Science Intelligence and InfoPros

Little things about Scientitic Watch and Information Professionnals

Archive for April 2012

Coming soon: From Science 2.0 to Pharma 3.0 (Chandos)

leave a comment »

From Science 2.0 to Pharma 3.0:

Semantic search and social media in the pharmaceutical industry and STM publishing

Hervé Basset, Science Intelligence, France, David Stuart, King’s College London, UK and Denise Silber, BASIL Strategies & Doctors 2.0 TM & You, France

Chandos Publishing Social Media Series No. 7

– gives a global overview of success and failure in Science 2.0
– presents useful stories and lessons learned
– gives a clear view of how semantic search is present in science platforms and its potential in STM publishing
– offers realistic perspectives written by experts in contact with research and medical communities

Science 2.0 uses the resources of Web 2.0 to communicate between scientists, and with the general public. Web 3.0, in turn, has brought disruptive technologies such as semantic search, cloud computing and mobile applications into play. The term Pharma 3.0 anticipates the future relationship between drug makers and doctors with their patients in light of such technology. From Science 2.0 to Pharma 3.0 examines these developments, discussing the best and worst of Web 2.0 in science communication and health. Successes such as the Open Access phenomena and also less successful networks are covered. This title is divided into three parts. The first part considers the Web 2.0 revolution, and the promise of its impact on science communication and the state of Science 2.0. The second part looks at impact on Pharma and Health, including attempts to utilise digital in Pharma. The last part looks at the promising disruptive technologies of Web 3.0, including semantic search in biomedicine and enterprise platforms. The book concludes by looking forward to developments of ‘3.0’ in Pharma and STM publishing.

Readership: Those interested in Science 2.0 and Pharma 3.0., including researchers, information professionals, and managers.

ISBN 1 84334 709 1
ISBN-13: 978 1 84334 709 5
To be published in August 2012



Written by hbasset

April 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

First Pharmas on Pinterest

leave a comment »

According Wikipedia, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community.

As it is sometimes presented as the new Facebook, Pharma companies have started to join the ride…

John Mack, PharmaGuy, maintains a list of pinterest sites that are already designed by some companies.

Among the early adopters, were:

– Novo-Nordisk:

– Bayer:


See the PharmaGuy blog:


Written by hbasset

April 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry

Tagged with

Big Pharma: Social Media and camouflaged marketing

with 2 comments

An excellent study about how pharma companies use of the internet through direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements on the internet and internet based “social media”. To identify examples of fraudulent DTC marketing they used 4 major sources of information: scientific literature, gray literature, PubMed and the FDA website.

Some findings:

  • FaceBook: Pharmaceutical companies use this interface to promote drug sales. In July of 2010, the FDA issued a warning letter to Novartis for its Facebook advertising. Many companies removed their Facebook pages after August 2011, despite the fact that companies can delete these comments as soon as they are posted they were concerned that “open walls” would lead to the reporting of side effects, promotion of off-label use or inappropriate statements
  • Youtube:  A number of pharmaceutical companies have established YouTube channels for marketing purposes, including Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur… while the issues of advertising ethics and adherence to existing DTC advertisement standards are raised by these promotional outlets, of even greater concern are the unbranded (or covertly branded) YouTube channels that a number of pharmaceutical companies have introduced.
  • Twitter: Novo Nordisk uses the branded Tweet technic that does not mention drug benefits to maintain its status as a reminder advertisement. Web reminder ads do not have to provide any information on side effects.
  • Third-party endorsements: People are more likely to believe third party endorsements than identified corporate product advertising. To capitalize on this phenomenon companies have funded patient advocacy groups, disease specific expert panels and physician organizations to promote their drugs. Companies have transferred this clandestine marketing technique to the internet which is particularly well suited to support this subterfuge. Pharmaceutical companies have created websites for front organizations (labeled “Astroturf” sites – for fake grassroots) to promote their drugs. These pharmaceutical company-created websites appear to be unbiased sources of information.

Conclusion: ” Web 2.0 DTC is merely a subset of pharmaceutical marketing; however, as we have shown, it is more likely to be camouflaged, permits companies to directly gather data on patients, and changes rapidly. Internet DTC is difficult to monitor. (…) The majority of the public does not understand the possible side effects and ultimate purpose of DTC advertising; many believe that the mere presence of DTC advertising indicates that a drug is “perfectly safe.”

FDA has repeatedly cited pharmaceutical companies for illegal Web 2.0 marketing. Pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly called on the FDA to regulate web based marketing but the FDA has refused to issue any regulations. Thus Web 2.0 marketing remains an unregulated threat to public health and the general economy that must be addressed“.

Egilman, David & Druar, Nicholas M. 2012. Spin your science into gold: direct to consumer marketing within social media platforms. Work, Vol. 41, pp. 4494-4502. DOI: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0751-4494

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Social business: a definition (FUMSI)

leave a comment »

Social media versus social business

The biggest difference between social media and social business is that social media tools provide the platform and the technologies that people use to communicate and create content. Social media is usually used to describe technologies used outside of an organisation by individuals such asTwitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social business on the other hand is the process and result of optimising internal business processes using social media tools. Social business also means applying social concepts and technology internally to create collaboration, sharing, innovation and engagement opportunities. Creating a social business usually means applying social media tools to business processes, but it’s not a requirement, an organisation can be described as being social without necessarily using social media tools.

Mullan, James. Jumping on the social business bandwagon. FUMSI, 24th of April 2012. Available from: [Accessed 26th of April 2012]

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Web 2.0

Tagged with ,

What Physicians want from Pharma industry is D.I.G.I.T.A.L.!!

leave a comment »

MedAdNews reports a study done by PTS:

Well, according to the researchers at PTS, what physicians want is digital. On page four, the authors list ten key takeaways from their physician survey; of these, five are related to digital and another is an outcropping of the digital revolution. To wit:

2. Want more use of iPads in detailing

3. Want more electronic access to materials and representatives

4. Want less mailed print materials

7. Want  more HCP-focused Websites

8. 88% now own smartphones (vs. 70% in 2010), and 54% use iPads (or other tablets) in daily work

9. Doctors communicate with patients primarily via phone (70%), email (66%), and mail (46%) (…)

Field representatives are increasingly using iPads as their eVisual aid platform in their conversations with physicians. iPads are a clear hit with doctors; 82% of survey respondents want to see “more” or “significantly more” use of iPads or other tablets by representatives calling on their practices. (…)

Read further:

Slatko, Joshua. What physicians want? It’s spelled D-I-G-I-T-A-L. MedAdNews, April 2012. Available from: [Accessed 26th April 2012]

The original report:

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry

Tagged with , ,

Controversial: Cost to “produce” a science article

leave a comment »

By the Guardian: simplistic but radical

“For Elsevier, the biggest of the barrier-based publishers, we can calculate the total cost per article as £1,605m subscription revenue divided by 240,000 articles per year = £6,689 per article.

By contrast, the cost of publishing an article with a flagship open access journal such as PLoS ONE is $1,350 (£850), about one eighth as much.

No one expects open access to eliminate costs. But we can expect it to dramatically reduce them, as well as making research universally and freely available”

Taylor, Mike. Persistent myths about open access scientific publishing. The Guardian, 17th of April 2012. Available from: [Accessed 24th April 2012]

See also:

Taylor, Michael P. Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken. The Scientist, 19th of March 2012. Available from: [Accessed 24th April 2012]

Written by hbasset

April 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Posted in Journals

Tagged with ,

Refering Wikipedia as a source is growing

leave a comment »

Since its launch in 2001 Wikipedia has seen incredible growth worldwide, counting more than 21 million articles published in around 280 languages (including nearly 4 million articles in English) in 2012 (1).

Wikipedia has grown in size (number of Wikipedia entries/articles have been increasing over time) and is showing high reliability: a recent study (2) of historical entries found 80% accuracy for Wikipedia, compared to 95-96% for other sources. This means that for the entries checked in the study, Wikipedia contain on average only about 15% more errors than other sources including traditionally perceived authoritative sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica. The research found that this difference was negligible. Adding to this Wikipedia’s ease of access and wide coverage of topics explains why for many people it has become the first port of call for instant general knowledge on a variety of subjects. (…)

What is perhaps surprising is that Wikipedia appears to be increasingly used by scholars for their research. (…)

More interestingly, there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of publications referring to Wikipedia as a source. The aforementioned recently published study  limited the search results to mentions of Wikipedia as a reference title, but extending the search to all reference fields reveals much wider use even with restrictions to scholarly content published in journals . CAGR was an unbelievable 88% per annum since the first paper in 2002 to the 4006 papers published in 2011. Focusing on the past 5 years (2007-2011) CAGR was still impressive at more than 31% per annum.

Huggett, Sarah. The influence of free encyclopedias on science. Research Trends, March 2012. Available from: [Accessed 23rd April 2012]

Written by hbasset

April 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Tools

Tagged with

Pharmas are lagging behind their customers on social media

leave a comment »

While consumers are actively using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube to discuss on health matters, healthcare companies are unable to keep up with the activity of their consumers on social media. (…)

A recent research done by business services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers points out that pharmaceutical and healthcare brands are lagging behind their customers on social media, and are missing out on vital opportunities for growth and improvement based on customer needs and their feedback on the healthcare services being offered. (…)

One-third of consumers used social media sites and online forums to gather more info on health-related matters, seeking medical information, tracking and sharing symptoms, and broadcasting how they feel about doctors, drugs, treatments, medical devices and health plans; one in three had sought information related to other patients’ experiences with their disease; and one in four customers had “posted” about their health experience online.

When asked how information found through social media would affect their health decisions, 45 percent of consumers said it would affect their decision to get a second opinion; 41 percent said it would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical facility; and 34 percent said it would affect their decision about taking a certain medication

72 percent of consumers said they would appreciate assistance in scheduling doctor appointments through social media channels, and nearly half said they expect a response within a few hours. (…)

Young adults are leading the section of people using social media for healthcare. More than 80 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 said they would share health information through social media channels and nearly 90 percent said they would trust information they found there. (…)

The study indicates that there is a strong need for healthcare companies to get more social media savvy and by doing so they can not only connect with their customers, but also boost their business and improve their services.

Swati. April 22, 2012. Healthcare companies are lagging behind customers on social media. Buzzom. Available from: [Accessed on 23rd of April 2012]









Written by hbasset

April 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry

Tagged with

Mendeley: a “Facebook for Researchers”?

with 2 comments

Aaron Tay gives here an interesting vision of this still-promising tool:

while looking at the features I finally grasped how powerful and disruptive a real and dominant “Facebook for researchers” is going to be. (…)

Of course, the road to such a goal has being strewn with many failures, including Elsevier’s 2collab , Labmeeting etc (check a report in 2008 of such tools and check how many still stands) and attempts have being or could be made from social bookmarking/reference management angle (e.g citeulike/Connotea/Mendeley),  Discovery/Search angle (potentially webscale discovery/next generation catalogues with social features) or  even more directly straight forward Identity management (e.g. ResearcherID).

But no matter who wins how would a dominant “Facebook for researchers” platform affect academic research and hence academic libraries? What areas would they disrupt? (..)

Disrupt search including webscale discovery tools

Mendeley , Citeulike etc are already starting to show hints of this, when you search you can see how many people put a certain article in their reference libraries, that itself could be a strong signal of quality. (…)

Currently Mendeley claims to have 150 million unique items (Jan 2012) when you search Mendeley , “This makes it, according to Victor Henning, the company’s CEO and co-founder, the world’s largest research database.” (…)

Read more at:

Tay, Aaron. How a “Facebook for researchers” platform will disrupt almost everything. Musing about librarianship, April 18, 2012. Available at: [Accessed 18th April 2012]


Written by hbasset

April 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Posted in literature

Tagged with

Scrazzl: from literature to lab equipment

with one comment

There has been plenty of excitement about publishers opening up their data to be used in new applications. The vision is that new tools will emerge that help researchers in ways that may not have been thought of by publishers and could not easily be provided by publishers themselves.

A Dublin-based startup has developed a way of extracting insight into laboratory instruments and materials from the experimental sections of journal articles (from Elsevier SciVerse).

I was at a meeting and met a product manager at Elsevier just as they were starting to open up their APIs and we realised that the methods section of papers mentions equipment all the time,’ explained David Kavanagh, the founder. ‘Scientists could benefit from applications using this, but we could also make money from it. It makes sense for scientists and for the companies that supply materials and equipment and it is also scaleable and a value-add for publishers.’

The Scrazzl application pulls all the product information out of a journal paper and organises that information by company. This is supplemented with links to product descriptions and user-generated content such as product reviews. It can also link with inventory control so that a researcher can see that their lab does have a sample of, for example, a particular antibody and in which freezer it is stored.

Read the full article at:

Written by hbasset

April 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Posted in literature

Tagged with , ,