WHAT: MECOR 2016- Methods in Epidemiology, Clinical & Operational Research – an event that takes place in India (MECOR India) every alternate year. The workshop is organized by a group of Physicians from the American Thoracic Society, USA, in collaboration with the Public Health Institute (USA), and in India, with the Indian Chest Society and the National Center for Disease Control.
MECOR offers the program at three levels. Participants have to qualify for each level before going to the next one. The faculty includes three Indians – who have been participants in earlier MECOR programs. I have been a special lecturer in four out of five MECOR programs in India.
WHO: A group comprising mainly of Chest Physicians from all over India.
WHEN: Jan 18-23, 2016 WHERE: Jaipur, India
HOW : A lecture on literature search and intense one-on-one sessions for refining search topics.
Day 1 : I delivered a lecture on literature searching to all three levels of participants. The Level II participants did a literature search for their respective topics.
Day 2: Level II participants made a presentation of what they found (and did not find) and also presented their search strategy. I commented on each strategy so that the participants get to learn what they did right/wrong and how they could improve. Participants discussed their findings with their mentors and modified their research questions based on the findings of the literature search. In addition to this each participant had a one-on-one session with me to correct and/or refine the PubMed search strategy and scope for searching other databases.
WOW: Arriving at the Correct search strategy
Based on their medical knowledge and my expertise in information science we arrived at the correct search strategies. The personal hand-holding sessions helped them understand the process of ‘literature search’ and formulation of search strategies.
WHY: This process makes a big difference. In the lecture, participants learn basic theories of searching. They try them out, and learn what they can do, and importantly learn that there is more to learn. Then when there is a one-to-one teaching, for their own topic, it becomes much easier to apply the search techniques.
WHY NOT: Every research project be done this way? The time invested in right search techniques can make all the difference in the time and quality of research.
Contributed by: Vasumathi Sriganesh