Participation of medical librarians in a national project: „Establishment of the universal, open, hosting and communication, repository platform for network resources of knowledge to be used by science, education and open knowledge society.”
In 2011 the Jagiellonian University Medical Library staff entered a strategic multidisciplinary scientific project (SYNAT) financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland. This project has been developed in the years 2010-2013 by 16 Polish universities and Polish Academy of Sciences institutes and its aim is to integrate already existing, dispersed resources, both content and infrastructural, develop a technological support system for a better knowledge transfer (mainly from Polish resources) to the scientific community (virtual scientific environment), and create a universal, unified, and friendly access to the information services.
Librarians, and among them medical librarians are engaged in development of a knowledge base (PASSIM) of contemporary science and technology. The integrated PASSIM system will enable acquisition of information from disseminated and heterogeneous databases to support scientists, researchers, lecturers, reviewers, students of all levels and scientific publishers in their work.
The purpose of our presentation is to discuss participation of the Jagiellonian University medical librarians in implementation of the SYNAT/PASSIM project.
The Jagiellonian University Medical Library is the only SYNAT partner dealing with medicine, so our tasks have been related to medical science (research-analytical team of about 25 specialists in scientific medical information with various educational background and different skills and abilities. The tasks were divided according to the participants’ skills and preferences.
Our main role has been to register the Polish and foreign resources of biomedical and health-related information and to analyze the structure and content of the digital resources of the Polish archives in order to determine if they can be included into the PASSIM system and shared with researchers as basic source data both in the harvesting model and the main database of the developed system.
We have focused on the search, identification, expansion, and analysis of the existing resources, analysis of the availability of dictionaries, thesauri, ontologies, web pages, and databases. Our analyses will also include estimation of the resources sizes, determination of the access types (all Web, OAI-PMH, internal format), description of the metadata formats and applications of the copyright law to open access.
The expected results of this project include:
- Development of an integrated system which will enable acquisition of information from disseminated and heterogeneous databases,
- Creation of a multifunction repository of raw data dedicated to safe, long-term storage and distribution of digital initial objects,
- Universal, open, hosting and communication, repository platform, which enables the exploitation of individual application software and sharing of information and services available from the servers of hosting organisation/s
Our team analysed carefully the selected collections, extracted metadata, and developed guidelines to support work in the following fields:
- Analysis of the present state of cataloguing and the access to digitalised doctoral and habilitation dissertations in medicine prepared in Poland and abroad. The database of full-text doctoral theses was supplemented with 786 new records (MeSH) and migrated from the alfresco platform to dLibra.
- Analysis of the cataloguing systems and the access to full-text bibliographic, bibliometric, and factual databases in biomedicine, in Poland and abroad. The database of the publications of researchers of the Jagiellonian University Medical College was supplemented with 4855 new records and contains 50402 records now. Over 3000 records were linked with the full texts with the use of 360 Link tool.
- Analysis and classification of the Polish and foreign reference resources and cataloguing of medical e-books. The most important achievement in this field is full adaptation of 25 NLM classification tables and their use in arrangement of printed books on the shelves and in structuring a collection of 5548 bibliographic records on virtual shelves. Cataloguing has been performed according to the NLM classification, Cutter-Sanborn tables and MeSH.
- Analysis of the state of cataloguing of biomedical special collections and XIX prints collection in catalogue systems and digital platforms in Poland and abroad. 983 bibliographic records of XIX books and 298 bibliographic records of 1901-1945 printed materials were catalogued A strategy of digitalization and conservation works of the old books was planned.
- Analysis and structuring of Polish reference resources and nomenclature systems in connection with the UMLS ontology and other international semantic networks of health-related sciences.
- Continuation of efforts to standardize the Polish version of Medical Subject Headings, which has been developed in two variants: of university libraries (MeSH-Pl) and the Main Medical Library (Tez-MeSH).
- Continuation of the development of Multilingual Thesaurus of Public Health.
- Analysis of Internet resources in medicine and related sciences. We searched web pages of all Polish universities and colleges offering training in medical occupations, medical libraries with their catalogues and other bibliographic lists, medical journals and popular medical magazines, publishing houses (including small, found via Internet bookshops or other web pages), medical or health-related scientific institutions, organizations, governmental agencies, nongovernmental and not-for-profit organizations, health or social insurance agencies, medical or health-related learned associations and professional corporations, web pages containing Polish laws and regulations related to health. We also searched numerous popular medical services and portals: services for patients, web pages for particular conditions or diseases, portals of medical manufacturers or health services providers, and many other commercial web pages. Furthermore, we catalogued some foreign resources: of commonly known international organizations as UE or WHO of which Poland is a member. We assessed web pages according to reputable organizations certificates, e.g. HONCode http://www.hon.ch/home1_pl.html or Internet tools measuring popularity of certain web pages, e.g. www.alexa.com . The main criterion of a resource quality was its expected usefulness for the future users. The popular websites were evaluated according to guidelines included in „Europe 2002: Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites”. The commercial or popular web pages addressed to all Internet surfers were selected according to e-health criteria: transparency, authority, data protection, information updating, accountability, and accessibility but we neglected the assessment of websites formats, graphic solutions or “user-friendly features”. The web pages of professional institutions were grabbed unquestioningly. We assumed that the authority of these organizations was sufficient recommendation.
- Structuring and cataloguing of the Internet resources: Polish and foreign portals, services, and information systems in all medical specialties. 1762 records were created in RefWorks, with links to web pages, portals, services, textbooks, papers, databases, films, social networking services (blogs, forums, discussion groups). These resources were catalogued according to the general standards (Dublin Core metadata standard) and standards applied in health sciences (MeSH).
Participation in the SYNAT project is very advantageous for the Jagiellonian University Medical Library, particularly for the development and improvement of the tools of formal and subject cataloguing:
- Polish version of MeSH
- Adaptation of the NLM classification tables
- Ontological analysis of the UMLS system
We will acquire new skills:
- Various methods of the information retrieval
- Assessment of the quality of Internet resources
- Standardization of the description of the retrieved resources
- Collaboration with other, non-medical librarians in development of virtual scientific environment
The magnitude of our library databases will significantly expand (catalogue, digital library, born-digital resources). SYNAT is an advanced IT project; for the libraries it is a step into the future of scientific information.
According to a survey performed by the National Library of Poland (within the SYNAT project) on various user groups, the vast majority of respondents agreed that the scientific information was the best in medicine and health-related sciences, mainly owing to the complex and universal character of the Medline database. Development of the SYNAT/PASSIM platform will expand the possibilities of the medical information retrieval.
- SYNAT. System Nauki i Techniki. [Internet] Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju, Warszawa, Polska. [updated 2012 March 23; cited 2012 May 7]. Available from: http://www.synat.pl/
- Suominen O, Hyvönen E, Viljanen K, Hukka E. HealthFinland—A national semantic publishing network and portal for health information. Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 2009;7:287–297.
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