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January 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 2)


  • Nice design, many different databases/ways to mine information
  • Incomprehensible names of the resources in the menu bar

We all know that getting a vaccine is no fun but, fortunately, reading about vaccines is much less painful. One must credit the people behind VIOLIN (Vaccine Investigation and Online Information Network) at the University of Michigan Medical School for making the mining of vaccine-related information so pain-free, as they have created a wonderfully thorough site for all things vaccine. VIOLIN places at your fingertips information about vaccine research at all stages of development, whether the potential vaccine is preclinical, clinical, or already on the shelf as a commercially available product. The only cringe-worthy aspect of this site is the gross overuse of hybrid words in the menu bar. Given that the menu bar is supposed to give visitors to the site direction to various resources, I did not find terms like “Vaxpresso, Vaxign, Vaxgen,” and “Vaxjo” to be helpful at all. I appreciate a portmanteau as much as the next person, but I found the sheer number on this site simply Vax-nnoying.

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