Search Archive


Pageflakes for teaching

How to use RSS for teaching
.."Pageflakes has customized their platform so that it can be of practical use for teachers and students. It seems that Pageflakes site have been used by teachers to interact on-line with their students"..


DAF v2.0

DAF v2.0 provides all the necessary tools required to manage the whole process of a digitization workflow, including its various Phases, User management, file movement and archiving. It provides the flexibility to manage multiple simultaneous projects with a diversity of materials, covering books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, unbound materials, audio, video, and slides.

GMail security failure

WARNING: Google’s GMail security failure leaves my business sabotaged :: David Airey :: Graphic and Logo Designer
.."What if you also discovered that this was happening because of a Google security infection that can affect every GMail user on the planet?"..


kwout - A way to quote
"kwout" is a way you quote a part of a web page as an image with an image map.


The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

How to Improve Your Skills at Office Politics

Computer program that converts XML and HTML into PDF documents

Prince: What's New
Prince is a computer program that converts XML and HTML into PDF documents.
Prince can read many XML formats, including XHTML and SVG.
Prince formats documents according to style sheets written in CSS.

Evidence-based Reviews and Databases: Are They Worth the Effort?

Evidence-based Reviews and Databases: Are They Worth the Effort? Developing Evidence Summaries for Emergency Medicine -- Wyer and Rowe 14 (11): 960 -- Academic Emergency Medicine

.."A broad range of relevant evidence-based resources exists within and outside of EM that collates and summarizes clinical evidence pertaining to many practice questions. Such resources may or may not embrace the equivalent of health care recommendations, and their relationship to clinical decision-making may be complex. A trade-off exists between synthesis quality and ease of practitioner access and use. Keeping all such resources current and valid is a major challenge. Although observational evidence suggests that dynamic interactivity and information retrieval technology may enhance practitioner utilization of these evidence resources, little evidence exists supporting the absolute or comparative effectiveness of different kinds of resources and databases in enhancing evidence uptake or changing clinician behavior"..


They are now talking about "Web 3.0 and medicine"

Web 3.0 and medicine -- Giustini 335 (7633): 1273 -- BMJ
.."In medicine, finding the best evidence has become increasingly difficult, even for librarians. Despite its constant accessibility, Google’s search results are emblematic of an approaching crisis with information overload, and this is duplicated by Yahoo and other search engines. Consequently, medical librarians are leading doctors back to trusted sources, such as PubMed, Clinical Evidence, and the Cochrane Library, and even taking them to their library bookshelves instead. Unless better channels of information are created in web 3.0, we can expect the information glut to continue"..


Another Journal Publisher uses OJS

Learned from Peter Suber, Open Access News that Merlien is a new Open Access Journal Publisher. On visiting their site, was glad to see that they are also using Open Journal Systems (OJS) from PKP. However, out of their three journals - only "The Journal of E-Working" has actually been published. An article - "Framework for Constructing Effective Virtual Teams" by Gaudes and others attracted my attention.

Thinking too much?

According to 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People - Thinking too much without taking any action is bad. It makes your ineffective.
.."Paralysis by analysis can waste years of your life. There is nothing wrong with thinking before you do something. Do some research, make a plan, explore potential upsides and problems. But compulsively thinking and thinking and thinking is just another way to waste your time"..
There have been so many ideas coming to me. I have been thinking and just thinking about them, but without any result. Will have to change. "Think and Act" should be my new year's resolution.


New opportunities for health sciences librarians

Bioinformatics opportunities for health sciences librarians and information professionals
.."Traditional librarian activities such as communication, collection development, education and training, writing, and intranet services are equally necessary to support research in bioinformatics, as in any other field, but the diverse set of resources and requirements for extensive domain knowledge in multiple fields places new demands on health information professionals supporting the success of this field. Training and continuing education will enable health information professionals to reach beyond traditional roles and become integral participants in biomedical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and vaccine research projects.."

FireShot a Firefox add-on to capture screenshots

FireShot :: Firefox Add-ons
FireShot is a Firefox extension that creates screenshots of web pages. Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify captures and insert text and graphical annotations. Such functionality will be especially useful for web designers, testers and content reviewers.


ISI Impact Factor Data Under Fire

The Medium is the Message: ISI Impact Factor Data Under Fire (again) further puts Impact Factors under suspicion.

Impact Factor / “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics”

There is a very popular saying - “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” So, “Statistics” has been labeled as one type of lies. This is due to the fact that even the most accurate statistics could be used to support inaccurate arguments.

“Impact Factors” are also statistics derived out of academic citations. If not understood properly could be misused to support wrong arguments. Need not say again that these too are statistics after all. These numbers originated from the “Information Storage and Retrieval” domain as the by-product of citation indexing. However are being increasingly (mis)used in measuring the academic excellence of individual scientists.

If we go about 60 years back, we know that in 1950s, lot many things were happening in the Information Storage and Retrieval domains. Machines (Early Computers) had shown the promise of information revolution. However, natural languages were found to be inadequate to map concepts with words or phrases. Major problems were mainly due the use of synonyms, homonyms, gender, numbers, order of words in phrases and punctuation marks in natural languages. These grammatical goodies enrich natural languages and make sense to human brains. However in the domain of information retrieval these inhibited one-to-one mapping between concepts and words. So controlled vocabularies like MeSH were being developed.

Mr. Eugene Garfield however thought of innovative way of mapping between concepts by relying on the citations among articles. It goes like this; if “A” cites “C” and “B” also cites “C” then “A” and “B” are referencing to same concept. He did not use “words” to map “concepts” and hence avoided the problems associated with languages.

(In 1958, Eugene Garfield starts ISI with a loan of US$500. - Science for Sale - Features - The Lab - Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Gateway to Science)

Garfield developed the concept of citation indexing in 1950s. A product based on his citation indexing - “Science Citation Index (SCI)” was released officially in 1964. It was meant to be a tool of scientific information retrieval. SCI become more popular for its utility to measure scientific productivity rather than being a search engine. It was due to its by-product “SCI Journal Citation Reports (JCR)” launched officially in 1975. A parameter was evolved to compare various large journals and this parameter become to know as Journal Impact Fact. In the absence of any other objective criteria – Journal Impact Factor has been widely accepted parameter for comparing the “quality” of journals. E. Garfield himself describes the rise of SCI and Impact Factors in the following article.

- E. Garfield. The evolution of the Science Citation Index (2007)

However, one should always remember that “Impact Factors” that are calculated are only applicable to journals included in ISI database (SCI). I am very frequently encountered by this question – what is the impact factor of some Indian journal? Well very few Indian journals are covered in SCI database, so except for few, most do not have impact factors. I feel like replying –There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and impact factors! Because I know that these “impact factors” being applied to areas for which they were never meant. It sometimes becomes very difficult to explain that it undercounts the number of citations from journals in less-developed countries. The research priorities for less-developed countries could be entirely different that of developed countries. If the research is not of contemporary interest of journals indexed in ISI databases it is unlikely to be cited. Linking research to citations and impact factors could lead to a situation where the less-developed countries fund for the research problems of the developed countries. Academic administrators - without knowing complexities of the Impact Factors – are now increasingly temped to apply these to measure the individual productivity of scientists. The following article explains the problem with such “numbers”.

- Richard Monastersky. "The Number That's Devouring Science", The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 14 2005.

Here is one more reference:

- P.O. Seglen. Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. (1997) BMJ 314(7079): 498-502. PubMed: 9056804.

[Try - for full text]

However, there is one good thing about these “Impact Factors”. They at least are best at indicating the "popularity" of journals. Well - does "popularity" and "quality" means the same?

One more thing - they arose from “citation indexing” which the founders of Google used to develop a killer search engine.

Google and Library Digitisation



Lifehacker's 2007 Guide

Library Blogosphere

The Bloggers Among Us - 12/15/2007 - Library Journal
..A survey of the library blogosphere shows the mainstreaming of the medium..

Your Inner Librarian

About Your Inner Librarian
..''Why be a librarian in the 21st century?"..

Personas for Firefox

Mozilla Labs Blog » Blog Archive » Personas for Firefox
Personas for Firefox is a extension that adds lightweight theming to your browser.

Task MLA - Force on Social Networking Software - Findings

Task Force on Social Networking Software » Blogs - social networking software survey analysis
.."Hospital librarians are significantly more likely to never use blogs in their professional lives, whereas academic librarians are significantly more likely to use blogs daily in their professional lives (p <.0001)"..



Mahalo is a human-powered search engine that creates organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results for the most popular search terms.

Presentation noted by Peter Suber's Blog

Educational fair use today

Educational fair use today, by Mr. Jonathan Band, JD.

.."Three recent appellate decisions concerning fair use should give educators and librarians greater confidence and guidance for asserting this important privilege. In all three decisions, the courts permitted extensive copying and display in the commercial context because the uses involved repurposing and recontextualization. The reasoning of these opinions could have far-reaching implications in the educational environment"..


HubPages - where you can easily publish information on a topic you love to write about.

Academic Commons

Academic Commons aims to share knowledge, develop collaborations, and evaluate and disseminate digital tools and innovative practices for teaching and learning with technology.

About RSS

RSS Specifications and RSS Feeds - A reference site detailing about RSS

A new Medline exploration approach

An active visual search interface for Medline. [Comput Syst Bioinformatics Conf. 2007]
A new Medline exploration approach by incorporating interactive visualization together with powerful grouping, summary, sorting and active external content retrieval functions.


Google Profile

About the Google Profile
A Google Profile is simply how you represent yourself on Google products — it lets you tell others a bit more about who you are and what you're all about. You control what goes into your Google Profile, sharing as much (or as little) as you'd like.

Open Journal System (OJS) 2.2 Released

Version 2.2 of Open Journal System - an open source software to manage publication of scholarly journals has been Released. It has improved the metadata storage and has support for numerous external packages and services such as OpenAds, phpMyVisites, and Google Analytics.


Free Government Information (FGI)

I like the tag line "Government Information needs to be Free" of Free Government Information (FGI) - an initiative taken by three Librarians.

Free Government Information (FGI) | Because government information needs to be free
.."Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information"..

Cataloging and metadata pilot by OCLC

OCLC to conduct new cataloging and metadata pilot [OCLC]
.."OCLC is conducting a pilot project to explore the viability and efficiency of capturing metadata from publishers and vendors upstream and enhancing that metadata in WorldCat, an approach that could provide added value to libraries and publishers by enhancing and delivering data that can work in multiple contexts and systems"..

Knols by Google

Official Google Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge - Google has announced that they have started inviting a selected group of people to try their new, free tool "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge.

.."Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads"..

Guide to the surgical literature

Users' guide to the surgical literature: how to us...[Can J Surg. 2007] - PubMed Result
Users' guide to the surgical literature: how to use a decision analysis - Free Full text of the article is available.


Medical Informatics and Decision Making Journal

BioMed Central | BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in information management, systems and technology in healthcare and the study of medical decision making. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (ISSN 1472-6947) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Thomson Scientific (ISI) and Google Scholar.

Hand Book of Medical Informatics

Hand Book of Medical Informatics (free web version). Edited by J.H. van Bemmel, Erasmus University, Rotterdam and M.A. Musen, Stanford University, Stanford.

It covers Data, Information and Computers. Coding and classification of Patient Data. Patient-Centered Information Systems and Medical Knowledge and Decision Support. Strategies for Medical Knowledge Acquisition; Hospital Information Systems; Health Information Resources and Methodology for Information Processing . It also includes a chapter on Medical Informatics as a Profession including Education, Training and International Developments in Medical Informatics.

This free web version of the Handbook has not been updated since 1999. The latest edition (2007) of this handbook is publised from Springer.


Open Access Calendar 2008

Key Perspectives. Consultants to the scholarly information industry. Publishing consultants. Open access.
A 2008 Open Access calendar, created by Alma Swan, is now available. [Thanks Rupak Chakravarty]

Pediatrics | Paediatrics | Pediatric Education | Paediatric Education - is a Pediatric Digital Library and Learning Collaboratory intended to serve as a source of continuing pediatric education.

UMich OAI Toolkit

UMich OAI Toolkit is a set of Perl based tools for harvesting OAI data and creating an OAI-PMH 2.0 compliant data provider.


Scriblio » About Scriblio
Scriblio is an open source CMS and OPAC with faceted searching and browsing features based on WordPress.


3000 Open Access Journals in DOAJ

Directory of open access journals now lists 3000 journals.

Movable Type Open Source Project - Home for the MT Community: Welcome to the Movable Type Open Source Project
The Movable Type Open Source Project is a community effort, led by Six Apart, devoted to creating an open source version of Movable Type, the award winning, ground breaking and revolutionary blogging platform.

Movable Type

Movable Type Publishing Platform
A platform for building easy-to-maintain blog, web, and social media sites.

Growth of Open Access


E-LIS is an open access archive for scientific or technical documents, published or unpublished, on Librarianship, Information Science and Technology, and related areas.

Pipl - A tool for searching people

Came across Lifehacker's feature on How to Track Down Anyone Online. Just tried Pipl. Seems to be good tool for searching people on the web. It claims to go deep in Hidden web to cull out details about individuals.

Bio-Medical Information Retrieval from Net

Yesterday, I made a presentation at Lady Irwin College (New Delhi) on "Bio-Medical Information Retrieval from Net". The Presentation consisted of over 90 Power Point PPT slides keeping in mind the information needs of Bio-Medical Researchers. However it did not cover some good subscription based services like "Web of Science" as the focus was on freely available resources on Net.

The presentation can be viewed or Downloaded from

Presentation starts with an emphasis on the need of having a plan in the form search strategy and evaluation of the retrieved results. The best tool and Internet resource to explore would depend upon the type of information being sought from the net. For general non-scholarly information Internet Search Engines, Meta Search Engines, Web Directories and Subject Guides would be the best way to start with. However there is need to evaluate all such information. Simple criteria - like the authority behind the information; the date of creation and modification and commercial interests if any - can be used to evaluate the authenticity of the information retrieved. Medical websites with "HONcode" logo could be easily evaluated and trusted.

For scholarly literature, researchers are advised to start with Bibliographic Databases. These databases provide references to high quality peer reviewed journals. PubMed and IndMED (For Indian Journals) are best known under this category. The presentation has some interesting pictures to explain the need for "Controlled Vocabulary" like MeSH. Other tools like Scirus can also be used for retrieving scholarly information. Google Scholar can be used to for limited "Cited By" information along with references.

Coming to Full Text of articles, looking for libraries' holdings would be a better strategy. "Union Catalogue" is useful tool to explore collection of neighborhood libraries. Many good journals are now coming out from Open Access Publishers like BioMed Central and PLoS. Some of the good Indian medical journals are also available for free through Internet. NIC's medIND project and MedKnow (an Indian Open Access Publisher) have been instrumental in putting most of them online. Directory of Open Access Journals is a useful tool to find out Open Access Journals in a subject domain. Other resources for finding full text articles are Institutional (like ePrints@IISc ) and Subject Repositories (like OpenMED@NIC). There are now about 1000 such registered and OAI-PMH compliant repositories all over the world. Tools like ROAR can be used to find a relevant repository. These repositories can also be searched through search engine like Google and some special OAI-PMH search engines.

The presentation ends with some special type of resources like Cochrane Library (made freely accessible to Resident Indians through sponsorship by ICMR).


Open access to published health-care research - WHO has the password

Denying open access to published health-care research: WHO has the password? Sarin R, - J Can Res Ther
"..Health-care professionals in the developing world are being increasingly expected to provide acceptable levels of contemporary clinical care despite resource constraints and to develop cost-effective and evidence-based solutions suited for their health-care setup. This unenviable task is greatly hampered by their limited access to relevant published biomedical research conducted within and outside the developing world.."

IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition

IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition - Nobody Makes it Easier
IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition is a no-charge enterprise search software solution that enables rapid deployment of intranet and file system search for both employees and customers.


List of Medical Wikis

Open Source Knowledge Management

Science Commons » Blog Archive » What’s “open source knowledge management”?
Science Commons is developing all of the key elements for a free, web-enabled KM system for biological research that anyone can use, and anyone can build on.


Project2Manage is a free hosted project management solution.

Indian Journal of Medical Informatics

Indian Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI) is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, online journal adopting a broad definition of "medical informatics" and focusing on the applied aspects of computers to healthcare delivery.


I liked the tag line - "Advocating Well-Strocked National Digital Libraries" of TeleRead. It also has a write-up on how TeleRead would help librarians to serve their readers. Especially in case of small towns and urban neighborhoods by reducing paperwork and administrative overheads.

Ethics of Open Access to Biomedical Research

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine | Abstract | 1747-5341-2-31 | Ethics of open Access to biomedical research: Just a special case of ethics of open access to research
.."Most research is funded so as to be conducted and published, by researchers, in order to be taken up, used, and built upon in further research and applications, again by researchers (pure and applied, including practitioners), for the benefit of the public that funded it -- not in order to generate revenue for the peer-reviewed journal publishing industry (nor even because there is a burning public desire to read much of it). Hence OA needs to be mandated, by researchers' institutions and funders, for all research.."

Database of Web 2.0 Applications

Office 2.0 Database is a listing of Web 2.0 Applications and their details.


Reliability of journal impact factor rankings

BioMed Central | Abstract | 1471-2288-7-48 | Reliability of journal impact factor rankings
Decisions placed on journal impact factors are potentially misleading where the uncertainty associated with the measure is ignored.

Magic RSS

Magic RSS allows you to present any RSS feed on any web page with the insertion of one line of code.



National Institute of General Medical Sciences established MIDAS, Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study, to investigate novel computational and mathematical models of existing and emerging infectious diseases.


Video on RFID in Library

Found a video to illustrate how RFID is used in Library. It also shows how and what makes it work.

Census of India - Website

Census of India website provides comprehensive data up to State level free of cost for registered members (Free).

NKC on online educational resoureces

Web is creating fresh opportunities - and challenges - for chemistry

Surfing Web2O
..The emphasis on user-generated content, shared amongst online social networks, is typical of Web 2.0, the umbrella term for the current evolutionary stage of the world wide web. In this 'social web', swamps of data could be powerfully linked together. Search engines can trawl it to pick out whatever another user asks for. And user 'tagging', together with underlying machine-readable descriptions, means that related information can be easily linked. For example, clicking on a molecule could eventually bring up not just a 3D picture and a list of properties, but also the related online articles, experiments, videos and blog posts that refer to it..


IT now happens in India!!!!: Library NEXT

Fully functional Next Generation libraries now becoming reality in India. This I realized only last Saturday (1st December 2007).

I happened to visit NATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE DOCUMENTATION CENTRE-NASSDOC (ICSSR) at 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi 110 001. They hosted a meeting of "Ranganathan Research Circle". After the meeting, the hosts took us for a visit of their library. Well I was fascinated to see latest technology working for their library.

An ordinary library user needs to have his / her RFID embedded library card to get hold and carry home a book of his/her choice. That too without having to come in personal contact with library staff.

Library Card

The reader would be able to enter the library by swiping one's card at a special entry / exit automated gate.

Automated Entry / Exit Gate

Once in the library, the user can search library catalogue. It is computerised and available in the form of an online database commonly known as OPAC - Online Public Access Catalogue. I found three terminal aesthetically placed in front of large banner depicting the utility of catalogue.

Library OPAC

Searching OPAC could be useful. But as we know, most users would browse through the stacks. This comes naturally to human mind. One can easily browse the library stack area with help of guides. These guides are full of colours with well thought out background and labels.

Stack Guides

Book stakes are made of wood that matches with the lovely atmosphere of the library. The shelves are made of think glass slabs. Not wonder sliding books to withdraw give a silky touch and hence protect book edges.

Stack Area

All books have a RFID tag pasted below the accession slip. The tag is in the shape of a white small square patch that is noticed only when observed.

Book with RFID Tag

After getting a document of choice, one can choose to sit in a well lighted reading area. Few computer workstations are also available. So internet and electronic databases are are also available to readers.

Reading Area

Taking a book home is easy. Keep it with library card on the Automated Issue / Return Kiosk. Issue it and take it away. The automated security exit would not make any fuss.

Automated Issue / Return Kiosk

I hope Indian Libraries would soon witness adoption of such innovative technologies. The library staff would be spared from routine issue / return activities. Now they can devote their time and energy in some better activities. The 'stereo typed public perception' about librarians would also change.

So can we call such libraries as ATM Libraries?


2collab is a social bookmarking site where you can store and organize your favorite internet resources – such as blogs, websites, research articles, and more. Then, in private or public groups you can decide to share your bookmarks with others – stimulating debate and discussion.


Some links to ejournals and open access to health science information

NN/LM Electronic Journals and Open Access
Selection of links to basic resources about electronic journals in the health sciences and about open access to health science information.