Information In Practice


BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 27 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1961
  1. Mark Pallen (m.pallen{at}

    Wired in Lytham

    • Internet-savvy patients in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, can now access all the information they could possibly want about the local general practice Holland House Medical Centre via the surgery's website ( The site is nicely laid out and covers everything from repeat prescriptions to the out of hours service and from medical certificates to childhood immunisations, although I wonder how much of their advice on self treatment of common disorders is evidence based.


    • WebDoctor ( is a comprehensive index of medical resources on the internet produced in Canada. The site includes introductory articles about the internet for doctors, covering topics like “Working with the internet-literate patient,” links to electronic medical journals, and interactive discussion forums.

    Fifty years of the NHS

    • This site ( has been set up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the NHS. It describes the past, present, and future of the NHS and includes features such as “Today in 1948” and a critique of the successes and failures of the service.

    Plague genome

    • The Wellcome Trust (, through a new initiative, Beowulf Genomics (, is funding the sequencing of several microbial genomes, including that of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague. Sequencing and annotation will be carried out at the Sanger Centre, near Cambridge, ( Further information on the project and links to online information about Y pestis and plague can be found on a website in my department (, which also features information about St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Plague of 1665 (

    Research misconduct

    • Following the discussion of this topic in a recent issue of the BMJ (6 June), I searched the web for further information. Walter W Stewart's Site on Scientific Misconduct ( provides a wealth of information and links, including documents and discussions relating to notorious cases (Darsee, Baltimore, etc). Brian Martin in Australia has produced a site on “suppression of dissent” in science (, while the UK organisation for whisteblowers, Freedom To Care, has a site on The Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech has put together an Ethics in Science page (, with links to useful resources, including an excellent guide to scientific conduct by the National Institutes of Health, On Being a Scientist ( The Medical Research Council's scientific misconduct policy and procedure can be obtained in Adobe Acrobat format from (to read this, you will need Acrobat Reader

    To protect yourself against false accusations, you should read the British Technology Group's guide to keeping a laboratory notebook on And if you have been wrongly or maliciously accused of research misconduct, you can find your union on the web: the BMA's website is on, while non-clinical researchers can find the AUT on and MSF on

    Respiratory Infection Website

    • Clinicians or microbiologists interested in respiratory infection should visit this excellent new website (, which contains well written articles on many aspects of respiratory infections and allows readers to comment on what they read through an online discussion group. The only drawback is that you have to register before you can access the site.

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