Archive for October 2010
“Certainly, peer-reviewed literature and scientific meetings in the
physical world will remain the main modes of distributing scientific
information and informal communication”
was in 2008. About the potential of moving scientific congress in virtual worlds. and they were right!
Stephen T Huang, Maged N Kamel Boulos & Robert P Dellavalle. Scientific discourse 2.0Will your next poster session be in Second Life ®? EMBO reports (2008) 9, 496 – 499. doi:10.1038/embor.2008.86
1) no search engine covers everything;
2) different search engines miss different things;
3) retrieving large numbers of results is not necessarily bad;
4) all search engines offer advanced search techniques to improve results;
5) meta-search engines are not the same as search engines;
6) Google is great but not the only search engine; and
7) be prepared for changes in all search engines.
This comes from Middle-Age (2002!) but seems still relevant.
Tenopir, Carol. Online Databases-The Web: Searchable, Hidden, and Deceitful. Library Journal, 2002
How to keep up and how to review all this?
- Although trials, reviews, and health technology assessments have undoubtedly had major impacts, the staple of medical literature synthesis remains the non-systematic narrative review.
- Only a small minority of trial reports are being analysed in up-to-date systematic reviews.
- To meet the needs of patients, clinicians, and policymakers, unnecessary trials need to be reduced, and systematic reviews need to be prioritised.
- Streamlining and innovation in methods of systematic reviewing are necessary to enable valid answers to be found for most patient questions.
- Finally, clinicians and patients require open access to these important resources.
Bastian H, Glasziou P, Chalmers I (2010) Seventy-Five Trials and Eleven Systematic Reviews a Day: How Will We Ever Keep Up? PLoS Med 7(9): e1000326. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000326
See PLOS Hub for clinical trials:
- Wikis: Wikipedia and Knol: authors are often well-known experts
- Blogs: use specialized engine like Google Blog Search
- Presentations: use the search form on slideshare
- Twitter: TOPSY returns results showing you who has been speaking about your keyword the most, on Twitter
- Linked-In: use the Advanced search to type keywords or browse topics groups
- Experts Directories (Q&A service maintained by volunteers)
- Whos Talkin searches across many different sites including blogs, social networking sites, news sources, social bookmarking sites, and video and image sites
My opinion: these free tools, whatever their quality, cannot be compared with an extensive search on paid databases (literature, patents, etc.) to identifiy opinion leaders, etc.
Scopus provided the most thorough coverage of the cited journals, followed by MEDLINE, Social Sciences Citation Index (available at Web of Knowledge)…
Burtis, A.M. & Taylor, M.K.. Mapping the literature of health education, 2006-2008. J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 October; 98(4): 293–299.
- Be where users are!
- Have a good address
- Puch out to users as much information as possible
Houghton-Jan, Sarah. Be where users are: online marketing for libraries. Librarian in black, posted on October 13, 2010.
In science it pays to have friends. Peer reviewers picked by the authors of a manuscript tend to provide more favourable feedback than scientists selected by the journal’s editors. That’s the unsurprising conclusion of an analysis of more than 500 manuscripts.
It’s not hard to come up with explanations for such patterns. “The danger is really that an author suggested their best friends,” Bornmann says. Alternatively – and more charitably – the reviewers selected by authors could in a better position to know a good result in their field when they see one, compared to those selected by journal editors, he says.
Callaway. Ellen. Who needs friends when you’ve got peer reviewers?. The great beyond (Nature), posted on October 18, 2010.
Sysomos. Replies and retweets on Twitter. Sept. 2010. Online:
Find meaningful results in context, not just long lists of documents
Quertle is a free search engine for the biomedical literature, providing linguistic approaches to get much more relevant results, returning documents where the author has stated a relationship between the search terms, not just simply throwing back long lists of documents where the terms have been found scattered throughout.
Currently it provides access to all of PubMed, open access full-text articles from PubMed Central and BioMed Central, FierceMarkets news articles, whitepapers, Toxline, and the NIH RePorter database, and is adding more databases all the time.
Because we find and report to the user the specific facts of interest from those articles (nicely highlighted in context), the searcher has a much better idea of whether the article contains information not in the abstract that is worth buying from the publisher.
Why Quertle is different:
30 seconds to understand what is semantic search in science: