Assessment of an electronic mailing list for orthopaedic and trauma surgery

J R Coll Surg Edinb. 1999 Feb;44(1):36-9.


Medical electronic mailing lists have grown rapidly with the evolution of the Internet. The purpose of this paper was to assess the content and academic quality and of an electronic mail discussion list "Orthopod" dedicated to research in orthopaedic and trauma surgery. A retrospective analysis was undertaken of four months of web-based archive of communication through the Orthopod mailing list http:(/)/ At the end of this study period there were 505 members of the Orthopod list. The main outcome measures of this paper were number of messages, type of messages, number of contributors, designation of contributor and number of topics referenced. On average 276 messages were posted each month. The mean number of messages per contributor per month only varied between 2.3 and 2.5. On average 54% of message threads contained at least one reference. At least 77% of the patient history and general threads had input from senior orthopaedic staff. The quantity of information on the Internet need not be a substitute for quality in orthopaedic and trauma surgery mailing lists. The Orthopod Electronic mail discussion list is another medium for the circulation of good quality surgical information. Orthopod provides a unique international electronic forum list for trauma and orthopaedic surgeons worldwide.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Information Services / standards*
  • Information Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Internet / standards*
  • Orthopedics / trends*
  • Quality Control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Traumatology / trends*