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Study on the Web 2.0 technologies & its application is to explore the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies in medical libraries & to identify which Web 2.0 technologies are most commonly used in medical libraries; here discussions about future trends in Web 2.0 technologies in medical libraries & its standardisation etc are described briefly.
Literature Study reveals that medical libraries are using Web 2.0 technologies for information dissemination. In India few libraries are using these technologies, most of the medical libraries in India lacking proper infrastructure & trained manpower.
The common Web 2.0 technologies used include blogs, wikis, podcasts, and RSS. The literature indicates that Web 2.0 technologies will be utilised more frequently to deliver information services in medical libraries.



Discussions among the Medical Librarians show that Web 2.0 technologies are at the forefront during 1990 decade. The social networking technology & the other tools such as Blogs,WIKIs, Videosharing & Photosharing softwares, Podcasts, RSS feeds, Mashups, Folksonomies, & Bookmarkings have developed a large influence on all human fields of activities with the Characteristic of Web 2.0 technologies. Medical sciences & Library science also are not exception from this influence. Consequently, Library 2.0 and newly coined concepts of Medicine 2.0, and Health 2.0 have been adored with the adoption technologies of Internet culture.
Majority of Medical libraries of India are not using the concept of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies & some have implemented Web 2.0 technologies in library services to render the better library services to their clients.


According to Dictionary.com, Web 2.0 is defined as “the second generation of the World Wide Web in which content is user-generated and dynamic,” and the origin of the term is traced to 2004. The term is closely associated with Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media, Inc., since he held the first conference focused on Web 2.0 in 2004. In the years following, Web 2.0 technologies have grown in popularity and filtered into libraries. Byrne provided an overview of the strategies to implement Web 2.0 technologies into library and information services, including a comprehensive listing of questions to consider during the planning process. He noted that library and information services will have to be restructured “around a dynamic, ever changing, networked, information access paradigm.”
Stemming out of the concept of Web 2.0, Manness discussed the theory of Library 2.0, which has four essential elements: user-centered, multi-media experience, socially rich, and communally innovative. Building upon this, Sodt and Summey stated, “Library 2.0
Takes the tools of Web 2.0 and creates libraries that are vital and evolving, designed to meet the needs of the current information culture.”


Blog, WIKI, RSS, Podcast, iPod, Tagging, Social bookmarking, Social networking,Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn,Web 2.0, & Library 2.0. Evernote.For the easy understanding of the study,the definitions of these terms are defined below :—–

Blogs, or Web logs, are online diaries or journals on various topics that are typically displayed in reverse chronological order.

Wikis, meaning “quick” in the Hawaiian language, are collaborative websites that can be edited by anyone with access to them.

RSS, Rich Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication, or RDF Site Summary, is an XML-based tool used for the distribution of Web content.

Podcast is a digital audio program that can be downloaded to a mobile player, such as an iPod.

Tagging is labeling resources with user-defined keywords.

Social bookmarking is a way for individuals to collect and share online resources

Social networking allows individuals to collaborate, connect, and communicate in a virtual community, and specific examples of social networking tools include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter. & LinkedIn.

Web 2.0 is “the second generation of the World Wide Web in which content is user-generated and dynamic.”

Medicine 2.0 is “the application of interactive, collaborative, and multimedia Web-based technologies to web-based Medical services and collections.”

Library 2.0 is “the application of interactive, collaborative, and multimedia Web-based technologies to web-based library services and collections.”

Evernote—Here anybody can notedown & put his/her valuable writings & Necessary information for the personal use. It is safe & nobody can get it.


Patients are the consumers of Health care services & the Medicine 2.0 users & participants in Web 2.0 technology, writing and publishing their own experiences in their blogs; they are exchanging their experiences among the patient society. They comment on health information and doctors’ advice. & on the site likePatient UK, on which patients can use it to record their experiences; Patient UK readers can also rate existing ‘Patient Experience’ entries, and report any unsuitable or offensive entries they might come across (Boulos & Wheeler, 2007).

Modern medical service is patient-centered approach (Laine & Davidoff, 1996;Kemper & Mettler, 2002) in contrast with traditional doctor-centered approach. Modern medical practice and health care system, doctors always care about their patients’ needs and preferences. At present traditional information delivery, even health delivery is backdated. People sitting anywhere searching for

Health care facilities and health information. Johan Seidman (2008) states, “The time we’ve been spending in the exam room shadowing clinicians & patients have been invaluable. But it’s also important that we observe how consumers are using HIT [Health Information Technology] applications in their homes-after all, for most people, more than 99% of the time they are outside of traditional care delivery settings.” McLean, Richards and Wardman (2007) emphasise the revolutionary role of Web 2.0 in medical practice and education by posing a question of “Darwinian evolution or Folksonomic revolution?”

Advantages of the technology benefit the global community & there are disadvantages also & have their adverse effects. Srivastav (2008) in an issue of Sunday, Times of India states that “Doctors agree that equations with tech-savvy patients have changed. There is a rift between the patient community and doctors.” He reports that Dr P Vinay Kumar, Surgical Gastroenterologist from Apollo hospital says, “Describing them as e-patients, patients often step into clinics with a preconceived idea about their diagnosis and treatment option.”

It is called risky e-information, as described in the earlier report, but it seems that it is not at least as risky as ignorance. Let us think positive and accept that as new waves of technology emerge and involve communities. So there is a need to adapt to the cultural and lifestyle change.

So, it is the time to make a collaborative and a community building health information society, in which Library & Information Science specialists, patients, health service providers are working together following standards to make the dreams of the healthy society come true. Medical librarians should utilise social Web tools in order to meet the changing needs and preferences of the user community and to help the right flow of information according to the need of the clients at the right time.


Medical Librarians are disseminating information to the healthcare providers. Library science & services have a community-building phase, which is always prone to change in consonance with the changing needs and behaviour of its user community. However, to keep in advanced tune with new environment, medical librarianship also focus on the patient information needs as well as physicians. Presently users’ trend is to seek a lot of information on the social Websites network. Librarians’ blogs, Wikis, are the avenues of information delivery doors & Librarians’ endeavour is to give right information to support the flow of relevant information as their mission..

Social networking technologies offer new opportunities for health care consumers. There are studies that deal with the advantages extended by Web 2.0. The document entitled “Web 2.0 and chronic illness: new horizons, new opportunities” by Seeman (2008) opines that Web 2.0 heralds a breakthrough opportunity for empowering healthcare consumers of all types, and especially for those suffering from different forms of chronic illness.”

The medical librarianship through Medicine 2.0 has been transformed as follows: —
Medical Libraries, as any other conventional libraries, have transformed themselves by developing new services from time to time. Previously they rendered conventional services now they are providing the non-conventional advanced services.


Through advanced information technologies and Web 2.0 technologies Medical libraries are transforming themselves into digital libraries, & community based information centers. The advanced services that are served by Medical libraries in the Internet era & Web2.0&Medicine2.0, environments are as follows:–

Digital library services, Evidence-based medicinal information services, Information therapy services & online services through social networking including Medical blogs, Wikis, Slide shares, Video shares, Really Simple Syndication (RSS), and Folksonomy etc.

BLOG as a “first of the social software” (Giustini, 2006) it is also coined as “chronological social web site” (Blog, 2008). Blogs are very popular, easy and social platform to exchange information, and gradually becoming a more acceptable reference sources even in peer reviewed publications.

Contrary to the earlier situation where citing the blogs did not add value to the research work, presently they have gained their due value. For example some of the recent documents available through PubMed and Google Scholar contain references of blogs. A citation analysis in the references of an article about “Web 2.0″ gives a right image of modern trend. Moreover proliferations of blogs are accountable. Blogs in specific field shows that there are many blogs on the Web offering news & modern trends in the specific areas of human knowledge.atients often step into clinics with a preconceived idea about their diagnosis and treatment option.”

Google search for medical Blogs with the search query ‘allinurl: medicine blog’ resulted in the retrieval of about 40,000 blogs. While searching for medicine in the title of blogs it gave 48,900 with the search query ‘allintitle: medicine blog’; & search for “med” in the blogs’ URL retrieved about 50,000 hits with the search query ‘allinurl: med blog’. Blogs are not created by group of people as Wikis are created. It is a collaborative source because readers can comment and publish their own ideas about the topic, & can ask more information. Blogs can be considered as a very useful & good source of information to find information about the trends & debates in specific field, although the evaluation of sources must be considered. The library services like, Current awareness services can be properly disseminated through the blogs.

Specialisation of the blogs plays an important role in timeliness, perfection, & accuracy of blogs. Specialisation saves the time of the users & searching through massive amount of uncontrolled information in every field is mixed up. Specialisation is a best way to optimise the potential use of blogs if they are provided through modern non-conventional library & information delivery services.
Information therapy, Patient education, Patient guidance in hospitalisation, Patient discharge information, & Doctors time schedule, Doctors list based on specialty, Insurance and information about diseases caused by climate changes, Common diseases, Prevention of common diseases, Seasonal diseases, can be presented and shared through the Medical & Hospital library blogs etc.

Wikis are Web 2.0 tools. It is very important for reference information services in medical library& information centres. As it is collaborative nature, so WIKI provides opportunity of instantaneous revision & to develop an efficient repository of new information. Case studies in the field of Medical sciences, as a source of evidence plays very vital role, while they are not categorised as incase of formal sources of information like books, thesis, journal, etc. hence most of the time they are unorganised. The only chance for utilising case studies is, when they are reported through a journal.

WIKIS are used as an open-source depository of case studies, so it is a best source of evidences. Medical librarians can create a special case study in wiki for any type of Medical specialty , then Medical science students, Physicians, & Librarians can collaborate & send related case studies to the wiki editorial board & then these can be evaluated & added to wiki according to the terms and conditions of wiki. Medical librarians can easily support Medicine 2.0; Evidence based medicine and information therapy approach through wikis & other platforms of Web 2.0 such as Slide shares, Video shares or Picture shares. Wikis may be used for patient history written by patients themselves about their illness & sufferings.

Slide shares, Video shares & Photo shares are the appropriate community tools of Web2.0 to share medical images, atlases, educational video clips in medical libraries. These are created and shared by consumers as well as professionals. Librarians can digitalise the images embedded in atlases & books to share the pictures with the clients for educational purposes.

There are good examples of application of slide share and video share inMayo Clinic web site, such as slides of Brain anatomy,Exercises for osteoporosis, Causes of back pain videos relating toCT scan,How cancer spreads.

Presently, several organisational Web sites created for patient education audio/ video clips & podcasts through these sites such as eMedicineHealth, Patient UK (a comprehensive, free,

Up-to-date health information as provided by GPs to patients during consultations), Mayo Clinic, Better Health,UK National Health System, BUPA.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds gives the chance of being informed about new items added to the interested site. Medical Librarians can utilise the RSS feeds to catch up trends & changes of desired medical specialty & simultaneously to give the same opportunity to user community to keep themselves up-to-date information. RSS feeds act as the modern library services of sending alert to users about new items added to the library holding or sending table of contents of interested journals to specific users.We can say it serves as an effective Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) services.

Searching for the specific information & given source for information is always troublesome for the medical professionals, individuals & librarians when they want to send SDI services to their user. RSS feed is a Web2.0 based social tool that ensures easy, fast and certain accessibility of specific up-to-date information.

Not only Web 2.0 applications are useful in disseminating information services, they are also applicable in the organisation of information through tools like Folksonomy.

Folksonomy, is the tool of Web 2.0, the most debatable one, in the library science area is the folksonomy. It is important for library science to advocate the use of controlled vocabulary, thesaurus, taxonomy & authority control in classifying, storing and retrieving information on the Web. While user constructed tag or folksonomy (Folksonomy, 2008) is something different even more arbitrary than natural language. As the users may use inefficient & incomplete words & sometime irrelevant words also for tagging the created documents, which causes irrelevant & misleading information retrieval. But it is a very appropriate & important way to carry out user studies to find out the preferences of the users in information searching & information tagging. The study of user behaviour in using key words in their queries will enable Librarians & Information specialists to organise the information efficiently & support the search engines, indexing tools, folksonomy-based systems like Del.icio.us on the Web & digital era in an appropriate way based on the users’ preferences & approaches. On the other hand as Guy and Tonkin (2006) argue in their article that “One useful approach might be to examine users’ motivations when adding tags, see why they decide on particular words, observe how many tags they add & compare how the same items are classified by different users. It might also be helpful to see how feedback affects tag use & how users modify tags in the light of the behaviour of others.” It is obvious that standardisation is indispensable for better utilisation of Folksonomy system. However, it will not create restrictions for users (e.g., bloggers) to apply controlled vocabulary system. As discussed in an editorial note of Webology, it is the folksonomy-based system that should use a thesaurus (Noruzi, 2007).


Above mentioned services have profound effect on the Medical Librarianship & these services must be rendered by the medical libraries in the Medicine 2.0 environment. It is the high expectation that these services must revolutionise the medical librarianship & thereby extend the better support to Medicine 2.0 practices.

Health Science Librarians have knowledge of handling, organising, searching, finding, locating and delivering accurate, reliable and relevant information. They know how to give information to doctors, students & patients, & they know how to find the right information for the clients from this mountain of information. They know when it is necessary & how to develop a system to coordinate Folksonomy with thesaurus, controlled vocabulary, taxonomies to meet the authority control & in order to better match the users’ information needs, doctor recommended information & make the best evidence available. They 213know from where the right information may be found & where the RSS feeds should be embedded for getting current information.

Medical libraries use Web 2.0 technologies inadequately & inharmoniously. As a result there are scattered, disorganised & uncontrolled sources of information which are needed Webliography control.

Schneider (2002) states that “while consumers have embraced information on the health Internet with great enthusiasm, physicians and health care organisations have been more ambivalent.” Boulos, Maramba and Wheeler (2006) describing the Web 2.0 collaborations paradoxical pointed out that “Some of their [Web 2.0] disadvantages also relate to their openness and ease of use. Virtually anybody is able to alter, edit or otherwise contribute to the collaborative Web pages, it can be problematic to gauge the reliability and accuracy of such resources.”

Medical library services require a proper movement in the healthcare system. This should be realised through a clear set of rules & policies to bring all the sections of the profession together & to standardise the practices & use of Web 2.0 tools. Moreover standardisation & governmental support, there is a necessity to create awareness at the upper management level, so that they must be informed, learnt & get involved with the process of application of new technologies, encourage & support Libraries & Librarians.
The collaboration must be supported by the concerned State & Central Government in order to gain formal authority & status in the society. This step must ensure information organisation & stress control on Webliography. The Webliographic control must take care of quality of the information published on the Web & also the Metadata organisation and control. The rules & regulations must be clear. Private hospitals must work collaboratively in the program as partner of health providing concern.


For the better healthcare system & well-being of the humanity, MEDICINE 2.0 is the modern approach to ensure ‘health for all’, & a healthy community. The advancement of Medicine 2.0 mostly depends on the application of Web 2.0

Technologies. Librarians have great role to play here. Librarian must have to coordinate the efforts of all sections of healthcare system. Librarians are the better professionals to coordinate different sections of the communication system, as they are familiar with the information system & services. Government must develop standards and procedures & encourage specialisation, with an emphasis on Webliographic organisation & control, so that the Medical librarians will be efficient to render more & more efficient services.Standardisation of all the sources there will be availability of unique & original information & the problem will be solved with the application of modern ideas.


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