Volume 9 (5) September/October 1995
The Internet is generating much interest in the pharmacy community judging by the response to PharmWeb at the very successful FIP meeting in Stockholm. PharmWeb was demonstrated for three days and during that time the computer terminals were constantly occupied. Many of the people at the demonstration had little experience of the Internet and were excited by the information available on PharmWeb and the Internet. Several people registered on the PharmWeb Directory and we now have approximately 600 people registered. If you are a pharmacist, pharmaceutical scientist, or work in a related profession and have not yet seen the PharmWeb Directory then you may be interested in registering. An advantage of registering on the PharmWeb Directory is that we can keep you up-to-date with developments on PharmWeb. We hope to move to a new and even faster server soon and our URL may have to change. We will notify everybody on the PharmWeb Directory when this occurs. Several society/industry representatives at the FIP meeting also expressed an interest in creating pages on PharmWeb so look out for plenty of new pages in the future. The Pharmaceutical Press is the latest addition to PharmWeb with information on books, journals and cd-roms.
The Internet, or the "Human Encyclopaedia" as it has been termed, has information on a diverse range of subjects. A criticism of the Internet has been the difficulty in finding relevant information, however, this situation has changed dramatically and there are several useful Web sites that have been designed to assist in this search for information. These sites allow you to either enter keywords or find information using a subject search. A list of these search tools can be found on PharmWeb in the "Internet Info" section which is listed on the PharmWeb home page.
PharmWeb has been accessed by approximately 70 countries since its launch in December and access to the Manchester servers is now approaching 7000 requests for pages per week. We do not maintain statistics for the PharmWeb mirror sites so the real access statistics may be several times greater than this. The PharmWeb access statistics can be reached via the PharmWeb home page. Caution should be taken when interpreting access statistics quoted on the Internet since the majority of sites quote the "number of hits" per week. These figures are generally meaningless since they include page and image downloads, so, for example, if a page contains six images then this will be counted as seven hits as opposed to one page download. At PharmWeb we only count page downloads which gives a realistic indication of usage.If you have found any interesting sites on the Internet that we have not listed on PharmWeb and that may be of interest to the pharmacy community, please let us know at PharmWeb.
Dr. A. D'Emanuele
University of Manchester