News from BIOME

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

BIOME Hot Topics

BIOME "Hot Topics" are proving extremely popular with lots of positive feedback. We have received suggestions for particular areas of interest and recent themes have included breast cancer, AIDS, and pet ownership. So check out the new topics at Hot Topics [1].

BIOME Mailing List

Are you interested in finding out more about BIOME? Join the BIOME JISCmail to keep up to date with developments [2].

BIOME Search Plugin for Firefox

Users of the Mozilla Firefox browser may have noticed that up in the top right corner of Firefox, there is a handy search box that allows you to search various databases and search engines from within the browser. Developers at BIOME have created a search plugin to enable you to add the BIOME database to the search box. Just click Search Plugin [3] to install. This currently searches across all the BIOME gateways. If you would like to see a search plugin for a particular gateway, please contact us [4].

User Feedback

We would like to thank all those that completed the BIOME questionnaire. In total, we received 350 responses and 12 winners received £30 each. We are currently analysing the data and results will be available shortly.

BIOME Continuing Professional Development Training Events for NHS Librarians

Laurian Williamson, BIOME's Content Coordinator ran two separate CPD (Continuing Professional Development) events for NHS Librarians. These were held in November 2004, one at the United Bristol Healthcare Trust Education Centre and one at the Health Services Library, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton.

This BIOME-focussed CPD training session covered BIOME and the health-related subject gateways. The day consisted of several sessions with both presentations and hands-on practicals. These were:

  • How OMNI (Organising Medical Networked Information) became the BIOME Service (history of elib programmes and the role of the JISC)
  • Web site evaluation issues, criteria, health quackery and health fraud
  • The Virtual Training Suite (VTS) of BIOME authored tutorials (Internet Medic, Allied Health, Nursing, Pharmacist, and BioResearch)
  • Simple and advanced searching of OMNI/NMAP (Nursing, Midwifery and Allied health Professions)
  • Browsing and the role of the browsable structures within OMNI and NMAP
  • 'From start to finish - resource discovery': evaluating and adding a high-quality Internet resource into BIOME (a practical example of finding, evaluating and including a resource)
  • BIOME's past and present collaborations

For further details, or to express interest in hosting similar events please contact Laurian Williamson on or 0115 8493251

BIOME and Libraries for Nursing Study Day

Laurian Williamson and Robert Abbott attended the LfN Study Day at The Royal College of Nursing, London on Friday 12 November 2004

Laurian gave a 45-minute presentation entitled "Collection development for BIOME (health and life sciences hub of the Resource Discovery Network). How we ensure BIOME provides access to evaluated, high-quality Internet resources in the health and life sciences, aimed specifically at students, researchers, academics and practitioners."

The issues covered included the history of BIOME and the development of NMAP; collection development policies for OMNI and NMAP; quality and evaluation issues of Internet resources; resource discovery for OMNI and NMAP; collection development and sustainability.

Changes at BIOME

We are pleased to announce the recruitment of another part-time Service Officer. Robert Abbott joined the team at the beginning of November and works on our NMAP and OMNI gateways. Previously a practising Information Scientist in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, he will be a valuable member of the team.

Unfortunately, our Portal Development Officer, Vicky Wiseman, left the Service at the end of 2004. We are sad to lose Vicky and would like to thank her for the hard work and commitment she has put into the BIOME Service. We wish her all the best in her new post as Head Librarian at Duncan Macmillan House, Psychiatric Medical Library for Nottinghamshire Healthcare.


  1. BIOME Hot Topics
  2. Archives of BIOME@JISCMAIL.AC.UK - Medical, Biological and Health Sciences mailing list
  3. Biome Search Plugin
  4. Contacting BIOME

Author Details

Jenny Hall
BIOME Admin Officer

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Date published: 
Sunday, 30 January 2005
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