New Maag Library Website Goes Live

A new website design has been in the works in Maag library for 18 months and went live on May 11, 2012.  This hew design implements homepage searching for not only the book catalog, but also the most commonly used article database Academic Search Complete, Maag journal finder, and the general website.  To create an easy transition, the Quick Links bar was maintained from the previous site design and will now show up on every page allowing users an anchor point to use when navigating the site. The transition from the old site into the new is bound to come with some snags, so we hope that you will tell us if you find any issues using the Feedback form tab at the top of the site.  Please take some time to try it out at


Predatory Open Access Publishers

I regularly receive emails asking about open access journals and whether they should be trusted, if they are peer reviewed, etc.  I am normally a strong advocate for open access publishing because it allows for greater circulation of information and does not support the costly publishing model of traditional publishing.  However, since many open access journals run on small author fees to make their information freely available, it has become a target for predatory publishers.  Instead of providing a high quality resources with a rigorous peer review process, these publishers set up barely credible publishing fronts, send out calls for papers, then require high author fees.   One cataloging librarian has published a list of common predatory publishers that you can refer to if you receive one of these invitations.

Here are some other easy tips to help you determine if a publisher is credible:

  • Look on the publisher site for archived issues, if there is none you should be suspicious.
  • Look for the journal title in a respected open access repository such as the Directory of Open Access Journals or HighWire Free Journals Online
  • If they claim a rigorous peer review process, look for a description of that process
  • Look for the names of the editorial board staff and try to verify if those people are actually professionals in their field


Beall, Jeffrey. (Dec 1, 2012) Beall’s List of Predatory Open Access Publishers. Metadata. Available from:

Tracking Antibiotic use in Hospitals

The CDC has introduced new software for tracking antibiotic use in hospitals.  Until recently, this capability was only available to doctor’s offices.  However, now that it has been added to the national healthcare safety network, it can easily be integrated with hospitals that are already part of the network.

Antibiotic over use has led to a real resistance in bacterial diseases.  The CDC is promoting this even through Get Smart about Antibiotics Week, a week in November dedicated to appropriate antibiotic use.  A national task force is also working towards ways to combat the spread of antibiotic resistant germs.


Health Literacy in Videos

With another Health Literacy Month upon us, I started trying to think of new ways to present the information.   Last year we held a workshop with the YSU wellness center to promote health literacy and give YSU employees some tools to help them communicate better.  Today’s focus will be on tools that you can be used in classes to demonstrate the need for improved health literacy and methods that all health students should be exposed to.  Refer to the list below to see videos that give an overview of the problem, and some methods for health professionals to communicate effectively.

Overview and importance of health literacy:

Harvard Public Health Overview –

National Adult Literacy Association Overview –

University of New Mexico, Health Sciences Center –

American Medical Association, Real Patient Examples –

Communication Skills:

Teach Back Method –

Plain Language Communication –

Health Effects of Financial Crisis

The financial crisis in Greece has been in the newspapers almost continuously over the past few months.  Ever since 2008, Greece has been experiencing a steadily rising unemployment rate that grew from around 6% to more than 16%.  With massive joblessness and national debt, the Greek citizens have had to face more than money troubles.  Many people are not seeking medical care when needed, but it is not directly linked to income.

The Greek health care system provides both general practitioners and outpatient clinics free of charge.  However, with the financial issues throughout the country, many hospital budgets have been cut by 40%.    Patients that reported not seeking medical attention cited long wait times and travel distance.  These factors illuminate how very complex providing health care is.  Even in a country where medical care is provided for all citizens, the financial crises has still affected access and ability to provide that care.

The full articles are available at the links below.  The Lancet article is available in full text online by clicking on the PDF full text link.


Kentikelenis, A., Karanikolos, M., Papanicolas, I., Basu, S., McKee, M., & Stuckler, D. (2011). Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy. Lancet, 1-2. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61556-0. Available from:
Kling, J. (2011, October 10). Financial Crisis Breeds Health Crisis in Greece. Medscape Today. Retrieved October 10, 2011, from

Nurse Practitioners on the rise

The nursing program here at YSU will usher in a new set of students this fall: Family Nurse Practitioner students.  In an addition to the nursing masters program, these students will learn the in’s and out’s of practicing as an FNP.  An article released by e-Med News highlights some of the interesting facts many of you may not know about nurse practitioners.

  • Nurse practitioners are highly valued in rural areas where few doctors practice.
  • Many nurse practitioners see only 3-4 patients per hour, allowing them to spend more time with each patient
  • Most nurse practitioners can do most of the things a family practice doctor can do such as prescribe medication, provide primary care, and provide preventive care services.
  • Nurse Practitioners cost only 85% of what doctors cost to provide service, so they help hold down the rising cost of health care.
  • Some nurse practitioners are paid over $100,000 per year, and most make $58,000 to $75,000 per year.

There are so many more interesting facts that you may not know at the e-Med News article, so please check it out.  And if this type of care sounds like a great job to you, please contact Nancy Mosca at to get more information about the FNP program here at YSU.


e-Med News. (1 Sept. 2011) 17 interesting facts you may not know about FNPs.  e-Med News: Medical and fitness news you can use. Available from:

Melnick Video Series

Cassie Nespor at the Rose Melnick Medical Museum has begun a series of videos that cover topics on the history of medicine.  This first video is a recipe to cure a patient of a tapeworm infestation.  The video makes medical history come to life as Cassie concocts the tonic and informs us about how it worked.  Check it out!

Obesity video

The CDC released a new video this week on their Facebook page that really illustrates the complexity behind the obesity epidemic.  It covers everything from larger portions and eating out more often, to lack of opportunity for physical activity in our daily lives and lack of health options in low income areas.  This video would be a great addition to any lesson trying to capture the array of causes of obesity.  I highly recommend it!

The Obesity Epidemic from the CDC

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Alternative to Peer Review

In an article published by Inside Higher Ed, Steve Kolowich described the current attitude in academia as shifting favorably toward the open access.  The creation of a new open access journal in the health sciences will only use one round of peer review.  Kolowich takes that notion one step further by suggesting that peer review is one of the major barriers to making academic research more accessible.

He describes an idea from a doctoral student at the University of Chicago that would rely on a community of users to review scholarly articles instead of a small group of publishers and review committees.  This format would be similar to Wikipedia or Reddit  which use user feedback to catch errors and determine interest.

The functionality of such am app would reduce the time it takes for research to be distributed through the academic community.  This distribution is currently a major problem for areas like the health sciences where it can take on average 7 years for new research to make it into practice.  However when the popular journal Nature tried a similar format in 2006, it didn’t receive the desired feedback.

While it is likely that open access models will become more popular as journal prices continue to increase.  The model for delivery will need to be one that the academic community can have faith in.  If you would like to participate in circulating your work through open access, please consider adding your articles to the YSU online repository, Digital.Maag :



Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (27 Jun 2011) Leading research organizations announce top-tier open access journal for biomedical and life sciences. Available from:

Kolowich, S. (19 Jul 2011) Killing Peer Review.  Inside Higher Ed. Available from:

Pediatricians Require Vaccines

The ongoing controversy over opting out of childhood vaccinations has found a new voice.  Even after the original link between autism and vaccines was found to be fraudulent, many parents continue to challenge pediatricians over vaccinating their children.  Some pediatricians, however, have decided to ask those patients who choose not to vaccinate to find another doctor.

The rationale for this decision comes from one of the arguments for vaccination called herd immunity.  When most of the population has been vaccinated, diseases cannot spread easily.  However, in the pediatrician’s office vulnerable populations are more likely to be exposed to communicable diseases than in everyday life.  If a child is not vaccinated and contracts a disease, he or she may be in the waiting room with children who are too young to have been vaccinated.

In Illinois schools, the overall vaccination rate is good at 98%.  However diseases that are uncommon now  such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis have lower than a 60% vaccination rate.   In order to avoid outbreaks and keep the herd immunity strong, doctors recommend a vaccination rate of at least 90%.

This policy would provide protection for young children, however the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against these types of policies because it could reduce the availability of care for many children.  In a time where primary care physicians are dwindling, access may be more of a challenge than many people realize.


Shelton, D. (6 Jul 2011) “Some Pediatricians Taking Stand for Vaccine Program” Los Angeles Times.  Available from:,0,7407793.story