Affra Shamsi, Royal Hospital Oman & Oman Medical Specialty Board
When tasked with providing the information that will support Oman’s next generation of medical professionals, ensuring that they will have access to the latest, most authoritative information available is key. And that is exactly the task that Affra Shamsi, Head of the Central Library and Coordinator of the Digital Library, Royal Hospital Oman & Oman Medical Specialty Board, was faced with in 2008 when she began her search for medical journals and books that would deliver the wealth of information her users required.
“Our library users demand excellence of themselves and of the resources they access to help them achieve this goal. Our partnership with Springer began 5 years ago when we selected their medical journals and ebooks to complement the resources already offered via the medical & information centre library. The medical library is e-access only, so it was imperative that the resources we provided were not only the most informative available, but could also be relied upon to be accessible whenever and wherever our users needed them.”
Established by the Royal Decree No. 31/2006, issued April 2, 2006, the Oman Medical Specialty Board is an independent body tasked with formulating proper standards and criteria for practising and developing the health professions. The Board sets the standards for post-graduate medical education of healthcare professionals and strives to continuously improve the standards and quality of healthcare in Oman. The Royal Hospital, Oman, is a major teaching hospital with responsibility for delivering the MD course of the Sultan Qaboos University. It is also the primary training facility for the post-graduate Residency Program of the Oman Medical Specialty Board in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Child Health and Laboratory Medicine and is recognized by the Royal Colleges of UK and Ireland as an official center for the membership examinations in Medicine, Pediatrics and Surgery.
With such high standards of quality, only the best resources will do and Springer was chosen, in part, for its reputation as being one of the best publishers of scientific and medical content. Affra continued, “Springer’s reputation, as well as the feedback we received from our users from trials we were conducting on its products, helped to cement our decision to go ahead with the purchase decision. I already knew that Springer provided high quality and high impact resources in the medical field. Our users’ feedback confirmed this.”
The Medical Library now provides access to Springer’s medical journals collection and medical ebooks (from 2005 to 2009). It has also purchased Springer Images database, which provides high quality medical images with direct links to their source journal or book. “Our users appreciate the breadth and depth of Springer content,” continued Affra. “Usage of both ebooks and journals in the life sciences is particularly significant,” continued Affra. “We are a major teaching hospital in Oman, attracting students, residents and staff from around the world. It is imperative that we provide access to the most authoritative information we can find and with Springer’s world-wide reputation for providing only the highest quality research available, we are able to keep our students and professional and clinical staff up to date with the latest developments for their specialities.”