Finding Quality HIV/AIDS Information

Notes from World AIDS Day Workshop given at Healthinfo Island, Second LifeDecember 1, 2007


– MedlinePlus is a portal site to lots (and lots!) of top-quality resources created by national associations, such as the American Heart Association.

– You can search for terms, or find information by using the categories listed on the main page.

– Features of MedlinePlus include a dictionary, directories of healthcare professionals, information about drugs and therapies, health news, and even video tutorials.

– To see the AIDS information available through this site, go to

Extract from a notecard by Carolina Keats

posted by Daneel Ariantho on Healthinfo Island using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Presentation on Slideshare

Transcript of Perplexity Peccable

[9:02] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 1/18 – 1 WAD slide

[9:03] Carolina Keats: so – to all – if you haven’t been here before – welcome to Healthinfo Island, and to the celebration of World AIDS Day!

[9:03] Carolina Keats: or if you have 🙂

[9:04] Carolina Keats: I’m a consumer and medical librarian, and coordinator for HealthInfo Island, a project funded by National Library of Medicine.

[9:04] Carolina Keats: The project has an objective of supporting the health information needs of SL residents.

[9:04] Carolina Keats: Anyone can come here or IM me with a health question, and I will search for information. There is never a charge for this service.

[9:04] Carolina Keats: Before we get going, I want to point out that I’ve got some displays and handouts set up here.

[9:04] Carolina Keats: Check between the benches and you’ll find a handout I’ve prepared for the class that provides you links to the resources used today and some other tips I hope will be useful for all information – not just health, and not only online.

[9:05] Carolina Keats: The sign to my right lists a schedule of classes given here – and I’m planning others, including a series about searching PubMed.

[9:05] Carolina Keats: behind you, Epictetus

[9:05] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 2/18 – 2 WAD slide

[9:05] Carolina Keats: Today I’m planning to begin by checking out Google, especially their new Beta project

[9:05] Carolina Keats: Then we’ll move on to MedlinePlus, looking at some of the features of that site.

[9:05] Carolina Keats: As we go, I’ll be asking everyone to explore a bit, then come back to share what they found.

[9:05] Carolina Keats: Questions people have about AIDS, as with other health topics, range from the basic to more complex or ‘advanced’ levels.

[9:06] Carolina Keats: Examples might range from ‘what is AIDS’ or ‘how is it diagnosed’ to how one would go about finding a support group, what kind of clinical, experimental research is going on, or particular information about statistics or regional services.

[9:06] Carolina Keats: The resources we’re looking at today are ‘doorway’ resources, and best suited to basic and intermediate level questions.

[9:06] Carolina Keats: I will say now, and repeat later, that I am here to assist people with questions at all of these levels.

[9:06] Carolina Keats: If I was pressed to characterize consumer health librarianship, I would say this: we are here to strengthen and empower the health consumer (and of course, we are ALL ‘consumers’ of healthcare).

[9:06] Carolina Keats: If you have questions, about AIDS/HIV, or other health concerns, I am available for individual consultation. However, I am not a health professional. I’m an information professional.

[9:07] Carolina Keats: This means I’m not qualified to diagnose or treat, but consider myself your partner AND the health professional’s partner – able to find good quality information for you and for the healthcare team.

[9:07] Carolina Keats: Meanwhile, we can share this knowledge before us – and jump in to exploring these resources.

[9:07] Carolina Keats: Is everyone able to open a browser window as well as the Second Life window?

[9:08] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 3/18 – 3 WAD slide

[9:08] Carolina Keats: Here, of course, is, which as far as I know is still the search engine that indexes the most web pages of any search engine on the internet.

[9:08] Carolina Keats: If you are not aware of this, I’d like to share with you the information that NO search engine indexes more than around 20-30% of internet web pages.

[9:08] Carolina Keats: It’s super-easy to type in a term like ‘hypertension’ and hit enter – millions of people do searches in just this way, every day (and I do, too – it works).

[9:08] Carolina Keats: If you’re finding what you need by doing this, it just doesn’t make much sense to do a whole lot more.

[9:08] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 4/18 – 4 WAD slide

[9:08] Carolina Keats: Well, but – 221 MILLION results? Where do we start?

[9:09] Carolina Keats: I’ll begin with a look at some features of Google, which I and lots of others use for searching the internet.

[9:09] Carolina Keats: You know, I could easily spend an hour on just Google, or just MedlinePlus, and we’d only be scratching the surface –

[9:09] Carolina Keats: So please, be aware that the information today is really a sort of ‘over the top’ view of SOME of the features and tools available through those resources.

[9:10] Carolina Keats: I’ve asked people to open a browser window because we’ll be doing a little hands-on exploration as we go

[9:10] Carolina Keats: I was really intrigued, though to see what Google’s doing with a beta project and took time to explore – we’ll take a look at that

[9:10] Carolina Keats: before moving on to, a great portal site that leads to a lot of high quality information.

[9:10] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 5/18 – 5 WAD slide

[9:10] Carolina Keats: I don’t particularly like that Google incorporates commercial content into their results, but at least it’s labeled

[9:11] Carolina Keats: be aware that for some health sites, this isn’t the case

[9:11] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 6/18 – 6 WAD slide

[9:11] Carolina Keats: Check out this very new feature – providing a categorized table of links. This can save you lots of time.

[9:11] Carolina Keats: But I did find, looking at what’s grouped under the links, that all sorts of content is included.

[9:11] Carolina Keats: This slide shows just a straightforward search for the term ‘aids’ and its categories, but there’s more happening if you just look for it –

[9:11] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 7/18 – 7 WAD slide

[9:12] Carolina Keats: This all appears to be part of Google’s new beta for health, which uses extended categories.

[9:12] Carolina Keats: here, though, I’m showing the tagging they’ve begun to do

[9:12] Carolina Keats: labeling things with content provider information and things that can help you know if the site providers comply with quality standards, like HON

[9:13] Carolina Keats: which is just one of these standards, voluntary quality compliance that requires the listed things – that you see here on this slide

[9:13] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 8/18 – 8 WAD slide

[9:13] Carolina Keats: Going to that beta site, we see an expanded version of the categories – and more.

[9:13] Carolina Keats: I see this is rezzing slowly

[9:14] Carolina Keats: When I did a search for the term ‘aids’ this time, I noted that the top results are provided by organizations such as the CDC.

[9:14] Carolina Keats: look at the extended categories!

[9:14] Carolina Keats: take 2 minutes now to go to this link –

[9:15] Carolina Keats: it’s ok if you can’t – if not, you can go later and poke about

[9:16] Carolina Keats: I suggest you glance through the text listed under ‘health,’ review the category list, take a look at the contributors list by scrolling down.

[9:16] Carolina Keats: Or you can do a search if you’d like, paying attention to where the information’s coming from.

[9:18] Nadezda Markova: is this the custom search service, that you wanted us to look at?

[9:18] Carolina Keats: great – nadezda, did you see anything you can share?

[9:18] Carolina Keats: this is the new google beta for health

[9:19] Nadezda Markova: I wasn’t quite sure, but the information seems to come from reputable participants

[9:19] Carolina Keats: yes

[9:19] Carolina Keats: Looking into this a bit more deeply, I found that Google has partnered with the CDC and other reputable organizations to link and label quality health information so that we, as searchers, can more easily find it.

[9:19] Nadezda Markova: I wondered how much you only get the standard answers, while nonstandard answers, some of which might be useful, get filtered out?

[9:19] Carolina Keats: do you mean, more tailored information?

[9:20] Nadezda Markova: well,, yes

[9:20] Carolina Keats: yes – these resources are probably best for introductory and intermediate level questions

[9:20] Nadezda Markova: the sort you get that tends to be somewhat similar on all sites and gives you the fundamentals ,but doesn’t take you much further

[9:20] Carolina Keats: disease descriptions, – right

[9:21] Carolina Keats: but you are going to have trouble finding tailored info (reputable tailored info, that is) anywhere except something like pubmed

[9:21] Starlight Vandeverre is Online

[9:21] Nadezda Markova: is medline available on that part of google?

[9:21] Carolina Keats: they can lead you to organization pages where further info is available

[9:21] Carolina Keats: you know, I’m not sure

[9:21] Carolina Keats: I didn’t see it

[9:22] You: Google Scholar leads you to pubmed results

[9:22] Carolina Keats: this beta’s so new – we need to do some more exploration

[9:22] Nadezda Markova: Google scholar is a good element

[9:22] Nadezda Markova: how do you get to the beta?

[9:22] Carolina Keats: there are some very interesting things happening

[9:22] Carolina Keats: if you get a notecard from the poster between the benches, the beta site’s one of those listed

[9:23] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 9/18 – 9 WAD slide

[9:23] Carolina Keats: something more I noticed – new since the last time I taught about the Google beta for health.

[9:23] Carolina Keats: I use Google’s email and a number of their other tools, so I was signed in to that while I was preparing for the class.

[9:23] Carolina Keats: I had never seen the ‘NOTE THIS’ feature so checked it out –

[9:23] Carolina Keats: They’ve integrated this new tool with all the google searching, so now I can create a listing of good things I’ve found while I’m searching!

[9:24] Carolina Keats: second, I am not talking about it today, but in the class I teach called ‘Looking for Health,’ I discuss Google’s advanced search features.

[9:24] Carolina Keats: For those who use it, it appears that there is a limited ability to combine advanced search features with the Google beta search –

[9:24] Carolina Keats: after you have already done your search, you will notice that the ‘regular’ search box shows up, giving you the option of an advanced search.

[9:24] Carolina Keats: I tested this by requesting that my retrieval results be limited to only sites whose URLs ended in ‘.gov’ (governmental sites) and this was successful, bringing up .gov sites that categorized with the new beta subjects.

[9:24] Carolina Keats: This is potentially an extremely powerful tool

[9:24] Carolina Keats: I know I haven’t covered all of them, but I do suggest that when you can, you take time to check out the new beta – you never know when it’ll come in handy, and save you time and frustration.

[9:24] Carolina Keats: Don’t be surprised to see frequent changes

[9:25] Carolina Keats: I’m moving on to now, does anyone have any other comments about this resource before I do?

[9:26] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 10/18 – 10 WAD slide

[9:26] Carolina Keats: is what is called a ‘portal’ site, in that it’s a web page that acts as a doorway to lots and lots of other information.

[9:26] Carolina Keats: though it is very US-centric

[9:26] Carolina Keats: It’s created by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, 2 reliable and credible sources of health information.

[9:27] Carolina Keats: and by the way, there are some international AIDS links listed in that handout, because we’re aware that this is so US focused

[9:27] Carolina Keats: Like Google – MedlinePlus is way too extensive for us to thoroughly explore all the incredible features.

[9:27] Carolina Keats: However, I will point out a few, and again, suggest that you bookmark the site, then take a few minutes on your own to explore – it may save you time later on, when you need it.

[9:27] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 11/18 – 11 WAD slide

[9:27] Carolina Keats: Taking a look at the main page, note the following: – a search is available right up top – the listing on the left side serves as a topical index to whole collections of information

[9:27] Carolina Keats: if it comes up!

[9:29] Carolina Keats: there, it’s rezzed for me – can you see?

[9:29] Carolina Keats: there is SO much in this portal site

[9:30] Carolina Keats: they’ve made a number of improvements

[9:30] Carolina Keats: including their organizational scheme

[9:30] Carolina Keats: anyone who’s done a webpage knows it’s hard to second-guess the user

[9:30] Carolina Keats: since everyone will look a different way

[9:31] Carolina Keats: great – as I said, check out the search box

[9:31] Carolina Keats: and the list of the categories running down the left side

[9:31] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 12/18 – 12 WAD slide

[9:31] Carolina Keats: clicking on ‘Health Topics’ takes you here – see how it’s organized? You can look for broader information (for example, ‘Brain and Nerves’) if you don’t know a more specific topic

[9:32] Carolina Keats: – notice the options on the lower right, for easy to read resources, for those with vision problems, and to tutorials.

[9:32] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 13/18 – 13 WAD slide

[9:33] Carolina Keats: so, you can go in by body system, by diagnosis, etc

[9:33] Carolina Keats: also a sort of ‘top hits’ button

[9:33] Carolina Keats: or by demographic group

[9:33] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 14/18 – 14 WAD slide

[9:34] Carolina Keats: There are at least 3 different ways to find information using MedlinePlus, which I’m showing here

[9:34] Zsuzsa Tomsen is Offline

[9:34] Carolina Keats: 1) You can use the basic search engine, which you’ll find at the top of every page in this site.

[9:34] Carolina Keats: Please note, though, that you’re likely to bring up a whole lot of things, probably way more than you want or need.

[9:34] Carolina Keats: 2) Using the tabs on the site gets you to information in a particular topic area, such as Health News – and you can search within those results to narrow down what you want.

[9:34] Carolina Keats: 3) For a great general overview of a topic, though – like AIDS, I prefer to begin with the alphabetical listings.

[9:35] Carolina Keats: I’ve done that, going to the alpha listing for aids

[9:35] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 15/18 – 15 WAD slide

[9:35] Carolina Keats: There is so much to look at for these listings that I would like to have everyone ‘take 2’ again to explore what comes up when you use the ‘A’ and scroll down to find the link for AIDS.

[9:35] Carolina Keats: Please explore that page, then come back to share what you’ve seen Here’s the URL:

[9:36] Nadezda Markova: this is a really great resource

[9:36] Carolina Keats: it really is!

[9:36] Carolina Keats: as I said – I could do a class on just this and only cover the top level

[9:37] Carolina Keats: the modular flash tutorials are particularly helpful for those with vision or literacy problems

[9:37] Nadezda Markova: yes I was noticing those

[9:37] Carolina Keats: since they are self-paced, and there is a voiceover

[9:38] Carolina Keats: we’re just ‘taking 2’ to explore

[9:38] Carolina Keats: it’s an amazing resource

[9:39] Carolina Keats: is everyone back?

[9:39] Carolina Keats: what do you think?

[9:39] Epictetus Theas: yes…fantastic resource Carolina

[9:39] Carolina Keats: did anyone notice the ‘golocal’ links?

[9:40] Carolina Keats: (that’s ‘go local’)

[9:40] Nadezda Markova: yes, I noticed that

[9:40] Carolina Keats: if you’re not familiar with this – GoLocal is created regionally as a way to link from and to local resources like clinics

[9:40] Carolina Keats: only us

[9:41] Carolina Keats: and for most states the info is skeletal – this is a huge project

[9:41] Carolina Keats: but you can find local physicians, hospitals, libraries, and much more

[9:41] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 16/18 – 16 WAD slide

[9:41] Carolina Keats: as I’d said, I’ve put a handout between most of the benches that includes the URLs we’ve begun to explore here.

[9:42] Carolina Keats: One of the features of that handout is a decision aid to health information, part of which is on this slide.

[9:42] Carolina Keats: These are directly related to something I talked about earlier, the idea that health information needs can be classified according to their ‘level’ of need.

[9:42] Carolina Keats: I have included here material types that are not solely limited to the internet, but also encyclopedias and other (potentially) paper-based resources.

[9:43] Carolina Keats: Medical librarians are available in many universities, and in many hospitals, not just here in Second Life, and we’re good at helping find information to help empower you in your search for health, as a partner to your healthcare providers.

[9:43] WhiteBoard (n): Showing Image 17/18 – 17 WAD slide

[9:43] Carolina Keats: I hope it’s been interesting to check out what’s happening with Google’s new beta, with, and to see how these and other resources can help you find quality information in answer to your questions about AIDS as well as other health concerns.

[9:44] Carolina Keats: thank you so much for being here today!

[9:44] Nadezda Markova: thanks so much for a truly informative session

[9:44] Carolina Keats: I hope you’re planning to stick around – look at the displays, go to the presentations we’ve got

[9:44] Carolina Keats: you’re really welcome

[9:44] Epictetus Theas: Wonderful Presentatio Carolina…thank you!

[9:44] Carolina Keats: I learned about the google beta project in creating this

[9:45] Carolina Keats: thank you!

[9:45] Wil Albatros: Thank you, Carolina. It’s been very infomative and helpful.

[9:45] Perplexity Peccable: I will have a notecard in a moment of the cleaned up transcript if people want it.

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