Web Magazine for Information Professionals

News from BIOME

Jenny Hall and Donald Mackay report on recent news form BIOME, the Health and Life Sciences hub of the Resource Discovery Network.

BIOME Hot Topics

BIOME contains a wealth of information on a wide range of topics in the health and life sciences and we aim to keep introducing new features in line with user needs. As of October 2004 we are trialling a new fortnightly feature - ‘Hot Topics’.

Subject experts within the BIOME team will choose an area of interest or a current topic and provide links to key sites in our database for that theme. BIOME ‘Hot Topics’ are useful for those seeking inspiration for project work, possible ideas for essay themes, or simply as a quick route into subjects of interest. Topics covered so far include dyslexia and chocolate. To see more, check out Hot Topics [1].

If you would like to see a particular topic covered, or would like to provide us with feedback on this feature, please email us [2].

Expanding and Developing BIOME Content

Since our inception, we have worked with a wide range of UK universities, professional organisations, charities and other groups within the UK to obtain content for the core BIOME database. For example we have recently signed an agreement with the Midwives Information and Resource Service (MIDIRS) [3].

Over the last year this work has been taken further by the establishment of agreements with other information providers in the health and life sciences to display their content within the BIOME Gateways and vice versa. We are keen to avoid duplication of effort - especially with services elsewhere in the public sector. Given the overlap (both in terms of content and in terms of potential users) between BIOME and the range of NHS online information services in the UK, we have been keen to work together with these services.

With this in mind, we have recently signed formal agreements to swap or cross-search and display data in each other’s gateways with NHS Education Scotland (developers of the NHS Scotland eLibrary) [4] and Queen’s University Belfast (developers of Health on the Net Northern Ireland - HONNI) [5]. We hope to extend this to include other NHS information providers over the next few months.

Overall we are undertaking a range of partnership, project and other activities to expand the content that can be searched for from the BIOME gateways and to expand and enrich the core content held within the core BIOME database.

To give some examples:

User Feedback

We would like to find out your views on BIOME and its future development. Complete our short (should take less than ten minutes to complete) questionnaire [9] and you will be entered into a monthly draw to receive one of six £30 Book tokens or Amazon gift vouchers.

The deadline for the next prize draw (drawn from survey responses received after 18 October) is 12th November 2004. Prizes will be drawn on 15 November.

The survey will continue to be available after this date and further responses are welcome.

Changes at BIOME

Peter Hoare has been recruited to the BIOME service. Peter brings with him a wealth of experience in health and agricultural information and we are delighted to have him on board as a BIOME Service Officer.


  1. Hot Topics http://biome.ac.uk/hot_topics/
  2. BIOME Feedback feedback@biome.ac.uk
  3. MIDIRS http://www.midirs.org/
  4. eLibrary Scotland http://www.elib.scot.nhs.uk/
  5. HONNI http://www.honni.qub.ac.uk/
  6. LTSN Subject Centres http://www.ltsn.ac.uk/home.asp
  7. RDN for FE project http://www.rdn.ac.uk/projects/rdnfe/
  8. ePrints UK http://www.rdn.ac.uk/projects/eprints-uk/
  9. BIOME questionnaire http://biome.ac.uk/questionnaire/

Author Details

Jenny Hall
BIOME Admin Officer

Email: jh@biome.ac.uk
Web site: http://biome.ac.uk/

Donald M Mackay
BIOME Service Manager

Email: dmm@biome.ac.uk
Web site: http://biome.ac.uk/

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