A group of libraries is working on a Web portal for practitioners who do not have convenient access to information resources and library services—and practitioners attending the AVMA Annual Convention can evaluate a prototype of the portal.
The AVMA library, National Agricultural Library, National Library of Medicine, and United States Agricultural Information Network are collaborating on the project. The purpose of the Web portal is to assist practitioners in locating information resources and library services already available to them. The portal will be most helpful for veterinarians in private practice who do not have an affiliation with an academic or research institution.
The project collaborators envision that the preliminary content of the portal will include these features:
- a new PubMed search feature for veterinarians, with options to limit retrieval to veterinary titles
- links to free information resources and databases such as NAL's Agricola, NLM's PubMed, and Cornell University's Consult
- links to information resources available on a fee basis—such as resources from Vet Med Resource, Veterinary Information Network, and Veterinary Journal Index
- links to professional organizations representing veterinary practice, including national and state groups
- links to information available online from veterinary colleges and schools, as well as links to their libraries
Following feedback from focus groups and other representative users, the project collaborators might add additional features such as the following:
- a site search
- a federated search of multiple databases, building on the success and experience of ToxSeek at http://toxseek.nlm.nih.gov and Science.gov at www.science.gov
- a feature for submitting a suggestion to the site
- a forum or discussion space to support users' questions and answers
- links to reference services
- inks to libraries that can assist practitioners in obtaining articles or borrowing books
The project collaborators invite veterinarians in private practice—especially practitioners without an academic affiliation—to join one of six focus groups during the AVMA Annual Convention on Sunday, July 15, at the headquarters hotel, the Renaissance Washington, D.C.
The hourlong focus groups will explore participants' experiences with needing and seeking information and will allow the collaborators to gather feedback on the prototype Web portal. Each session will include a demonstration of the portal and a question-and-answer period. Future focus groups will target veterinarians in academia and industry.
Convention attendees can learn more about the Web portal in the Exhibit Hall. Veterinarians who wish to participate in the focus groups can express their interest by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the Exhibit Hall between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14.