World Digital Library – April 2009

Here is a fantastic new resource, the World Digital Library , which just launched in April 2009. It makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, and includes manuscripts, maps, books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, and photographs. You can browse by place, time, topic, type of item, or institution. The Library was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by national libraries and with the support of UNESCO, companies and private foundations. (Google contributed $3 million.)


More from the About page:
U.S. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed the establishment of the WDL in a speech to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in June 2005. The basic idea was to create an Internet-based, easily-accessible collection of the world’s cultural riches that would tell the stories and highlight the achievements of all countries and cultures, thereby promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding. UNESCO welcomed the idea as a contribution toward fulfilling UNESCO’s strategic objectives, which include promoting knowledge societies, building capacity in developing countries, and promoting cultural diversity on the Web. UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura designated UNESCO’s Directorate for Communication and Information, led by Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan, to work with the Library of Congress to develop the project.

The Cochrane Library is now free for all Canadians!

cclogo.gif  About a year ago, I wrote a blog post entitled Cochrane Library: Free access for all?  Well, this has come to Canada, as a pilot project.  The Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre announced on April 15 that everyone in Canada is now able to access the full contents of the Cochrane Library. From the announcement:

The Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre, in partnership with the Canadian Health Libraries Association, has successfully secured a national license to The Cochrane Library. In essence, the license provides a subscription for every Canadian with access to the Internet to benefit from the immense volume of health information found in The Cochrane Library. Everybody will be one click away from the best available evidence on the effectiveness of treatment procedures including which ones may be harmful.

Access the Cochrane Library at

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007

nccam  According to a national survey, in the United States in 2007, 38% of adults and 12% of children used complementary and alternative medicine. The survey is posted on the Web site of NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine):   PDF version

This report presents selected estimates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among U.S. adults and children, using data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Read the press releasePubMed abstract.

Neck Pain and the Decade of the Bone and Joint 2000–2010 – Open Access!

The special supplement published in Spine in February 2008 has been republished with permission elsewhere. The European Spine Journal has published the Bone and Joint Decade articles on neck pain as v. 17, Supplement 1. The great news is, the whole supplement is available on PubMed Central.

European Spine Journal Volume 17 (Suppl 1);  April 2008

From the Editorial Preface:
In this supplement of Spine [republished with permission in this supplement], the results of a unique project, The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders, is published. This multidisciplinary, international Task Force, which was formed in 2000, has consisted of an executive committee, a scientific secretariat, an advisory committee together with research associates and graduate students. These groups involved more than 50 people. Committee members were based in 9 countries and represented 14 different clinical and scientific disciplines. Moreover, the Task Force was affiliated with 8 universities and research institutes in 4 different countries. Eleven professional organizations have been non-financial sponsors. Thus, the Task Force represents a unique gathering of international expertise covering all relevant aspects related to neck pain and its associated disorders. The Task Force has made an impressive systematic review of the vast literature in this field and a best evidence synthesis, which has resulted in 21 chapters in this supplement.