Medicine in the Age of the Internet

The ‘Open Medicine‘ blog is a companion to the Open Access ‘Open Medicine Journal’. The trend with many journals is to have a blog to highlight some of the papers and to give the editor a social media platform for commentary. The Open Medicine blog has a simple design with a white background with blue title pane.  There were ten articles on the home page at the time of writing which increases the loading time of the page whilst giving the reader rapid access to more articles once the page is loaded. Articles are titled and dated with author details. The reader can comment on articles but must register and login to do so. The articles are displayed in full saving the reader from needing to click on a ‘read more’ link to read the remainder which is found in other blogs. Displaying in full, I think improves the reading experience. There is a blogroll on the right hand pane as well as links to RSS feeds. To navigate to the first article, the reader must scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘last’ which takes the reader to the first article on April 17th 2007. In this and the following article we learn that Dean Guistini is a medical librarian who is working together with a number of other members of the editorial team with the following goal for the related Open Medicine Journal:-

We are committed to “the equitable global dissemination of high-quality health research; to promote international dialogue and collaboration on health issues; to improve clinical practice; and to expand and deepen the understanding of health and health care” ‘

I think these are great values many of which relate to the spirit of the web 2.0 movement. The function of the blog is outlined in this post in which Guistini tells us that the blog facilitates collaboration and disseminates a number of ideas and information on medical resources on the web. The articles are a combination of factual and reflective with a lot of useful resources thrown in. Guistini introduces the reader to Slideshare to present a slideshow in this post. There are many other valuable resources that are linked to including the CONSORT criteria (for reporting randomised controlled trials), links to Open-Access Journals, podcasts from the Cochrane Library, a transcript of an interview with Sir Iain Chalmers on evidence, etiquette based medicineopen-access resources, medical video sharing sites, deep web search in Medicine part 1Medicine 2.0, outline of TRIP Database, open data movement, top Health and Medical Bloggers, using a Wiki as a peer review platform, . One of the points that is quite striking is that web 2.0 is such a fast changing field that even in the space of a few years many promising technologies have faded and in such cases articles serve as a ‘living history’ of developments in cultural history. This blog provides the reader with a number of valuable resources for accessing medical information online and engaging in medical research or social media collaborations online and will appeal particularly to medical professionals that view the internet as a valuable tool in supporting their development.

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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