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Euroethics. A Database Network on Biomedical Ethics. History. First version: Developed in BIOMED II project (1996-1999) and hosted at SPRI Library, Sweden First version was also available via Dimdi New version: Developed in Eurethnet project (2002-2005) and hosted at KI Library (KIB), Sweden.

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Euroethics l.jpg

Euroethics

A Database Network on Biomedical Ethics


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History

  • First version: Developed in BIOMED II project (1996-1999) and hosted at SPRI Library, Sweden

  • First version was also available via Dimdi

  • New version: Developed in Eurethnet project (2002-2005) and hosted at KI Library (KIB), Sweden


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Funding

  • EU (European Commission)

  • Programme: Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources


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Co-ordination

  • Many collaboration partners, so co-ordination is required

  • BIOMED II and Eurethnet were co-ordinated by Göttingen University, Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Information- and Documentation Centre (IDEM), Germany


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User Needs

  • Information on literature on medical ethics is scattered in many places (databases, catalogues etc)

  • Focus on North American literature

  • User need: Information on European literature, in one place


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European Bioethical Literature

Fangerau H:

Finding European bioethical literature: an evaluation of the leading abstracting and indexing services

J Med Ethics. 2004 Jun;30(3):299-303

Full text link available in PubMed



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Euroethics

  • A bibliographic database on biomedical ethics

  • Information on European literature compiled in one place


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Size

  • 30 000 records from 7 Western European indexing centres (April 2005)

  • Data from New Member States (NMS) will follow soon


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Scope

  • Coverage: Ethics in Nursing, Ethics in Health Professions, Ethics in Health Care, Biomedical Ethics

  • National literature

  • Bibliographic records of document types such as journal articles, books, bills, court decisions, decrees, governmental publications, guidelines, law, parliamentary publications, statements, academic dissertations, abstracts, case studies, comparative studies, evalutation studies, proceedings, surveys and questionnaires


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Endebit

  • The European Network of Documentation for Ethics of Biotechnology

  • “Sister database” of Euroethics

  • Developed in Eurethnet project


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Indexing

  • Each database record is supplemented with indexing terms describing what the document is about

  • Indexing terms are picked from a controlled vocabulary (thesaurus)


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Thesauri

  • Two thesauri with concordances

  • Thesaurus Ethics in the Life Sciences (TELS) = Core thesaurus (mandatory field in the database)

  • Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)



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MeSH

  • Medical Subject Headings

  • Thesaurus of PubMed/Medline

  • Translations exist in many languages


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Common Hierarchic Structure

  • TELS and MeSH are hierarchic thesauri (thesauri with BT/NT tree structures)

  • TELS has concordances (mappings to equivalent concepts) with the MeSH

  • Some features of Euroethics are based on the (partially overlapping) tree structures


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Networking

  • Original versions of the bibliographic records are entered into local databases

  • NMS partners have an intermediary database for data upload/entry

  • Data from the local databases are exported to the central database running at KI



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Documentary Standards

  • Each indexing centre has its own software for data entry

  • Compliance is achieved via standards, not software

  • The Documentary Standards specify the database structure (in terms of fields, valid contents of the fields)

  • The standards are supplemented by an indexing manual





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Guidelines

  • Guidelines for indexing and cataloguing (Indexing Manual)

  • Supplements the Documentary Standards

  • More detailed information about database policies, usage of certain fields etc



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Amendments

  • Sometimes the Documentary Standards may need to be changed

  • The Amendment Procedures describe how to do that

  • The Amendment Procedure document is available as an appendix to the Indexing Manual


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Import of Data

  • Each indexing centre sends its data to KIB for import into central database

  • Different export formats (depending on software for data entry)

  • Data is converted to a common import format before being uploaded into the database


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Import of NMS Data

  • New Member States (NMS) joined Eurethnet after the project had started

  • Data is gathered in an intermediary database (developed by IBMI) before being sent to KIB

  • The NMS database supports data import as well as direct data entry


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National Characters

  • Original titles of documents may contain national characters (Eastern or Western European)

  • Problem: Not all computer environments can handle many character sets at the same time

  • Solution: UniCode



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Document Ordering

  • The bibliographic records represent documents owned by the indexing centres

  • An individual indexing centre cannot undertake document delivery to end users all over the world

  • Instructions for obtaining documents via interlibrary loan are available via the Euroethics home page

  • Some records contain full text links


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Future

  • Eurethnet project ends June 30th, 2005

  • Further maintenance on an unofficial basis

  • Sustainability?

  • ETHICSWEB proposal has been submitted


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Development Staff

  • Database model, search interface and import solution have been developed by staff at KIB (Per-Olov Andersson and Ylva Gavel)

  • Most graphical elements were initially developed within other contexts of the project (Eurethnet portal, Euroethics home page, Endebit interface)


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Technology

  • Database Manager: Microsoft SQL Server

  • Converters: Perl and Borland Delphi

  • Search Engine: Borland Delphi


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Database Tables

  • Database model based on the data fields listed in the documentary standards

  • Complex relational model where data is represented by several tables

  • Separate thesaurus database is needed in order to support some search features


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Eurethnet Home

http://www.eureth.net

































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