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Current awareness refers to a type of library service that aims to keep users current or up-to-date be sending them information, literature or news. Some health librarians put the idea of current awareness services near or at the top of their priority lists in the delivery of services. The ability to stay informed through current awareness services is related to some of the concepts in evidence-based health care. In addition, health librarians may use current awareness services for their own professional development and in maintaining their information technology skills.
Keeping current in medicine and with information technologies is a priority in the digital age. The idea is that health professionals are more effective by keeping up-to-date with the trends in medicine. A number of methods are available to health librarians to facilitate current awareness for our user groups such as electronic and photocopied tables of contents; subscribing to relevant mailing lists, newspapers and magazines; monitoring key web sites, books and journals.
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a means of organizing and simplifying current awareness, using feeds from a variety of sources along with aggregator tools such as Bloglines and iGoogle. The following list is a compilation of sites for medical news available on the web. The sites are limited to those that are open-access, and that direct the user immediately to top health stories, as opposed to requiring the use of a search feature. This is not a comprehensive or exhaustive list; rather, it represents some of the more commonly-used news sources.
Some select health news outlets
RSS Feeds in medicine