Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Predatory publishing - a prominent Ob/Gyn gets tricked

At last fall's WHSLA conference, a CE class on predatory publishing taught by Catherine Arnott-Smith [professor at UW-Madison's SLIS school] was offered. I was able to attend and found it a really fascinating look at medicine, business, and ethics. Most importantly I learned that sometimes it is VERY hard to tell a predatory publisher from a regular one. 

Looks like I'm not the only one who is easily fooled; this August 30, 2016 article from Chronicle of Higher Education highlights a move by federal prosecutors to begin to tackle predatory journal publishers: Most interesting to me was the last half of the article. S. Robert Kovac, an ob/gyn who publishes a great deal, was fooled by one of these predatory medical/science publishers. 

If you're interested in learning more about predatory publishing check out this article from Jeffrey Beall: you are attending the Midwest Chapter MLA conference in Des Moines this fall, Dr. Arnott-Smith is offering a 4-hour CE class on this topic on Saturday, October 22, 2016:  

Save the date: Annual Meeting Tuesday October 4, 2016

We will be having our annual meeting, Tuesday October 4, 2016 at Meriter Hospital in Madison.  The late morning board meeting will be followed by lunch for all members, a talk by new GMR Outreach Librarian, Bobbi Newman,  followed by our annual organization business meeting.  Lunch will be covered for all WHSLA members in good standing. For those who cannot attend in person, we plan to make an audio connection available. 
More details will follow. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Snake venom to treat high blood pressure?

I love PBS. Sunday nights will usually find me watching Masterpiece  and Monday is of course Antiques Roadshow. But the best thing about PBS is how I'm always surprised and interested in learning about what is on, no matter what it is. 

Last week I happened to catch an episode of Nova. This particular one focused on snake venom, with the last portion looking at potential uses for venom and its compounds. An especially fascinating part was hearing how snake venom played a role in developing, ACE inhibitors, a widely used class of drugs for treating high blood pressure among other things. Skip to 43:50 in the video below if you're interested in learning more about snake venom and medicine. 

Read more in this 2003 issue of Breakthroughs in Bioscience from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Comings and goings - Aurora Libraries and Marquette University's Raynor Library

Martha Jerme Retires
We at WHSLA wanted to give a congratulatory shout-out to Martha Jerme, who retired in June 2016, after 21 years at Marquette University. Martha began her Marquette library career in the Science Library in 1995 as a science reference librarian.  She served as a Research and Instructional Services librarian and liaison librarian for the College of Nursing as well as the Clinical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, Speech Pathology & Audiology and Transfusion Medicine Departments.

Martha served as WHSLA Secretary from 2011-2016. She was a friendly face at MLA webcasts, conferences, and WHSLA meetings. She will be missed. Congratulations on your retirement, Martha!

Other Librarian news
Brenda Fay, WHSLA blogger and current secretary, has left Aurora Libraries and is now at Marquette University. Her new email address is She'll still be blogging for WHSLA. 

Rita Mitchell [], Librarian at Aurora Medical Center - Grafton, will move to Aurora Sinai Medical Center in September 2016. Aurora is looking to fill that soon-to-be open position in Grafton.

Do you have any comings and goings to share? We'd love to hear about it. 

Martha Jerme

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doc, my gnathion hurts

Medical terminology is something all librarians come to know over time. It seems like every time you delve into researching a new clinical question you learn something new including words and phrases to describe things. 

You probably know what a uvula, philtrum, and a hallux are, but how about a gnathion, gowpen, or glabella? Hint: while your doctor might not have much to do with your gnathion, your dentist knows just where it is.

Monday, August 15, 2016

New NLM Director - "I see a robust future for us"

Patricia Brennan, Director of the National Library of Medicine, began her new position today [August 15, 2016]. Here she shares her vision of how NLM will look towards the future and help support the Precision Medicine Initiative 
announced by President Obama in early 2015. Guess what? There's an infographic about it too

If you are having trouble viewing the video in your browser and or would like a transcript,
please go to

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nighttime light - how it might affect hospitalized patients

While searching for some articles on melatonin use by breast cancer survivors, I learned a while back that female shift workers, that is workers who are exposed to light during "non-traditional" times, have a higher incidence of breast cancer that is likely related to disruption in their circadian rhythms. While there is still a lot of research being done, a 2014 article in CA: a cancer journal for clinicians [Stevens RG, Brainard GC, Blask DE, Lockley SW, Motta ME. Breast cancer and circadian disruption from electric lighting in the modern world. CA Cancer J Clin. 2014 May-Jun;64(3):207-18. doi: 10.3322/caac.21218] had this to say:

  • "It is now clear that electric lighting, including indoor evening light levels, has strong effects on human circadian rhythms in physiology, metabolism, and behavior. Recent experimental evidence in humans has shown, for example, that the lighting commonly used in the typical home in the evening is enough to delay melatonin onset and blunt its nocturnal peak (36).... It is not certain that these alterations can, in fact, increase breast cancer risk; that evidence is accumulating but is not yet conclusive. However, chronic disruption of circadian rhythmicity has the potential to yield serious long term health consequences".  
Today a short article in the NYT [Excess Light Exposure May Take Toll on Muscles and Bones] mentioned how this incident night-time light might affect patients in the hospital. A very interesting and thought-provoking point is made by Dr. Colwell. If many of our hospitals are "quiet zones" at night, why can't they be "dark zones" as well? 

  • "While the findings of a rat study can’t be translated directly to human health, the data suggest more research is needed into the health effects of artificial light. One concern is the health of patients in hospital intensive care units, elderly people in nursing homes and babies in neonatal units — places where artificial lights often are kept on for 24 hours a day....“We keep the sickest people in our society under constant light conditions,” said Dr. Colwell."

Monday, August 1, 2016

Opioid dependence leads to a "tsunami" of services

I'm part of the Grand Rounds planning committee at my hospital. Over the last two years there has been a lot of interest in strategies for helping clinicians manage patients with chronic pain and the basics of opioid prescribing. It appears our inner-city needs aren't that different than the rest of the country's. 

Kaiser Health News and NPR reported today on a new study out that shows the US has had a 3,000% increase in opioid dependence services from 2007 to 2014 and this is among patients with private insurance. You can find the original study here

Unfortunately Wisconsin is doing a little worse than the rest of our peers in the Midwest (see Figure 9. below).