Friday, 25 October 2013

Open access week

It's Open Access week!

What is open access?

Open access is the provision of scholarly articles for free, to be accessed by anyone.  There are a couple of categories of open access articles.

Gold: These articles are published in online journals - either the entire journal is open access OR a particular article has been provided as open access in an otherwise restricted journal (the journal is usually pay-per-view or subscribe to access articles). 

Green: These articles are provided through digital repositories, mostly run by learning institutions, like universities.  Other repositories are based on a theme or topic.  The author submits their work for uploading to the repository.  The article may be in a pre-published format, or final draft, rather than in the published form.

Articles that have been published and peer reviewed are known as white literature and articles that are yet to be peer reviewed are known as grey literature.  Articles from Green sources may be grey literature, that is they may not yet be peer reviewed.

Are open access articles good quality?

It depends.  Sometimes sweeping statements are made about the unreliability of open access articles, however, some of the top ranking journals on any given topic may be open access. Additionally, items that are retrieved through digital repositories may be exact replicas of a peer-reviewed published article. 

It is good to be aware that some journals and articles are better than others, and scrutinise information that is found accordingly.

Open access journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a good place to start looking at what open access journals are available.  Below are a few examples of open access journals on the topic of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health (MH).

On the topic of AOD

Substance abuse treatment, prevention and policy (UK) (Free full text from PubMed Central)

Harm reduction journal (UK) (Free full text from PubMed Central)

CrossCurrents: The Journal of Addiction and Mental Health (Canada)

On the topic of MH

Counselling, Psychotherapy and Health (cphJournal) (Australia)

Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health (UK)  (Free full text from PubMed Central)
BMC Psychology (UK)

This is just a small snippet of what is available out there, and this doesn't include the digital repositories of universities and other organisations, which are growing everyday.  If you've come across a useful open access site be sure to share it here in the comments.

Following blogs

Last week we put up a couple of AOD and MH blogs that you might find interesting or useful.  Continuously visiting blogs to find out if there's something new or relevant can get tedious and be a waste of time.  A better option is to be notified when there are new updates and make an assessment about whether the article is going to be of use without having to visit each site.  The best way to do this is to follow or subscribe to a blog. 

There are a number of places online where you can find information about following blogs; Google can provide you with lots of information.  The following links are some starting points for you to consider, and are by no means an exhaustive list.  If you want more information feel free to contact the resource centre or do further investigation online on your preferred option.

Options for following blogs:

Have updates sent to your inbox by:

Subscribing to the blog (link available on most blog websites)

Adding an RSS feed to your Outlook. (This link also explains what an RSS feed is.)

Use an online application to collate your blog reading in one space:

These four options are free and relatively easy to use.  There are some differences in functionality and presentation, so you might want to have a look at a few and decide which works best for you.  You'll also find extensive reviews online through Google.

Digg Reader

AOL Reader



I use Bloglovin' for my personal reading as it has a simple interface, particularly on mobile devices.  However, I would consider using another reader for professional reading if it had better functionality.

Anyone subscribing to/following blogs like to give there tips and experiences? Take a moment to comment below.

Friday, 18 October 2013

AOD and MH blogs to follow

Following blogs is a great way to keep up-to-date with your profession.  Of course, anyone can publish a blog so there may be great variances in their reliability and the quality of information. 

The following blogs are well regarded and well worth a read if you have time. 

It's a good idea to consider "following" blogs that interest you.  By following a blog you will get notifications when there is a new article on that blog.  There are a number of different ways to follow blogs - we'll put up a couple of different ways on here next week, if you're interested in how to do it.  In the meantime, have a look through and consider if any of the following appeal to you.

If you have a blog that you find useful please consider sharing in the comments. 

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre – University of New South Wales.
Details the University’s latest research and resources.
Latest blog post topics – How community action impacts on alcohol, Shedding light on online stores for illicit and synthetic drugs, The life of a heroin user- now in German


Addiction blog
”Addiction Blog is a network of writers and bloggers managed by Lee Weber. Contributors are industry leaders who are interested in the field of addiction treatment. We embrace new ideas and alternative therapies for the treatment of all types of addiction.”
Latest blog post topics: How to withdraw from Ecstasy, OxyContin withdrawal side effects, How to treat Ativan addiction


Clear the Air News Tobacco Blog
“All the facts, legislation and how it affects your health”
Latest blog post topics: Tobacco industry victorious as EU fails to pass tougher laws against tobacco marketing, Tobacco Unpacked: Shadowy lobbying against Tobacco Products Directive, SMH: Tobacco industry involved in child labour in production


The Addiction Inbox
“Articles and health studies about drugs, addiction and alcoholism, including the most recent scientific and medical findings.”
Latest blog post topics: Spiced: synthetic cannabis keeps getting stronger, State marijuana legalization: the opposing voices, Dr. David Nutt on Alcohol


National Institute of Mental Health Director’s Blog
Thomas R. Insel, M.D., is Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health charged with generating the knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders.”
Latest blog post topics: In vitro veritas, Accessing and accessing science from PLOS to DORA, Antipsychotics: taking the long view


College on Problems of Drug Dependence
“This site is intended to be an information resource on substance abuse research, treatment, and related issues for CPDD members, the public, and the media, and a site for commentary by CPDD members and invited guests.”
Latest blog post topics: Should e-cigarette sale be regulated?, CPDD Annual Meeting Public Policy Forum: Part II: Considerations for Regulating Marijuana to Achieve Public Objectives, NIDA Director Nora Volkow Presents Plenary Session Report from NIDA and the CPDD President's Lecture at the CPDD 75th Annual Meeting


Addiction and recovery news blog
Latest blog post topics: New drug bans, How low can you go?, How full do you want your recovery to be


Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Blog
Latest blog posts: Mental Health Workers perspectives on Rural practice, Submit your abstract to present at the No 2 Bullying Conference in 2014, Improving Aboriginal health and well-being: a view from the north


Mad World: News and views on Mental Health and other stuff
Latest blog post topics: Crime victims with mental illness fearful of disclosing experiences to professionals, Why crass ‘mental patient’ costumes offend me as a patient and professional, CQC to investigate impact of mental health beds crisis on patients and staff

Friday, 11 October 2013

Online mental health course

In celebration of World Mental Health Day/ National Mental Health week, Flinders University, Adelaide are offering a free five-week course titled "Mental Wealth: know it and grow it".

Modules include:
1) What is normal?
2) Map your community health issue
3) Busting myths and stigma
4) Media Madness
5) Generating mental wealth

Topics covered include:
  • Mental health and mental wealth
  • Stigma and how to counter such attitudes
  • How mental health is perceived differently around the world
  • Factors that impact on good and poor mental health
  • How you can build mental wealth for yourself and in your communities
  • Your own beliefs about mental health and mental illness and identify what has shaped these

  • In their own words "This course is for anyone interested in mental health and wellness... This course is NOT a self- help group for people with mental health issues or a place to talk about treatment"

    The course starts Monday 28th October, 2013

    Friday, 4 October 2013

    Introductory resources for working in AOD

    If you're new to working in the field of Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) or just keen to get as much information as possible, here are 3 resources that may be of use to you.

    1) InSight's free online induction modules
    Developed for both government and non-government workers.  It's suggested that you work through the modules in order.
    The modules include:
    Big Picture
    Psychoactive drugs
    Microcounselling skills
    Motivational Interviewing
    AOD Clinical Assessment
    Relapse Prevention and Management

    2) ADCA's Tips and Trick for New Players: a guide to becoming familiar with the alcohol and other drugs sector [4th Ed]
    An excellent resource that includes information on services, acronyms and abbreviations, researching, resources, peak bodies, key concepts, and more...
    If you have time be sure to fill in the linked survey so ADCA can improve and adjust future editions.

    3) Dovetail's Good Practice Toolkit
    Guide 01: A framework for youth alcohol and other drug practice
    Guide 02: Legal and ethical dimensions of practice
    Guide 03: Practice strategies and interventions

    Any resources you'd suggest for beginners?