Global Health Google

Global Health Google

Ronald LaPorte (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Faina Linkov (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Eugene Shubnikov (University of Pittsburgh, USA & Institute of Internal Medicine, Russia), Mita Lovalekar (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Ayesha Aziz (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Francois Sauer (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Supercourse Team (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-097-6.ch033


We evaluate and illustrate the utility of Google Tools for assessing research communications in Global Health. Page Ranks (PR) appear to be an important tool or utility for ranking the impact pages with the logic that PR determine which pages will be seen in a search. Google Trends provided very intriguing results as with this one can assess the temporal trends in searching. Google analyses appear to be very powerful to evaluate the translation of scientific knowledge.
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AIDS, Global Warming, SARS, Avian Flu, Obesity, Drug Addiction: These global conditions reach the front pages of our newspapers and televisions every day. Global Health impacts us all. Scientists need the latest and most accurate data and information concerning global health. But where can it be found? It cannot be exclusively through journal articles as the information is 1 year old by the time of publication. Citations could be used to find the best quality material (Lundberg, G., 2003) however, citations are even more dated than journals, e.g. 2-3 years. Also, citations focus exclusively on journals.

Over the past 15 years, Internet emerged as an alternative way of biomedical information storage. Over the course of the past 10 years we have seen much of our best scientific information exchanged in blogs, emails, chat rooms, etc. We also have been especially interested in PowerPoint on the web as a major carrier of research communications (LaPorte, R. E., Linkov, F., Villasenor, T., Sauer, F., Gamboa, C., Lovalekar, M., et al., 2002) and the use of open source model for scientific information sharing (Sa, E., Sekikawa, A., Linkov, F., Lovalekar, M., & LaPorte, R. E., 2003). Specifically, in our previous studies we evaluated the quality of the Supercourse online lecture library (Linkov, F., LaPorte, R., Lovaleka,r M., & Dodani, S., 2005), (Linkov, F., Lovalekar, M., & LaPorte, R., 2007) leading us to the conclusion that online methodologies for quality control need to be evaluated further. Due to the ever growing nature of the Internet, it is hard to evaluate online materials using citations or traditional peer review mechanisms.

As Internet use grows, health interventions are increasingly being delivered online, with pioneering researchers using the networking potential of the Internet (Griffiths, F., Lindenmeyer, A., Powell, J., Lowe, P., & Thorogood, M., 2006). Similarly, the internet has become a frequently used and powerful tool for patients seeking medical information (Selman, T. J., Prakash, T., Khan, K. S., 2006).

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