Edinburgh Imaging

MSc projects 1213 001

A critical survey of open access online neuroimaging teaching case libraries & appraisal of their educational value.

  • Objective: The aim of this project was to search and describe online neuroradiology teaching files, and appraise critically, the information they contain and their educational value.
  • Materials & methods: A search of neuroradiology teaching files was made on three of the most popular websites on the World Wide Web namely Google, Bing and Yahoo!. These sites were accessed and investigated over a 2 month period between 15/6/2013 and 15/8/2013. Website characteristics were analysed according to content, image display, structure of teaching files, ease of navigation, accessibility (using the LIDA online accessibility tool), institutional affiliations (e.g. universities, hospitals or radiology societies), commercial sponsorship and website maintenance. Health on the Net (HONCode) certification was also checked.
  • Results: In total there were 28176 cases or files from 61 websites. Only15% of websites had clear evidence of a peer review process. 24 websites (39%) adopted the question format presentation, while the remainder had plain images with labelled diagnoses from the outset. 72% of websites were affiliated to professional organisations. 31 % had active commercial sponsorship displayed on their webpages. In 52% of sites there was definite evidence of new cases added, as a marker of regular maintenance. Only 11% were HONCode certified.
  • Conclusions: There is wide heterogeneity in the types of cases, imaging modalities, presentation formats, educational structure, accessibility and quality of open access neuroradiology teaching websites. There remains a low percentage of adequate referencing and peer review. Most cases were not presented in the question format, a finding which could diminish their ability to promote effective learning. It is recommended that websites subscribe to validated standards such as HONCode certification in order to improve their perceived credibility and usefulness by their audience.
Project type:
  • Systematic review
Imaging keywords:
Application / disease keywords:  
  • 12-13