Monday, July 27, 2009

Evaluation 2.0: Clinical Reader

It's been two weeks since I posted my original critique of Clinical Reader.

Website Update

The good news is the 5-star 'according to' the National Library of Medicine and other organizations graphic and the 3 copyrighted images that were being used without permission are gone.

The so-so news is there is still no identification or specific contact information on the website about who is running Clinical Reader or on their Editorial Board. Does 'A junior doctor and a small group of forward thinking young tech programmers' make for an 'authoritative source' for health news and information? (About/Beginnings)

The bad news is in the multimedia section. I've created a one minute screencast demonstrating why

Below is SpringerImages Terms of Use policy section 5b, bold emphasis mine:
You shall not use the Content for commercial purposes, i.e., for the purposes of monetary reward by means of the sale, resale, loan, transfer, hire or other similar form of exploitation of the Content, direct or indirect, including the placement or upload of the Licensed Content on a commercial entity’s internet website.
The definition of a commercial or legal entity is a person or organization that can legally enter a contract, and therefore may be sued for failure to comply with the terms of the contract. (source)

Clinical Reader is a commercial entity. They are soliciting advertising contracts per their Advertising. The wording of Clinical Reader's Privacy Policy section 5 also indicates interest in working with marketing and pharmaceutical companies with We may share your personal information with companies performing services on our behalf (such as direct marketing agents or pharmaceutical companies) who will only use the information to provide that service. The Privacy Policy is about midway down through Clinical Reader's Terms of Use.

Hotlinking, or directly linking to an image and using an outside server's bandwidth to display it on your website, is not considered a good website practice with the exception of banner advertisements. The source of one of the images displayed on Clinical Reader is

This is a new development as the screencast of the Clinical Reader multimedia page from the Google cache dated July 24, 2009 22:54:29 GMT shows nothing from SpringerImages.

Social Media Update

Here is a sampling of blog coverage about this aspect of Clinical Reader, the variety of viewpoints from different audiences is quite interesting.

A comment from David Lee King includes
The web tends to magnify personalities. If you’re a good person, it will show. If you run a company that links to un(typo?)copyrighted stuff & posts fake recommendations, then posts defensive tweets about it … well, that shows too.


Luke said...

great followup. you might want to clarify that the definition of "commercial or legal entity" you show there is not springer's definition. although clinical reader's solicitation of advertisements, etc., would clearly fall under anybody's definition of "commercial entity", the 3rd party definition you show would suggest that my library or my university (or myself) would fall into the same prohibited class, and i doubt that is springer's intent.

Unknown said...

Great follow-up to a long issue. It seems you keep uncovering more and more!

Thank you for continuing to post updates!


Bianca Kramer said...

I've been checking for a few days, and yesterday or today they apparently removed the Springer Images sidebar. It seems they just keep trying to see what they can get away with...

Thanks for your legwork, it's great!