The Art of Curation

Curation of Health Information Audit

My inaugural first blog is a brilliant segue for new-comers to the world of Infection Prevention and Control while fulfilling a thoughtful discussion on the curation of health information for a course in the Graduate Program in Health Studies through Athabasca University.

What is the curation of information?

The concept seemed new to me, but I was surprised to learn that I had inadvertently embarked upon one form of curation when I started using Pinterest years ago.  This platform allowed me to store information, annotate, categorize and save links under one area.   In addition, I was able to follow other boards where people of like interests had curated content that was relevant to me.

“Both students and teachers should be encouraged to become digital curators who not only consume information that they find on the internet, but also evaluate and synthesize it to eventually become responsible digital citizens” (Ungerer, 2016)

A reflection of my current practices to obtain information:

  • Review organizational policies/procedures
  • Internet search of best-practice guidelines
  • Resources through APIC and IPAC Canada membership; access to APIC text online
  • Access to current CSA standards and applicable legislation
  • Peer-to-peer communication internally or externally with system partners
  • Experts at teaching hospitals
  • Critically appraising journal articles via monthly journal club
  • Attend weekly Infectious Diseases rounds (in house or OTN)
  • Use of social app networks during educational conferences
  • Webinars through IP&C Canada and Webber Training
  • PubMed for quick review of pertinent abstracts
  • ProMed for a pulse on global emerging infectious diseases or outbreaks
  • Join and participate in a local infection prevention and control network

Quality of the sources I reference to obtain information:

The sources I rely upon to guide my practice and support my recommendations are generally all high quality scholarly publications, guidelines and legislation.  Infection prevention and control is a dynamic field of expertise that also requires innovative thinking for novel experiences.  This is an area where networking through colleagues, networks, webinars and conferences plays an important role in “thinking outside the box”.

My top few picks for information on Infection Prevention and Control:

1)      Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC):

Library of best practice guidelines, reports and documents.

2)      Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC)

A variety of links, calendar of educational events, webinars and a chat forum.  Membership opens additional pathways/resources.

3)      Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC)

A breadth of resources and links in addition to MyAPIC discussion forum with membership.  APIC text is a must have reference tool for any infection prevention and control professional.

4)      ProMED

Provides early warning system for notification of emerging outbreaks globally.

While this is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list of resources, it is a start for the new practitioner.

Storing information:

I use internet search engines or my “favourites” tab to gain quick access to websites I frequent professionally.   Via this exercise, I’ve come to determine that this is not an effective process and I am excited to explore other methods further, including expanding my use of Pinterest or  trying something new like diigo.

Currently I store topical pdfs of documents on our networked hard drives in themed folders.  Over time, I’ve found that this methodology is flawed.  Our overflowing shared drive is full of outdated, mislabeled and misfiled documents.  Search engines may fail to produce the document being sought.   I’m hoping to advance my sorting and collection of information as I continue up my path to curation discovery.

I also use Google docs and Dropbox frequently.  These are especially useful when groups of individuals from outside the organization, even internationally, are involved in reviewing and editing a collaborative project.  They are also useful for sharing large files that cannot be sent via email.  I tend to be selective with the items I store/share on these networks for security reasons.

Refworks will be my new go to for storing journal articles.


Ungerer, L. M. (2016). Digital curation as a core competency in current learning and literacy: A higher education perspective. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5), 1-27. Retrieved from

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