April 13th, 2011

PubMed: Keep calm and carry on?

pan·ic –noun

1. a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons or animals.

I hate panic. I’m also not a huge fan of unclear information that adds fuel to panic.

The potential for the Federal government to shut down was a very real situation last week with a lot of unknown ‘what if’ factors that was resolved at the 11th hour. Fear of the unknown often leads to panic – that I understand. Apparently Federal agencies themselves could do little to clearly communicate their contingency plans for what was and wasn’t considered essential. That I’m not so sure I understand, but since I’m not a Federal employee I’m not going to try to figure out why.

What I can do is research for information, which I found and shared last Friday to counter whatever tweets I saw that took on panicky tones about whether or not PubMed would remain online: White House says critical websites won’t be affected by shutdown. Granted this information did not name PubMed specifically by name but one would think that the world’s largest medical library resources used by millions of people a day would be considered critical.

Or are they?

What does it mean when National Library of Medicine contractors, verified by listed names on their Twitter accounts through the staff directory, tweet information like this?

I don’t have the answer.

Others have weighed in better than I about the possibilities implied here too.

Posted at 07 25 AM | 1 Comment » | print this post

One Response to “PubMed: Keep calm and carry on?”

  1. Alisha says:

    Thank you for the summary. I missed some of those tweets, like ‘La la la.” I think if I had seen that I might have panicked a little even with @pat_devine sending calming tweets.

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