James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor
Wright's Anesthesia and Critical Care Resources on the Internet
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Anesthesiology
Authors/WebMasters-Content: A. J. Wright, M.L.S., A.H.I.P. (email@example.com)
WebMaster: Frank O'Connor, M.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anesthesia and Critical Care Resources on the Internet (AC-CRI) is an exhaustive list of electronic resources of interest to anesthesiologists. It began 3 yr ago as a list sent to anesthesia electronic discussion groups and quickly became established as the ACCRI-L discussion list as a means to distribute the document. Although the ACCRI-L is still available as an all-inclusive single document, its size and complexity (currently 300 Kbytes) continue to expand, making this format difficult to manage and review. Thanks to the work of Dr. Frank O'Conner, the ACCRI list is now organized as a hypertext website database. It is located on the server at the Department of Anaesthesia, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ACCRI lists not only websites, but discussion lists, software, electronic journals, E-mail addresses, or any electronic resource (both network and non-network) that may be of interest to anesthesiologists and related specialties. The full list can be obtained via E-mail simply by sending a blank E-mail message to email@example.com.
Quality of Information
The information contained in the site is accurate and updated every 1–3 months. It is published in a journal format with links to different categories of resources. These categories include WWW Sites, Discussion Lists, Electronic Journals, FTP Sites, Gopher Sites, Software, E-mail addresses, Useful URLS, New in This Issue, Pick of the Month, Quote of the Moment, Featured Resource, Acronyms, Books, Non-Internet resources, Bibliography, and Appendix. These areas can be accessed by way of an underlined hypertext link or a radio button. The “New in This Issue” area should be especially helpful for those with limited time to quickly locate new information and resources. The “Featured Resource” area is a new area that reviews Internet-based anesthesia and critical care resources. The “Discussion Lists” area is a list of all available E-mail lists to which one can subscribe. Instructions and required E-mail links are provided. The “WWW sites” area contains links to the following categories of sites: Academic, Commercial, Government/Military, Hospitals, Index sites, Meetings, National Sites, Nurse Anesthesia, Organizations/Societies, Personal and Miscellaneous. The Acronyms and Appendix areas were not functional.
Quality of Links
ACCRI contains an impressive number of links to all areas related to anesthesia. The links found in the “WWW Sites” area are encyclopedic and functional. Unfortunately many of the other areas contained underlined hypertext without a logical link. The world map images on index page did not provide links on the main site where it did on the University of Alabama mirror site. Many areas on University of Alabama “mirror” site are outdated despite many links from the main Erasmus University site. The University of Alabama site is not a true mirror site as it has a different interface and is dated 3 months before the Erasmus University site. The “FTP sites” area does not provide links to the mentioned ftp site, only to the website where the ftp site is located.
The ACCRI search area, although linked, was not functional. The University of Alabama mirror search engine worked, but it linked to its old database. The “World Wide Web Sites” area has searching via pop-up menus. The choices were Location, Category, Listing, and Alphabet. This area worked well with appropriate links and data returned. This area is the most functional and data-rich of the ACCRI website. This form of searching is somewhat limited as text cannot be entered, and one is limited to one global location for a search. An option to choose all locations would be helpful.
The ACCRI list is the most comprehensive database of its kind. It is easily accessible, well known, and frequently updated. The website for ACCRI is helpful and contains the ACCRI information, but the current format is not fully functional and is still a work in progress. Despite these shortcomings, the website is useful as an alternative to downloading or subscribing to the ACCRI list.
Jeffrey M. Cusick, M.D.
Chief of Anesthesiology; 374th Medical Group; Yokota Air Base; Japan