Science Intelligence and InfoPros

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Archive for August 2012

Coming soon: from Science 2.0 to Pharma 3.0

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Written by hbasset

August 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Science 2.0

Reading: Is Google Scholar better than PubMed ?!

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According this study, PubMed searches and Google Scholar searches often identify different articles. In this study, Google Scholar articles were more likely to be classified as relevant, had higher numbers of citations and were published in higher impact factor journals.

Nourbakhsh, E., Nugent, R., Wang, H., Cevik, C. and Nugent, K. (2012), Medical literature searches: a comparison of PubMed and Google Scholar. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 29: 214–222.

Written by hbasset

August 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Posted in literature

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Skepticism of Google Scholar is merited

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Skepticism of Google Scholar is merited. Google Scholar is lacking as a scholarly search tool because, first and foremost, it is not an abstracting and indexing service like the bibliographic databases frequently recommended by librarians. Those databases have literature indexed, often by humans, allowing it to be categorized with a controlled vocabulary and subject headings. Google Scholar is a search engine and as such it searches the full text, bibliographic information, and metadata of electronic documents. The computer programming that allows this to happen lacks the objective eye of a human indexer and, consequently, data is interpreted incorrectly and questionable sources pass through algorithms. Google Scholar’s methods of document retrieval are contrary to librarians’ understanding and expectation of information organization. Google Scholar’s inability or unwillingness to elaborate on what documents its system crawls and the uncertain quality of Google Scholar’s performance provides further reasons for information professionals and researchers to be wary of this tool, especially when so many quality databases exist and seem to sufficiently meet scientific information needs.

Gray, Jerry E. Scholarish: Google Scholar and its Value to the Sciences. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2012. Available from:

Written by hbasset

August 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Posted in literature

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Mendeley, the most extensive STM database?

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UK-based start-up Mendeley has announced that the number of queries to its database from external applications has surpassed 100 million per month. More than 240 applications received for research collaboration, measurement, visualisation, semantic markup and discovery – all of which have been developed in the past year – receive a constant flow of data from Mendeley.

The information fuelling this ecosystem has been crowdsourced by the scientific community itself, somewhat like Wikipedia. Using Mendeley’s suite of document management and collaboration tools, in just three years its global community of 1.9 million researchers has created a shared database containing 65 million unique documents.

This, according to recent studies, covers 97.2 to 99.5 percent of all research articles published. Commercial databases by Thomson Reuters and Elsevier contain 49 million and 47 million unique documents respectively, but access to their databases is licensed to universities for tens of thousands of dollars per year.

More information at:


Written by hbasset

August 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Posted in literature

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STM journals: the end of Big Deal is approaching!

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A very interesting annual report by Allen Press shows how some new trends on the american publishing industry could definitely change the business models of Big STM publishers…

Some findings:

Budget cuts have become inevitable, forcing publishers to restrategize and libraries to make even tougher purchasing decisions. (…)

2012 journal prices increased but not at the levels seen in prior years… (…)

Pressure on Publishers:

  • Publishers are also faced with the ongoing erosion of their subscription bases. Some institutions  simply cannot make ends meet when it comes to their shrinking or flat budgets
  • Publishers are also struggling to get the advertising dollars they once did to help financially support their publications. (…) Online advertising has not proved to bring in revenue equitable to that of its print counterpart
  • Increasing competition, especially from new Open Access and mega journals, has added to the struggle of publishers as well

Despite implementing cost-cutting actions, many libraries continue to struggle to keep up  with increasing serials pricing. Libraries do not have the resources to continue to exist in a world of ever-increasing prices, nor can publishers survive without positive cash flow. (…)

The results indicated that in order to achieve budget goals, 78% of librarian respondents will likely cut print
journals for the next fiscal year and 86% of librarian respondents are likely to move print plus online subscriptions to online only. In 2010, approximately 27% of publishers surveyed reported a decline in their print business greater than 10%. (…)

Mobile access:

Publishers need to be responding to the surge of such technology by making their content readily available on mobile devices. (…) Mobile technology allows library customers to connect to their local library’s virtual catalog for  audiobooks and eBooks. Scientific journal content  is also becoming more available with mobile options such as SciVerse Mobile from Elsevier and EBSCOhost Mobile from EBSCO Publishing. Opportunities to have information anytime and anywhere are constantly growing. (…)

We are now in the middle of a new transition where users demand the ability to consume content anywhere and at all times. Online access is a necessity rather than a novelty or add-on. Content is still key, but it is moving mobile. Libraries, publishers, and users can all benefit, but only if pricing becomes sustainable. (…)

New models suggestion:

We live in a time where library patrons want immediate access to even more journal content, and libraries are searching for ways to meet these demands with even tighter budgets. Thus, pay-per-view (PPV) or transactional access may be the way of the future for some as an alternative to Big Deals. (…) It’s not seen as a replacement, but rather as a supplement to other existing models. Traditional subscriptions still make sense and are the most cost-effective choice for high-usage title (…)

Another emerging option is the read-only short-term loan or article rental. It has a low cost and offers 24-hour access; however, it is not available for download or print, and each use equals another payment… (…)

The End of Big Deal:

In fact, business models have changed tremendously since the arrival of consortial purchasing and the Big Deal. Now, however, libraries are looking for different ways to meet user demands for information in the digital realm. As current methods of selling content become outdated, it may be necessary for publishers to reevaluate their business models(…) …, analysts are suggesting that the end of the Big Deal is approaching.

Open Access:

Librarians and researchers are pushing for a move toward Open Access (OA) because of ever-increasing prices, and it is has become a practical channel for distributing scholarly information. But publishers believe their current business models are a must to maintain the quality of their products, and they have concerns about how to develop a sustainable business model to support OA. (…)

Solution: improve the content

With Big Deals and smaller publishers struggling  to compete, the focus should be on content. (…) Researchers read articles, not journals. Every article needs to be significant and contribute to driving usage of your journal.

Read the full report at:

Tillery, Kodi. 2012 study of subscription prices for scholarly society journals: society journals pricing trends and industry overview. White paper, Allen Press, 2012. 19 p. Available for free from:

Written by hbasset

August 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Science communication : twitter and blogs have still to achieve critical goals

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The actual user numbers seem a bit disillusioning: social media like blogs or wikis are still only used by relatively few academics (particularly in Germany and some other European countries).

Yet they offer enormous potential for those that give them a try. The Conference on Science and the Internet (#cosci12, had a closer look at these developments from different perspectives. (…)

  • novel online platforms as infrastructure for research collaboration, new ways for publishing and sharing information
  • new learning environments based on social media and mobile technologies
  • big data from social media as a subject of research

Read the full article at:

Weller, Katrin. Will Twitter, blogs and wikis change scholarly communication? Information Today Europe, 15th of August 2012. Available from:





Written by hbasset

August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Science 2.0

Tagged with ,

Reading: Bringing medical information to doctors

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– how hospital libraries are facing budget pressure involving clinical staff

– using mobile devices and apps to deliver information to health professionnals

– the new version of Elsevier MDConsult, now called ClinicalKey

– medical e-books at OUP and BMJ

Read more:

Harris, Sian. Bringing information to doctors. Research Information, Aug./Sept. 2012. pp. 19-21. Available from:



Written by hbasset

August 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Which sort of health bloggers are you?

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A classification suggested by Mark Senak:

  • Non-professional, but credible bloggers – These are comprised of lay people who have started blogs that over time have gained traction.  In health care, they are usually focused on a fairly specific subject matter that may, in fact, be quite niche.  It could be about aspects of living with a particular disease or condition.   In addition to patients, they may be caregivers or advocates and perhaps even providers.  Over time, they have acquired credibility and become influential in their own area.  They are generally unaffiliated, though they could be fostered by an organization.
  • Professional Non-Journalist Bloggers – These are people who have a professional specialty about which they write and have, in many respects, assumed a journalistic type role because of the following and corresponding influence that they have developed.  Examples of this category might include several of the prominent doctor bloggers but also include a range of other bloggers who really know their field and to whom many journalists will follow.
  • Journalist Bloggers – There has been a hefty migration of traditional journalists into the blogosphere – a fact that has fundamentally changed the profession.   Blogging allows greater speed and flexibility in reporting and also allows a writer to perhaps develop pieces that are more granular.  Postings can occur much more often than through traditional publication.  Clearly there are some health care journalists who have emerged as major bloggers and who have influence in both the print and digital realms.  But appealing directly to them may be less effective than making inroads with other digital assets that may influence them.
  • Institutional Bloggers – These blogs have become a way for institutions to related to people by either conveying news about the institution or showcasing thought leadership from their ranks.  Good examples of this are FDA’s blog FDAVoice or corporate sponsored blogs where senior leadership can provide analysis into specialized subject matter.

Senak, Mark. Blogging, Health and Journalism. Eye on FDA, 31th July 2012. Available from:

Written by hbasset

August 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Ethics at Elsevier

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Scientific misconduct, plagiarism, etc.

Probably to address numerous concerns listed by the academic community over the past months, Elsevier has launched an ethics for publishing website: very well designed, very cool with a lot of useful materials to help the research community for a science communication..

We would just regret that only 4 experts have been involved in this advisory panel…



Written by hbasset

August 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Caution, Dr Google might misdiagnose!

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According Medical News Today, a new study, published recently in the Journal of Consumer Research, that propose using the internet to self-diagnose can be unwise because we tend to focus on symptoms rather than the risk of having the illness.

For their study, the researchers looked at two pieces of information that influence people’s decision as to whether they have a disease or not: the base rate (the rate of the disease in the general population), and the case information (eg the description of the symptoms).

They had a theory that how much reliance a person places on base rate and case information depends on the “psychological distance” to them of the person who is ill (self being the closest of all, strangers being very distant).

Their theory was that when assessing themselves (psychologically very close), people would place more importance on case information, and the influence of base rate would be weak. But when assessing others, especially strangers, then the influence of symptoms would be weak and base rate would be strong.  (…)

The researchers said this study and others like it are important because, if consumers are more likely to misdiagnose themselves, then this could lead to them taking up treatments and buying drugs that are not appropriate, which has a wider impact on public health.

The easiest answer, they conclude is to get rid of the bias by seeing a real doctor instead of “Dr Google”.

Real doctors will take the prevalence of the disease into account, because they are viewing the patient from a distance, they say.


Paddock, Catharine. Dr Google And The Unwise Practice Of Self-Diagnosis. Medical News Today, 23 Jul 2012. Available from:





Written by hbasset

August 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Web 2.0

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