MLA News Selected Articles
Edited by Emily Hull
Submitted by Russell Smith, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
For more information about personal digital assistants (PDAs), please refer to the cover story by Mari J. Stoddard, Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona–Tucson, in the May 2000 MLA News.
Submitted by Kristin Stoklosa, Harvard College Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
This series features MLA members’ research projects published outside the library literature in scientific and biomedical publications. The Research Resources Committee of the MLA Research Section shares this series to promote awareness of information research, encourage research in library practice, stimulate interest in a variety of publications, and inspire further MLA research
"Information Retrieval in Systematic Reviews: Challenges in the Public Health Arena"
Occupational injury, a multidisciplinary field encompassing literature outside biomedical databases, includes not only occupational health but also business, criminal justice, social science, agriculture, and government information. Due to inconsistent indexing among the databases, the reviewers could not rely on controlled vocabulary for their searches but used equivalent conceptual keywords tailored to the context of each database. Furthermore, the reviewers discovered that randomized controlled trials were scarce in occupational injury literature, forcing them to rely on other levels of evaluative literature for subject areas distant from clinical medicine. Substantial literature was located in sources outside databases, either as pearled references in known documents or through professional contacts.
Edited by Emily Hull
Submitted by Ann Hulton, Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Information shared among staff members, particularly at service points, needs to be easily and quickly accessed, frequently updated, and centrally located. Setting up a small Web server to share information, either internally or externally, is relatively easy and inexpensive to do using Web server software and an existing desktop computer. Once the server is established, the information can be accessed from any computer using a Web browser.
Setting up a server requires a network adapter (either a dial-up adapter or a physical network card), transmission-control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP), and a fixed IP address or a static host name. Software is available that can provide a static host name without a fixed IP address, such as Winip from Dragonmount.
Free or inexpensive Web server software is especially useful for small libraries that may lack technical support. Hardware requirements for running Web server software are usually minimal, and most can run on a variety of platforms. For example, Xitami, which runs on all versions of Windows from 3.x to 2000, can also run on a computer with a 386 processor and 4 MB of RAM. AnalogX SimpleServer: WWW, a self-extracting program, is extremely easy to setup and installs in minutes. Sambar server has some advanced features including a file transfer protocol (ftp) server, a proxy server, and a configurable search engine. Microsoft’s Personal Web Server ships with Windows 2000 or can be downloaded from Microsoft’s site.
As with any Web server, there are security issues to be addressed that are beyond the scope of this article. Relatively inexpensive software programs, such as BlackICE from Network ICE, are available to protect servers.
Sharing information with users on the Web has become a requirement for libraries, but using the Web internally is just as beneficial. Setting up a Web server on a desktop machine can be an easy and rewarding exercise to help disseminate information efficiently and give staff an opportunity to develop new technology skills. The examples in this article represent just a few of the many available software solutions.
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