Current awareness services in health libraries
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Current awareness services in health libraries are critical to the provision of library services in the digital age. Current awareness services (CAS) can be provided to the clinician or health profession (as in sending tables of contents or setting up RSS readers) or health librarians can teach health professionals how to set up these services for themselves. CASes are linked to outreach and the idea of keeping users current and as informed as possible; some librarians put their current awareness services at the top of their priority lists and help their users set up literature surveillance services in PubMed and EMBASE. A range of current awareness tools are available to health librarians and provide a way to stay connected to what is happening in medicine, which is valuable to solo hospital librarians especially. Health librarians use CA services for professional development and staying current. Keeping current in medicine and with information technologies is a priority in the digital age. Simply put, the idea is that health librarians are seen to be more effective by keeping up-to-date with the trends and news in medicine. There are a number of methods to facilitate current awareness for ourselves and our users. We can use electronic and photocopied tables of contents; relevant mailing lists, newspapers and magazines; web sites, books and journals. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a means of organizing and simplifying current awareness, as it uses feeds from a variety of sources in combination with aggregator software.
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 list is not exhaustive; rather, it represents some of the more common news sources.
Some select health news outlets
See also Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
RSS Feeds in medicine