Science Intelligence and InfoPros

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Archive for April 2011

How many Medline platforms on the Web?

Born as the first “open” biomedical database, PubMed is by far the leader platform to search into Medline.

 Despite a very poor evolution since 1996, the NLM’s web site is still the preferred source of millions of physicians, medicine students and academics.

But this huge success (3.5 million searches per day!), is it a “triumph or a disaster”?

Information professionals feel desperate of one day seeing some pieces of semantic search to be introduced into PubMed.

The presentation below covers strengths and flaws of PubMed and presents a selection of the best alternatives available on the market, GoPubMed, PubGet and BibliMed, to name a few.

Written by hbasset

April 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Posted in literature

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Open Access, Publishers profit and the medical community

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A manifesto, by a student of the activist coalition RightToResearch.

These days there is continuous discussion on ways to improve the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare.

I would argue that one of the most neglected and important ways to improve our healthcare delivery and innovation is by opening access to research. “Open Access” is the free, immediate, unrestricted availability of high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship over the Internet … (…)

6 arguments:

  1. Education: The gap in access to up to date information diminishes our ability as students to educate ourselves. Furthermore, this gap in access is likely to grow. In the current era of budget cuts at public universities and hospitals, expensive journal subscriptions make an attractive target of cost savings. So where does this leave student education? With an even larger gap in access, the majority of students will be unable to fully access information crucial to our education
  2. Patient care: This gap in information access is even larger in private practice where doctors often only subscribe to a handful of journals due to cost restrictions
  3. Innovation: Research thrives on the sharing of ideas, and research careers are made by publishing widely read articles that inspire other people’s research or change the way we practice healthcare. For the author, the goal of publishing an article is to move patient care or medical innovation forward, not to have a list of unread articles serving as bullet points on a resume. Increasing open access to research allows for a free exchange of ideas serving both the goals of the researcher and the benefit of students and patients
  4. Patient’s right: None of these (alternative) sources (wikipedia, wesites, etc.) provide reliable information to patients. In fact, I would argue these resources only increase the duress of patients and families by providing views that often contradict the information provided by the doctor without providing an evidence base
  5. Global Health Equity: Open access to research would be another step towards reducing steep health disparities in developing countries
  6. Public investment: The vast majority of medical research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, a federal organization funded by you, the taxpayer. Why do we invest our public dollars in research? To improve patient care and medical innovation, of course – an outcome that only happens when students, physicians, researchers, and patients have open access to research

Anderson, Tim. 6 reasons Open Access matters to the Medical community. The Right To Research Coalition blog. Online, posted on: April 2011.

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Functional analysis of 8 Enterprise 2.0 platforms

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According this study, SharePoint is especially good at:

  • Search
  • Social network
  • Tagging
  • Workflow



There is a growing market for integrated web-based platforms to support team collaboration and knowledge management within enterprises. This survey examines Enterprise 2.0 tools in detail and derives a unifying multi-dimensional classification and evaluation framework, the so called Services Catalog. For each dimension several objective criteria to characertize the functional capabilities of a given tool are identified. The identified services focus on the “out-of-the-box” functionality visible to the end-user. 

Based on this schema a detailed description of commercial and open source tools is provided.

Results of the survey are available in this article:

Buchner, Thomas, Matthes, Florian & Neubert, Christian. Functional analysis of Enterprise 2.0 tools: a services catalog. Communications in Computer and Information Science, 2011, Volume 128, Part 4, 351-363

OR at this website

Survey matrix:

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Challenges of Social Media on Private life of Physicians

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With ubiquitous social media sites like Facebook and Twitter blurring private and professional lines, there is an increasing need for physicians to create a healthy distance between their work and home online identities.

Writing for the Annals of Internal Medicine‘s April 19 Ideas and Opinions section, physicians Arash Mostaghimi, MD, MPA and Bradley H. Crotty, MD call attention to the challenges created by the expanded use of Internet tools by physicians to reach patients at work, while simultaneously using the same tools to keep in touch with friends and family in their personal lives.

This online presence presents a host of challenges for physicians including the demand to “proactively review and maintain their digital lives,” and also the need to create boundaries that both protect the doctor-patient relationship and help prevent awkward moments such as fielding a friend request from a patient.

“We’re not suggesting that physicians should be prohibited from using social media sites. Doctors just need to be savvy regarding the content and tone of what they post online. People share information openly using social media, but posts intended for one audience may be embarrassing or inappropriate if seen by another,” said Mostaghimi.

Mostaghimi and Crotty recommend that institutions develop standards and educational materials to guide physicians and that physicians be both knowledgeable about social media and protective of their online presence. They advise physicians to regularly perform “electronic self-audits” of their online identity and create “dual citizenship” with a distinct professional profile intended to come up early on a search engine query.

Social Media Makes It Harder For Doctors To Maintain Professionalism. Medical News Today, Posted on 19th of April 2011.

Written by hbasset

April 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

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“book is dead”, “libraries are obsolete” and other myths

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  1. The book is dead.” Wrong: More books are produced in print each year than in the previous year. One million new titles will appear worldwide in 2011 (…) And the book business is booming in developing countries like China and Brazil. However it is measured, the population of books is increasing, not decreasing, and certainly not dying
  2. “We have entered the information age.”  No one would deny that the modes of communication are changing rapidly, perhaps as rapidly as in Gutenberg’s day, but it is misleading to construe that change as unprecedented
  3. “All information is now available online.” The absurdity of this claim is obvious to anyone who has ever done research in archives. Only a tiny fraction of archival material has ever been read, much less digitized. Google books has digitized only 12% of the existing books.
  4. Libraries are obsolete. Everywhere in the country (the US)  librarians report that they have never had so many patrons. (…) Libraries never were warehouses of books. While continuing to provide books in the future, they will function as nerve centers for communicating digitized information at the neighborhood level as well as on college campuses.
  5.  The future is digital. True enough, but misleading. In 10, 20, or 50 years, the information environment will be overwhelmingly digital, but the prevalence of electronic communication does not mean that printed material will cease to be important. (…) new modes of communication do not displace old ones, at least not in the short run

Darton, Robert. 5 myths about the “information age”. the Chronicle review.  April 17, 2011. Online at:

Illustration: Chronicle Review

Written by hbasset

April 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Information

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J&J: an isolated genius at Social Media

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According this study by L2thinkTank, “the pharmaceutical industry is disconnected regarding digital marketing to physicians“: “Most brands rely on static product sites that limit engagement“.

For pharma, digital provides an opportunity to disrupt this stale sales channel and generate cost savings and efficiencies. For physicians, digital provides the convenience of accessing scientific, technical, and medical information on-demand and on their own schedule. However, for what appears to be a win-win, investment and adoption to date by pharmaceutical brands has been limited.

This study attempts to quantify the digital competence of 70 U.S. pharmaceutical brands across ten disease states and their efforts in using digital platfoms to reach their audience.

All the sites were ranked according a unique methodology based on:

  • quality of site
  • digital marketing
  • social media
  • mobile

and the winner is Concerta, Johnson & Johnson.

2. Abilify (BMS), 3. Symbicort (AstraZeneca), Januvia (Merck),  etc.

Other findings:

  • Diabetes is the therapeutic area where online brands are the best
  • Nearly three quarters of physicians own a smartphone and a third use them to access clinical information, but 90 percent of the brands in the Index have no brand-specific mobile presence.

  • Medscape, Epocrates, SERMO are the key websites for physicians

Galloway, Scott. Digital IQ Index: Pharma & Health Care providers. L2, April 18, 2011. White paper, 36 pages. Online at:

Written by hbasset

April 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Crème of the Web: EasyBib

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[in collaboration with Information Today Europe]

Everyone knows how boring it is to create the bibliography for a research paper. Fortunately, citation generators such as EndNote and Mendeley exist to do the dirty work for us!

EasyBib is a free web-based bibliography formatting tool.  You can use it to compose, format, alphabetise and print out your citation list.  You simply enter your sources onto a basic form, and click ‘Cite this’. EasyBib will format your references according to the most updated standards (MLA, APA, etc.) and will export the list to MS Word or GoogleDoc, within a few seconds!

To be continued on:—EasyBib-74926.aspx

Written by hbasset

April 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm