Nicole Mitchell, MLIS, MA, Information Technology Librarian
Lisa Ennis, MS, MA, Information Technology Librarian
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Editor’s Note: DCDM offers objective reviews of multimedia information databases as a regular feature of the DCDM Guest Article. For this month’s issue, Doody’s editorial staff invited the library staff at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) to review a recently introduced product that ACOM licenses, the LWW Health Library. What follows is an objective review of the features and functions of this product by two of the librarians at ACOM with the most experience with this resource.
The LWW Health Library is designed to serve as a single portal for content in both medicine and pharmacy. It can be purchased as a whole or in smaller groups such the Basic Sciences Collection, Anatomical Sciences Collection, Integrated Basic Sciences Collection, Premium Basic Sciences Collection, and the Osteopathic Medicine Collection. The Pharmacy Library includes four collections: Premium Pharmacy Collection, Integrated Pharmacy Collection, Cornerstone Pharmaceutical Sciences Collection, and the Clinical Pharmacy Collection. In addition, the Health Library also includes a Medical Practice Library with collections for anesthesia, surgery, and orthopedics. The 12 collections, encompassing over 130 books, are designed to provide faculty and students with foundational and clinical textbooks. New for 2015 is a Health Professions Library that will include collections for Speech, Language & Hearing, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.
In addition to textbooks, the Health Library platform also offers a variety of other assets including videos and audios, self-assessments, cases, and clinical skills as well as links to other resources. The videos and audios include both live and animated segments. The self-assessment part of the resource includes audio recall review questions, multiple-choice question banks, and interactive glossaries that operate like flash cards. The cases include PDFs of various practice cases with questions for discussion as well as cases that are more interactive where students can click through slides with images and findings. In the clinical skills area of the Health Library are videos and some PDFs demonstrating and explaining a procedure or technique. In each area, the content is arranged alphabetically but can be limited by broad topic or field. Each of these assets also includes a “related to” link that takes readers to the same topic in the appropriate textbook.
Chapters include a Related Content menu that links readers to the related content in other books throughout the Health Library as well as any relevant links to PubMed articles and websites. Each Library also has a resources section with links to additional related information. For instance, the resources section for the Medical Education collection contains “From the Web,” guidelines, journal articles, supplemental content, and a toolkit. The “From the Web” section links users to suggested references as well as websites like the CDC, MedlinePlus, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database, and other commercial databases. The toolkit contains a table of commonly used stains related to one of the histology books.
With its selection of core textbooks, videos, and other components, the LWW Health Library is geared to medical educators and students in programs such as physician assistant, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and the like. Each collection in the LWW Health Library contains the key textbooks on the subject. As new editions are published, they are added to the Health Library. The older editions are maintained for one year and users have access to both editions during that period. Students will particularly appreciate the videos and clinical cases as well as the self-assessment review questions.
The Health Library interface is intuitive and easy to use. The platform provides a Google-type semantic search box and an advanced search that allows readers to limit to a particular book or books as well as an easy way to browse any of the content components. Further, the way all the components link back to relevant content in each of the others makes it easy to view all the related information for a particular topic.
Access to the LWW Health Library is provided through IP authentication as well as URL referral. With an institutional subscription, there is no limit on the number of concurrent users. Instructors are allowed to use all content, including images and videos, in their classes and some materials such as PDFs and PowerPoint can be downloaded for use in learning management systems, lectures, and presentations. Users are allowed to print one chapter at a time from the textbooks. Users also can share content with colleagues, including those at other institutions or those who do not subscribe, through email, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and CiteULike. Shared content is available without authentication for 72 hours. Pricing is based on overall FTE. Individual subscriptions are not available.