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Fox River Valley Area Library Consortium

FRVALC Journal Club

This is a listing of articles put forth by FRVALC Members and relevant to health science libraries, librarians, and our users.   Discussions happen at our live FRVALC meetings, and on our FRVALC-L Listserv.

Suggest an article for discussion to FRVALC-L. 

Posted February 22, 2021

Fister, B., 2021. The Librarian War Against QAnon As “Do the research” becomes a rallying cry for conspiracy theorists, classical information literacy is not enough. [online] The Atlantic. Available at:    [Accessed 19 February 2021].


As if the Librarian War on QAnon article wasn't enough, I found this essay in The NYT as a follow-up:

WARZEL, C. Opinion | Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole: Critical thinking, as we’re taught to do it, isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation.

Warzel, C., 2021. Opinion | Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole: Critical thinking, as we’re taught to do it, isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2021].

This article proposes teaching students (and others) the SIFT method used by fact checkers, in part because it's quick and simple:

  1. Stop.
  2. Investigate the source.
  3. Find better coverage.
  4. Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context.

Let's continue the conversation: What do you think?

Posted August 25, 2015

The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay

Link to this article

Posted June 11, 2015

Colbert J. Pelletier S. Xavier-Depina F, Shields H. A pilot study of team learning on in-patient rounds. Clin Teach 2015 Jun 7. Early release.

Link to this article.


Posted May 4, 2015

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2007:493-7.
Trials and tribulations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Crowther MA1, Cook DJ.
Systematic reviews can help practitioners keep abreast of the medical literature by summarizing large bodies of evidence and helping to explain differences among studies on the same question. A systematic review involves the application of scientific strategies, in ways that limit bias, to the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies that address a specific clinical question. A meta-analysis is a type of systematic review that uses statistical methods to combine and summarize the results of several primary studies. Because the review process itself (like any other type of research) is subject to bias, a useful review requires rigorous methods that are clearly reported. Used increasingly to inform medical decision making, plan future research agendas, and establish clinical policy, systematic reviews may strengthen the link between best research evidence and optimal health care. In this article, we discuss key steps in how to critically appraise and how to conduct a systematic review or meta-analysis.
PMID:  18024670

Posted December 10, 2014

The Internet School of Medicine: Use of Electronic Resources by Medical Trainees and the Reliability of those Resources     
J Surg Educ. 2014 Dec 5. pii: S1931-7204(14)00231-1. PMID: 25487347.


Posted November 4, 2014

Lessick, S. (2014). Snapshots of innovation. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 102(4), 232-237.  

Link to this article.

“With this column, Virtual Projects begins its second year of describing real-world implementations of exciting new technologies or applications in health sciences libraries that expand the range, reach, and depth of services across the user landscape. The six virtual projects featured in the column have been selected by an expert panel and serve as “snapshots of innovation” to illustrate how health sciences libraries are recognizing and embracing new, potentially transformative opportunities. Each report provides a brief narrative description of the project, technical background information, and a contact person for readers who would like to follow up for more information.”


Posted March 26, 2014

Shenker BS.  The accuracy of Internet search engines to predict diagnoses from symptoms can be assessed with a validated scoring system. Int J Med Inform. 2014 Feb;83(2):131-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Nov 19.  PMID: 24315497   

Link to PubMed abstract.

This article is very interesting.  While it is about validating the instrument for analyzing the webpages, they found that only 14% of the website gave a correct diagnosis.  Seventy percent came up with the diagnosis as part of a differential.  It sort of scares me that many medical students and other healthcare students might use search engines to find differentials. One implication is that patients who bring in webpages may actually hold the appropriate differential in their internet printout.  Physicians might consider that information.   The article is NOT an open access journal.  The abstract does not discuss the findings of accuracy since they were testing the scoring system.

Posted November 1, 2013

JAMA. 2013 Sep 25;310(12):1231-2. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.277050.
The evolving role and value of libraries and librarians in health care.
Sollenberger JF, Holloway RG Jr.
Source : Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

PMID:  24065006

Julie Chapman recommends :
I’ve seen mention of this 2005 JMLA article on several library blogs lately, including this one on The Chronicle.  

 Harris, M. R. (2005). The librarian's roles in the systematic review process: a case study. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(1), 81. Link to this article.

McKibbon, A. (2006). Systematic reviews and librarians. Library Trends, 55(1), 202-215.

Link to this article.

Holly Egebo recommends :

Introduction for Consumer Health Apps for the iPhone in Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet
Link to this article.    (for free) 

Michele Matucheski recommends :

Should We Google It? Resource Use by Internal Medicine Residents for Point-of-Care Clinical Decision Making
Duran-Nelson, Alisa MD; Gladding, Sophia PhD; Beattie, Jim MLIS; Nixon, L.
James MD   Acad Med [ahead of print]   DOI :

Posted August 25, 2011

Study: College students rarely use librarians' expertise -

A very interesting article that I think has implicactions for our health care environments. College kids and tech school students graduate and get jobs in healthcare and still don't know where to find answers. --MM

Some choice quotes :

"Today's college students might have grown up with the language of the information age, but they do not necessarily know the grammar. "I think it really exploded this myth of the 'digital native,' " Asher said. "Just because you've grown up searching things in Google doesn't mean you know how to use Google as a good research tool."

These results can be taken in a positive light: as the library building has receded as a campus mecca, librarians have often had to combat the notion that online tools are making them irrelevant. The evidence from ERIAL lends weight to their counterargument: librarians are more relevant than they have ever been, since students need guides to shepherd them through the wilderness of the Web. Indeed, students who had attended library orientations or tutorials showed more proficiency than those who had not.

There was just one problem, Duke and Asher noted: "Students showed an almost complete lack of interest in seeking assistance from librarians during the search process." Of all the students they observed -- many of whom struggled to find good sources, to the point of despair -- not one asked a librarian for help.

Let's discuss ...

Posted  June 15, 2011

Dispatches from the Future   
Link to this article.

Since some of our past discussions at FRVALC have been about resource sharing and the future of ILL, I thought this was a sobering article. 
Let's discuss ...

Incompetent Research Skills Curb Users' Problem Solving  
Link to this article.
Jakob Nielson's Alertbox - April 11, 2011

Users increasingly rely on individual pages listed by search engines instead of finding better ways to tackle problems.

Discussion begun May 6, 2011, at Spring FRVALC Meeting.


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