Research Methodology workshops are being held pretty regularly in medical colleges. The Topiwala National Medical College, TNMC for short holds their share every year, both for PGs and for the faculty. I have been a regular invitee as a speaker for the last few years.
This year, something was different.
More about that soon. The hall had approximately 100 participants. While there were registered participants, the college had allowed other faculty and students to attend specific lectures they were interested in.
The lecture duration was for 35 minutes (where I usually need about 70) but it only means less interactivity than what I usually build in, and of course a little tweaking of the content. Some key questions that were asked at the end:
1. Could you explain MeSH and Major once more?
Answer: Searching using [Mesh] after your term gets you articles that are about your search term. Searching using [Major] gets you articles which are not only about your search term, but most of the articles’ coverage will be about it
(For more about this – see our tutorial page. Do ensure that you go through the two sub pages – Mesh terms and Searching with Mesh too)
2. When we search, we often find important references to old articles. How do we get the full texts of these?
Answer: I am making a stress on an important advocacy by QMed for all of you. Several of India’s medical libraries have a rich back volume collection that are lying in cupboards. Only when all of you ask for easier access to these, will a good strong Inter Library System evolve. We at QMed will be very happy to guide this. We are also advocating strongly for all of you to have the PubMed’s LinkOut activated for your library collection. Once created and activated, you can easily find out which library in India has the article that you are looking for.
If we do not work at the above, the option is to pay $30 per article to a vendor!
3. In PubMed we find good references that have no full text links. How do we get these?
Answer: In addition to the above reference to libraries, the options are – emailing the author (works sometimes, does not work always), and some more. One suggestion is to locate the journal’s website and search the archives. This works for almost all Indian journals that are not linked in PubMed. Yet another is to feed in the title in Google Scholar and see if someone has stored the article in an open archive
At the end of the talk, came what was different. I was surrounded by about 10 faculty members, some with specific queries, all with adulations (they do still sound good!) but most importantly, with the request to hold full workshops at TNMC. This was definitely music to the ears. This, because I am hoping that with regular workshops the faculty will learn and teach students.