Reviews Netlines


BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 11 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1160
  1. Harry Brown (DrHarry{at}, general practitioner
  1. Leeds
    • When surfing the web it is easy to focus on new and exciting sites and forget about the well established sites that continue to grow and mature, such as that of the highly respected Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and its superb list of guidelines ( The simple list covers a wide range of common scenarios. Helpful symbols tell you what the current status of each guideline is (current, withdrawn, due for review, under review). The more recent are available as PDF files, either in the full version or as a quick reference guide.

    • Blogs, or online journals, are a simple way to establish a web presence and can encompass all forms of subject matter. Take, for example, the impressive, which looks at the medical aspects of scuba diving. Mixing news, views, and links to other resources, it is a good starting point for learning more about this field.

    • The site is designed to help anaesthetic trainees (gas boys and gas girls) prepare for exams. Essentially it is a bank of multiple choice questions with some smart algorithms embedded within. Registration is required for full participation, but the site is free, and you can read the amusing but helpful frequently asked questions before starting. These convey the ethos of the site, which is very much about mutual help and self learning. People can contribute questions and edit and clarify current questions, allowing the database to stay fresh.

    • The PubMed Medline database ( is a hugely popular and highly respected resource. However, you need some skill to master all the site's services. If you want something simpler try The simple, Google like search interface just presents you with a single search box that will accept plain language queries. So simply type in your question (in English only) and search the Medline and PubMed databases in an easier way than the traditional version.

    • Do you have a large file you want to email someone but don't want to clog up their in-box? Then check out the service at It's easy to use: from the home page, type in the person's email address, write a message, and upload the file. The recipient receives an email message with a link to an internet address, and they simply click on the link to download the file if they wish to. The service is free for files up to 100 megabytes.


    • We welcome suggestions for websites to be included in future Netlines. Readers should contact Harry Brown at the above email address.

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