James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor
Sponsor: The American Academy of Pediatrics with assistance from the High Wire Press of Stanford University Libraries
Subspecialists in anesthesiology retain strong ties to related medical specialties, often collaborating in clinical, educational, and research endeavors. For pediatric anesthesiologists, fellowship in the American Academy of Pediatrics ([AAP] and membership in that society's Section of Pediatric Anesthesia) provides a formal link with others who care for our youngest patients. Recently, Pediatrics, the official journal of the AAP, has begun electronic publication on an extensive web site that has much to offer not only the specialized pediatric anesthesiologist, but others with a general interest or specific query.
The web site home page offers the reader options of either reviewing the current issue of Pediatrics, browsing and searching previous issues, or scanning topics scheduled to appear in future issues of the journal. The current issue is also divided into the electronic version, in which full text articles not appearing in the printed edition are published, or a synopsis of the printed edition containing titles and abstracts from that version. The electronic edition is so well organized that one feels somewhat frustrated at not being able to read the printed version as easily. While scanning the table of contents, the user can click titles of interest to view all of the abstracts of those articles selected. After viewing the abstract, the reader can move to the full text version, using arrows to skip sections or to hop to tables or references. At several points, the user can indicate further interest in a topic and link to a list of related references, the Excite search engine, or to Pub Med (the National Library of Medicine search service to MEDLINE and pre-MEDLINE).
Pages are easy to read, elegant in layout, and effective in leading the user to other topics of interest. Without the use of graphics (which slow progress) and by designing with a minimalist approach, readability seems actually to be more pleasant than in the published version, at least to this presbyopic eye.
Links and Resources
A number of important links have been built into this web site. Additional services are offered on many title pages, referring the user to AAP administrative information, subscription services, and free email services. Electronic addresses and email links connect the user to the managing editor of the journal for general queries, requests for reprints, and instructions for authors. The reader can also register his or her own electronic address for “contents awareness,” which automatically notifies the user regarding posting of a new issue, AAP notices, future tables of contents, and so on.
The Resources section links to other web sites of potential interest. This section is divided into several subsections, including AAP administrative sites and parent or patient information sites (with appropriate clinical and legal disclaimers). The online research and clinical tools subsection contains connections to such well-known sites as the Visible Human Project, the NICU IV calculator, and the Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Life Support Megacode Simulator. Links to many American and foreign medical societies are available, as are several links to important government and national agencies, including NIH, WHO, Red Cross, NIDA, the Human Genome Project, CDC, FDA, and even the US House, Senate, and White House. The end of the resources page offers the user an opportunity to email suggestions for other recommended links.
Miscellaneous links are present of interest or use to those with a more primary pediatric background, including classified ads for practice opportunities organized by region. Another link of particular note highlights the AAP Red Book, the classic reference of pediatric infectious disease and antibiosis. This information page succinctly lists all of the changes in the present edition, and when downloaded avoids the issue of acquiring the latest edition of the book.
The site uses Doody's Review Service as a source of pediatric-related book reviews. Most pediatric anesthesiology texts are easily located by title or author, although one popular text was found only when the search was initiated by ISBN. Book reviews and ratings seem appropriate; this evaluation only slightly colored by the favorable review granted to my recently published handbook. For members of the AAP, Doody's will create an index user profile according to subscriber preferences, send weekly email of new books, and provide for ordering books directly from this service.
The Pediatrics web site excels in offering an organized, useful, and complete online electronic journal. This achievement is a result of the skills and experience of the Stanford University High Wire Press team, whose lofty goals at furthering scholarly electronic publication are also delineated at this site as a clear mission statement for others to follow. Extensive resource links and search capabilities allow the user to explore the clinical, research, and educational arenas of contemporary pediatrics. This electronic journal provides a simple and entertaining way for anesthesiologists to either rapidly scan the pediatric literature or to explore it in depth. I would recommend adding this site and others to our required reading lists for residents. Not only does the availability of this “free” journal complement the teaching of pediatric anesthesiology, but it also helps to increase resident and student familiarity with the internet as a tool for procuring and sharing knowledge.
Charlotte Bell, M.D.; Associate Professor; Department of Anesthesiology; Section of Pediatric Anesthesia; Yale University School of Medicine; 333 Cedar Street; New Haven, Connecticut; cbell@BIOMED.MED.YALE.EDU