programs and mission should the information not be available, are the major factors in determining how long you need to keep those pages. Your web site schedule specifies the length of time you need to keep pages.

There are some very useful thoughts and considerations in these documents, even though they were drafted in January 2005 and have not been thoroughly updated since them. [ASIDE: There was an addendum issued in 2010 on "recent web technologies" including blogs and wikis, which expires October 31, 2013, so hopefully we'll soon see something more in keeping with the current state of web technologies and trends.] The part that most interested me right now was how they archive content (they recommend “spiders” and “web snapshots”), and how they determine what content should be archived.

NARA Guidance on Scheduling Web Records: How are retention periods for web site-related records determined?

“[T]he agency needs to assess how long the information will be needed to satisfy business needs and mitigate risk, taking into account Government accountability and the protection of legal rights. If specific web content is available in places other than the web, consider whether the existence of the information in other records affects the retention needs for the web records. In the case of information unique to the web site, the web version is the only recordkeeping copy.” NARA Guidance on Scheduling Web Records.

Note especially, “the case of information unique to the web site.” The question becomes how valuable and relevant that information is over time, how worth preservation. There is other information about the history of MeSH. There is the valuable but brief introduction from NLM, duplicated in the MeSH Preface, and a 2006 variant of the same text.

NLM: History of MeSH:

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, there is an online copy of the first volume of MeSH, which I discovered only through a brief blogpost from the NNLM Southeastern/Atlantic Region.

Regarding web-searchable content of the actual 50th celebration itself, we are primarily reduced to the video from the presentation (lacking the transcript, and not located in YouTube for sharing or embedding); an announcement in the NLM Technical Bulletin; and myriad blogposts referencing the now defunct website.

Robert Braude. MeSH at 50 – 50th Anniversary of Medical Subject Headings (The impact of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary on access to biomedical information.)

50th Anniversary Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) Event. November 02, 2010 [posted]. NLM Technical Bulletin 2010 NOVEMBER–DECEMBER No. 377.

I did search in Google for the actual title of Dr. Braude’s presentation (“MeSH at 50 or Should It Now Join AARP”), and found one hit, from a chemical industry page evidently created by scraping the web through a spider and still online.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 1.52.30 PM

Oh. Dear. He did such a splendid presentation, and now we can’t even find out that he had done it.

“As with other agency records, most web records do not warrant permanent retention and should be scheduled for disposal in accordance with the guidance provided above. In instances where NARA determines that a site or portions of a site has long-term historical value, NARA will work with the creating agency to develop procedures to preserve the records and provide for their transfer to the National Archives.” NARA Guidance on Scheduling Web Records.

Was the MeSH 50th Anniversary content archived with NARA? I don’t know. I don’t know how to find out. I did have an idea for how to find what was missing. If I can’t find the government’s information from the actual government, if I can’t trust the government to keep available the information I need or want from them, I look in the Internet Archive. The Archive is not a government organization. They are “a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library.” What happens when the Archive runs out of money, I don’t know. I will say the idea scares me.

Meanwhile, I was able to find an archived copy of the main page before the link was deleted. NLM: MeSH:

Why couldn’t I find this in Google? Because the Archive is part of what is known as the Internet’s “Deep Web.” The Deep Web is, according to Wikipedia, “The Deep Web (also called the Deepnet, the Invisible Web, the Darknet, the Undernet or the hidden Web) is World Wide Web content that is not part of the Surface Web, which is indexed by standard search engines.” Most websites that require you to perform a search to get to their content would be considered part of the Deep Web, especially if the search results do not generate a persistent URL. If the results do generate a permanent URL, then it is possible (although challenging) to create a resource that maps those links to the deep content of the site in a space which is searchable by Google.

That’s what I’m going to do now, for the web pages for the MeSH 50th anniversary. I’m doing this because I want to be able to find it again, more easily than it was for me this time. I’m doing this because Robert Braude said important things about MeSH and how it got here, because he gave faces and lively personalities to the people behind this famously dull and detailed masterwork, because he (and the rest of the 50th celebration site) gave a context that I have never seen anywhere else. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from Braude’s presentation.

“When I received the invitation to speak today on the history of MeSH, I was truly shocked. I wondered how the History of Medicine Division dredged up my name but then I realized — I was NOW history.”

* * *

“Rather I choose to focus on the antecedents of MeSH, the fertile soil prepared by so many from which MeSH grew. These antecedents, shrouded in the dim mist of history, are, I think, of more interest. Revealing them, I believe, will give us a stronger sense of how far back the chain of MeSH development goes.”

* * *

(Quoting Janet Doe) “It is, moreover, economically unsound for all of our individual libraries to be trying to do for themselves what can only be adequately done by experts drudging away tirelessly for years on a fully representative collection of material.”

* * *

“Why MeSH; what were the forces shaping the effort to create such a resource?”

* * *

“Stan Jablonski, esteemed author of the Illustrated dictionary of eponymic syndromes and diseases and their synonyms and the Dictionary of medical acronyms & abbreviations was there, towering above us all physically as well as intellectually. Coffee breaks with Stan were a treat and an education. And I will never forget having to turn in my used pencils at the end of the day to Gus Gillespie since funds were just as tight then as they are now.”

* * *

“One of the problems with the constant changes to MeSH was searching backwards in time, for one needed to know what heading had been previously used.”

* * *

“The issue raised by Claudius Mayer was that there was no way a single authority list for cataloging monographs and indexing the periodical literature could be developed. Wrong Claudius, Dr. Rogers did it with MeSH.”

Here are the links to the Archive’s copy of the MeSH 50th Anniersary pages that have been lost to Google search.

Celebrating MeSH: 50 years of Medical Subject Headings

50 Years of Medical Subject Headings:
Past, Present, and Future Impact on Biomedical Information
Robert M. Braude, MLS, PhD, AHIP, FMLA, FACMI
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Faces of MeSH:

Milestones in MeSH:

History of MeSH:

Publications about MeSH

Last Week in the Arxiv: H-Index, Healthcare, Public Health, Pinterest, Philosophy, and More


As an emerging technologies librarian, I scan information in many different places. For the most part, I end up scanning spaces (Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, etc), sources (MIT Tech Review, Gizmodo, GigaOM, TechHive), and events (TEDMED, other TED & TEDx spaces, Healthdatapalooza, CTIA Awards, Horizon Report, many more) as well as innumerable blogs and a ton of other places where people also scan and post emerging tech information. Many of the news sources and blogs I track follow other blogs I track, and it seems like ideas and discoveries float back and forth in that community, with daisy chains of this via A who found it via B who found it via C. and on and on. Typically, I always feel behind on what’s the new thing, because I’m finding out not just second hand, but more like 10th hand. Even if that’s still ahead of most people I know, I still feel behind, as if what I am doing is reactive instead of anticipatory or proactive, although that really depends on context and point of view, I guess..

There are very few places I can go scan easily for new discoveries and actually be one of the first to notice it. Peer-reviewed journals sometimes qualify. Proceedings of conferences are better for new info but harder to access and to identify what’s most important. The Arxiv is one of my favorite places where I can consistently discover the very newest and most interesting trends. Some folk might say, hey, wait a sec, that’s where they collect PHYSICS articles, there’s nothing there for healthcare or librarianship! You might be surprised. I don’t normally collect these here, but I thought I would once, just to show what it’s like. Here are the pieces from Arxiv that I was noticing last week, covering h-index, healthcare, social media, mathematics, and more.

These first two didn’t fit in the other categories, so I am mentioning them separately. I thought the NSF Proposal Review Pilot is of exceptional interest to anyone in biological or life sciences who are involved with grant processes, either competing for funds or in administrative roles. The Satta piece on person re-identification ties in with my current interests in transparency & privacy, and how both of these relate to security at both the national and personal levels.

Incentives, Quality, and Risks: A Look Into the NSF Proposal Review Pilot
Parinaz Naghizadeh, Mingyan Liu
(Submitted on 24 Jul 2013)

Appearance Descriptors for Person Re-identification: a Comprehensive Review
Riccardo Satta
(Submitted on 22 Jul 2013)

* Hirsch Index & Bibliometrics

The h-index is truly part of hard core librarianship, at least in the sciences. The h-index is a subset of the field of bibliometrics through which mathematics is applied to assessing the influence of an author’s work. The goal is to assess quality less through bias and more through actual performance. The impact factor was developed more to assess journal title influence overall, and had been being misapplied to assess author quality. Probably not coincidentally, the h-index was first proposed also in a posting to the Arxiv! In this set of recent articles posted to the Arxiv, there are so many pieces on the h-index it makes my head spin, along with some broader pieces looking at trends and significance in bibliometrics and scientometrics.

H Index of scientific Nursing journals according to Google Scholar Metrics (2007-2011)
Liliana Marcela Reina Leal, Rafael Repiso, Emilio Delgado Lopez-Cozar
(Submitted on 16 Jul 2013)

On house renovation and coauthoring (with a little excursus on the Holy Grail of bibliometrics)
Roberto Piazza
(Submitted on 22 Jul 2013)

The “Academic Trace” of the Performance Matrix: A Mathematical Synthesis of the h-Index and the Integrated Impact Indicator (I3)
Fred Y. Ye, Loet Leydesdorff
(Submitted on 13 Jul 2013)

The predictability of the Hirsch index evolution
Michael Schreiber
(Submitted on 23 Jul 2013)

Is there currently a scientific revolution in scientometrics?
Lutz Bornmann
(Submitted on 24 Jul 2013)

* Life Sciences & Healthcare

If anyone questioned the relevance of scanning the Arxiv for emerging technologies in healthcare, this should set that question to rest. Innovations in breast scanning, Robotic surgery, brain mapping, colon cancer, and genomics are all represented in this set. The cancer data warehouse evaluation could have easily fit into either the healthcare set or the librarian set.

Evaluating a healthcare data warehouse for cancer diseases
Dr.Osama E.Sheta, Ahmed Nour Eldeen
(Submitted on 12 Jul 2013)

AliBI: An Alignment-Based Index for Genomic Datasets
Hector Ferrada, Travis Gagie, Tommi Hirvola, Simon J. Puglisi
(Submitted on 24 Jul 2013)

Reconstruction of gene regulatory network of colon cancer using information theoretic approach
Khalid Raza, Rafat Parveen
(Submitted on 14 Jul 2013)

Human Brain Mapping based on COLD Signal Hemodynamic Response and Electrical Neuroimaging
Revati Shriram, M. Sundhararajan, Nivedita Daimiwal
(Submitted on 16 Jul 2013)

Robotic Arm for Remote Surgery
Steven Dinger, John Dickens, Adam Pantanowitz
(Submitted on 22 Jul 2013)

Numerical Methods for Coupled Reconstruction and Registration in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis
Guang Yang, John H. Hipwell, David J. Hawkes, Simon R. Arridge
(Submitted on 23 Jul 2013)

* Public Health

Yes, I could have included these in the section above on healthcare. I thought it might be sufficiently surprising to others to find articles on public health in the Arxiv that it was worth breaking them out in their own section to draw attention to the fact. Now, of course, those involved in epidemiology, mathematical modeling of health concerns, and health statistics (topics that fit nicely in the scope of the Arxiv) may be less surprised. These two pieces are both on the spread of diseases, and modeling of these. I particularly found of interest the first piece on how relationships between two people can impact the spread of disease in much larger communities. Puts a rather different color on romantic breakups!

Beginning and end times of dyadic relationships control disease spreading in empirical contact data
Petter Holme, Fredrik Liljeros
(Submitted on 24 Jul 2013)

Mathematical models for epidemic spreading on complex networks
Wojciech Ganczarek
(Submitted on 21 Jul 2013)

* Social Media & Networks

Many of the pieces in this group focus on critical contemporary issues such as trust, collaboration, decision making, information discovery, searching, normative behaviors, as well as tools and visualization modalities to simplify and speed up discovery and analysis in these areas. But, yes, there is actually a research piece on Pinterest! How could I not love a piece titled, “The Pin-Bang Theory”?

Extracting the trustworthiest way to service provider in complex online social networks
Lianggui Liu
(Submitted on 18 Jun 2013)

Online Communities: Visualization and Formalization
Jonathan P. Bowen
(Submitted on 23 Jul 2013)

The Pin-Bang Theory: Discovering The Pinterest World
Sudip Mittal, Neha Gupta, Prateek Dewan, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru
(Submitted on 18 Jul 2013)

Attention and Visibility in an Information Rich World
Nathan O. Hodas, Kristina Lerman
(Submitted on 17 Jul 2013)

Crowd-assisted Search for Price Discrimination in E-Commerce: First results
Jakub Mikians, László Gyarmati, Vijay Erramilli, Nikolaos Laoutaris
(Submitted on 17 Jul 2013)

Influence of media on collective debates
Walter Quattrociocchi, Guido Caldarelli, Antonio Scala
(Submitted on 16 Jul 2013)

* Mathematics, Big Data, & Philosophy

The Aaronson piece on Turing is a tempting philosophical and historically flavored short book. Cooper talks about embodied computation. I am not sure yet what he means by that phrase, but I’ve been increasingly fascinated by trends toward what I think of as embodied devices — computational and self-tracking healthcare devices that are literally embedded in the body, and thus … embodied? Big data is currently not just an interest of mine, but also of many of my colleagues working with various research facilities around campus, our data librarians, and the ICPSR data archiving folk as well. And mazes? Well, they are always interesting, and lessons about how humans solve physical or visual mazes may also lead to insights in human decisionmaking in other areas. Try to prove that medical decisionmaking does not involve similar strategies to those used in solving mazes. Yeah, I thought so.

The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine
Scott Aaronson
(Submitted on 2 Jun 2013 (v1), last revised 7 Jun 2013 (this version, v2))

The Mathematician’s Bias – and the Return to Embodied Computation
S. Barry Cooper
(Submitted on 19 Apr 2013)

Rethinking Abstractions for Big Data: Why, Where, How, and What
Mary Hall, Robert M. Kirby, Feifei Li, Miriah Meyer, Valerio Pascucci, Jeff M. Phillips, Rob Ricci, Jacobus Van der Merwe, Suresh Venkatasubramanian
(Submitted on 14 Jun 2013)

Understanding Humans’ Strategies in Maze Solving
Min Zhao, Andre G. Marquez
(Submitted on 22 Jul 2013)

A Solution in Sight: Vision 2020, Global, Local, and with Libraries

Perception, Divided

Vision 2020 is not a new project. In fact, they’ve been an official initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and many other organizations since 1999.

“The mission of the VISION 2020 Global Initiative is to eliminate the main causes of all preventable and treatable blindness as a public health issue by the year 2020.”
Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment:

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB): Vision 2020, Right to Sight:

Why bring it up now? Because Elsevier’s Innovative Libraries grant program recently funded a project to expand the role of libraries in support of the Vision 2020 goals. They are doing this by funding a connection between the Association of Vision Science Librarians (AVSL) and the Seva Foundation. Here’s why.

Reason One
“90% of the 39 million people who are blind live in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that eight out of every ten cases of blindness can be prevented or cured.” Seva: Programs: Sight:

Reason Two
“A major challenge is access to ophthalmic information. All institutions need both information resources and staff skilled at providing access to information and training others to use these resources. Thus, resource centers and their librarians are key players in the effort to meet the goals of Vision 2020. There are also many barriers to finding and using eye care information resources in developing countries. Among them are the cost of resources, connectivity and training; lack of awareness of available resources and the skills to use them; difficulty retaining skilled librarians; and librarians who are unable to use their knowledge and skills.”
Vision librarians tackle avoidable blindness:

The need for information support, and the barriers described regarding access to health information are as true of most (if not all) other health conditions as they are of eye diseases and ophthalmologic conditions. Consider the idea of more closely connecting librarians to health information needs at all levels!

Here’s the great video explaining this program.

Solution in Sight: Eight Vision Libraries Tackle Avoidable Blindness:

Also, keep in mind the excellent vision information resources available here on campus.

John W. Henderson Library and On-line Resources

Gale Oren
Associate Librarian, Henderson Library
Instructor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


First posted at THL Blog:

Stack O’ Books — Sources on Transparency and Privacy, All

Stack O' Books

I’m both a writer and a librarian, and I’m having trouble deciding whether to call this an index or a Table of Contents after the fact, or a collection, or something else, but the gist of the idea is along those lines. Here are links to all the posts in the Stack O’ Books series all in one place. At the bottom of the post, I also list the books by publication date, and alphabetical by author.

Part One:

The Anarchist in the Library (2004) by Siva Vaidhyanathan.
As the Future Catches You (2000, 2001), by Juan Enriquez.

Part Two:

The Best Science Writing Online 2012, by Bora Zikovic and Jennifer Ouellette.
Decentralization, Sketches Toward a Rational Theory (1980), by Manfred Kochen and Karl W. Deutsch.

Part Three:

Endless Frontier (1997), by G. Pascal Zachary.
Extreme Trust (2012), by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers.

Part Four:

The Filter Bubble (2011), by Eli Pariser.
Growth of Knowledge (1967), edited by Manfred Kochen.

Part Five:

Information for Action (1975), by Manfred Kochen.
Information for the Community (1976), by Manfred Kochen.

Part Six:

Invisible Colleges (1972), by Diana Crane.
My Stroke of Insight (2006), by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.

Part Seven:

Science Since Babylon (1961), by Derek John DeSolla Price
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1999), by Richard Feynman.

Part Eight:

Six Degrees (2003), by Dunan J. Watts.
The Transparent Society (1998), by David Brin.

In Sequence by Publication Date

1961: Science Since Babylon, by Derek John DeSolla Price
1967: Growth of Knowledge, edited by Manfred Kochen.
1972: Invisible Colleges, by Diana Crane.
1975: Information for Action, by Manfred Kochen.
1976: Information for the Community, by Manfred Kochen.
1980: Decentralization, Sketches Toward a Rational Theory, by Manfred Kochen and Karl W. Deutsch.
1997: Endless Frontier, by G. Pascal Zachary.
1998: The Transparent Society, by David Brin.
1999: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman.
2000: As the Future Catches You, by Juan Enriquez.
2003: Six Degrees, by Dunan J. Watts.
2004: The Anarchist in the Library by Siva Vaidhyanathan.
2006: My Stroke of Insight, by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.
2011: The Filter Bubble, by Eli Pariser.
2012: Extreme Trust, by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers.
2013: The Best Science Writing Online 2012, by Bora Zikovic and Jennifer Ouellette.

Alphabetical by Author

Brin, David. The Transparent Society (1998).
Crane, Diana. Invisible Colleges (1972).
De Solla Price, Derek John. Science Since Babylon (1961).
Enriquez, Juan. As the Future Catches You (2000, 2001).
Feynman, Richard. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1999).
Kochen, Manfred; Deutsch, Karl W. Decentralization, Sketches Toward a Rational Theory (1980).
Kochen, Manfred. Growth of Knowledge (1967).
Kochen, Manfred. Information for Action (1975).
Kochen, Manfred. Information for the Community (1976).
Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble (2011).
Peppers, Don; Rogers, Martha. Extreme Trust (2012)
Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight (2006).
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Anarchist in the Library (2004).
Watts, Duncan J. Six Degrees (2003).
Zachary, G. Pascal. Endless Frontier (1997).
Zikovic, Bora; Ouellette, Jennifer. The Best Science Writing Online 2012.