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Blogging saves doctors time

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2007 - Winter


With all the information on the Web already, why would anyone want to add to the volume by reading blogs? To save time, according to librarians at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.

Yale reference librarian Charles J. Greenberg, M.L.S., M.Ed., for example, maintains a blog for surgeons at “Surgeons don’t have time to look at all the journals,” said Greenberg, the library’s coordinator of curriculum and research support. He describes his blog as “the equivalent of a newsstand for information on certain emerging surgical topics.” Greenberg assembles his “newsstand” by combing 30 leading medical and surgical journals each month and posting entries on surgical news two or three times a week.

Greenberg’s blog can be reached from the home page of the medical library, which maintains its own blog ( to inform visitors of library news. Postings include descriptions of two newly acquired electronic databases offered by the library, one containing 1,800 online journals (The Science Direct Freedom Collection), and the other listing drug eruptions and interactions. The library website lists links to two other blogs by Yale medical librarians. Education services librarian Jan Glover, M.L.S., uses hers to dispense advice about doing online ( Glover posts research tips and entries that highlight databases. “Someone might not know a database existed, and it might be perfect for their topic,” she said.

Janene Batten, M.L.S., reference librarian for the School of Nursing, started a blog about 18 months ago that focuses on items of interest to nurses (, and she posts something new several times a week. Blogging took off during the run-up to the 2004 general election, said Web Services Librarian Hongbin Liu, M.L.S., who coordinates the library ’s blogs. With blogs, said Liu, “everybody can be a freelance journalist.” Liu uses Technorati, a blog search engine, to monitor the growth of blogs. As of October there were 56.4 million blogs worldwide, not counting some of those that are written in languages other than English. Blogging, says Liu, is here to stay.

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