1999 NLHLA Annual Workshop

Finding and Evaluating Information on the WWW

Presented by Dianne Cmor and Catherine Sheehan, Health Sciences Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

This is the first of a two part session on the internet. Dianne went through an explanation of what kind of information is on the web and the issues you need to consider when evaluating a web site.

One guide to this topic, including some additional links, is How to Evaluate Internet Resources.

Searching the WWW: Using Web Search Tools to Find Information

Presented by Dianne Cmor and Catherine Sheehan, Health Sciences Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Catherine began the second part of this two-part internet session with an introduction to the principles of searching the web. She then explained the types of search tools available, subject directories and search engines, and explained some of the features commonly found in search tools.

This was the hands-on portion of the session and participants were given the opportunity to try out the search tools and features.

The Health Sciences Library provides a listing of starting points in the health field, Internet Health Sites.

Canadian Copyright Update 1999

Presented by Nancy Simmons, Copyright Officer, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Everything that was passed under Bill C-32 is now in force. However some of the regulations needed to enforce the act are not completely in effect yet. Several of these include libraries, and many also include fee structures.

Bill C-32 allows:

  • students and teachers to write copyrighted material on the board
  • the performance of a play in an educational setting
  • the taping of news and news commentaries (but not documentaries) from the television or radio for playing in class [There are restrictions on this: it can only be kept for one year, and a record must be kept of the making and destroying of the tape -it must be reported to someone, but the who is unclear as yet.]
  • non-profit libraries, museums, and archives to copy items for the maintenance of their permanent collection (or the permanent collection of other non-profit libraries, museums, and archives)
  • non-profit libraries, museums, and archives to make one copy for a patron under the `fair dealing’ provision, which holds that it must be from a scholarly, technical or scientific journal, or must be from a newspaper that is older than one year.
  • Inter Library Loans (this is an explicit permission; previously it was justified under fair dealing) between non-profit organizations, and must be from a scholarly, technical or scientific journal, or must be from a newspaper that is older than one year.
  • digital transmission (such as fax or ariel) between non-profit organizations, but the receiving organization must destroy the digital copy. Again the item must be from a scholarly, technical or scientific journal, or must be from a newspaper that is older than one year.
  • single copying of unpublished archival works for research or study. While unpublished works used to have copyright for perpetuity, it has now been changed for materials written in the last 50 years, to copyright for 50 years from the death of the author
  • putting something into an alternative format for a perceptually disabled person, with the exception of large print. The only way to `translate’ something into large print is via fair dealing.

In addition, copyright law now states that these rights only hold in the absence of the item being commercially available. Commercially available in this case is also taken to mean a license with a collective, thus it is virtually impossible to get by without a license. This includes changes to the self-serve photocopier section, which states that you are not liable for photocopying done on a self-serve copier so long as a copyright notice is affixed AND you have a license with a collective.

One of the fees that is being introduced is a levy on blank audio cassettes and cds (except for people with a perceptual disability). Because of the levy, private copying will be allowed. However educational institutions will be charged for blank cassettes and cds, so this could affect distance education courses. The exact fee has not yet been set.

The internet has not been explicitly addressed by the law, however copyright is not given up just because something is on the web. One copy under fair dealing seems to be the only way to copy. There is a question regarding documents on a web site that are only available by downloading, and whether when they are downloaded and printed, if they can be added to the library’s collection. This is a particularly important issue for health libraries where so many of Health Canada and Statistics Canada documents are only available in web form.

CARL has just released a brochure outlining their position on government documents. They are asking for free use of government documents for educational institutions, without having to ask permission. Currently the only documents available in this way are federal judicial decisions.

These are some documents by CARL on copyright.

Copyright Bills are available on the web. Search for the title keyword “Copyright”.

The Canadian Library Association maintains a site with copyright information.

You can get additional information from the summary of Nancy’s presentation from last year, as well as a list of a few copyright web sites.

Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information

Presented by Doreen Neville, CEO, NLCHI.

The Centre for Health Information was set up to provide comprehensive health information for the province. It included three concepts:

  1. to create a unique identifier in order to create and link different databases
  2. to create an electronic patient chart
  3. to develop information for consumers

The Centre is presently focused in four directions.

  1. finding the money to develop the system. So far all the money has been coming from private partners. A strategic plan and a business plan have been developed for the government. If the government approves it and provides the funding, the Centre will then move to an implementation plan.
  2. creating standards for clinical coding and information management guidelines
  3. product development, which involves “data liberation”, or the release of raw data contained in several of the databases the Centre inherited from the Department of Health.
  4. communications, which includes both privacy guidelines for the security of health information and consumer health initiatives.

[Note: The two projects that our members are involved in fall into this area.

1. The Consumer Health project which was talked about at the last meeting. The proposal was accepted and a librarian has since been hired to implement phase 1.

2. The Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Network, which is going to be discussed later.]

There was a National Forum on Health, which led into an Advisory Council on Health Infostructure. The final report was released this year. This developed the concept of building a health information system for Canada, and the federal government announced several hundred million dollars in funding. However rather than being given to the provinces to develop infrastructure, it is being used for federal initiatives. The two projects currently being funded are:

  1. Road Map Initiative to develop standards
  2. Surveillance Project

George Beckett then introduced the discussion about his proposal to NLCHI. Titled Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Network, it is a proposal to provide access to bibliographic databases and full text databases to the entire province. It involves several phases, with the first being to provide access to the health practitioners, and to later expand to the health consumer. The health libraries of the province are to form the support mechanism for the project while NLCHI provides the infrastructure.

Check out the NLCHI web site for more information on what NLCHI is all about, and email them if you are not on their mailing list and would like to be receiving their newsletters and, more importantly, their statistical reports.