QMedCONNECT Newsletter: August 2017


Dear friends 

"Data" is increasingly becoming a buzzword both generally and in research.  Reading an article is one thing, but verifying the accuracy of all data collected to produce it, is another. Again, for an author, the need for varying kinds of data is increasing. In this issue we highlight two major sources of data, one from the US and one from India. These sites are directories of data resources and well worth bookmarking.

We also bring you an excellent article about fourteen different types of review articles. More people are embarking on writing systematic reviews now, and it is important to know what kind of a review one is going to do, as the methodology varies for each. It would make good sense to get one's directions straight before embarking on a review.

This month we did two workshops, three lectures and one guest lecture in a "BMJ Conclave" for librarians. Held in Kolkata, we had some good deliberations and my co speaker Dr Avinash Chinchure from TIFR Bangalore and I also had good questions come to us. What was a bit disturbing was that medical librarians there shared with us that medical colleges were not appointing young librarians when seniors retired, but got the seniors back on contract basis on what I would term as "bad salaries". Here is a problem where if we dig deep, there are more problems, but what we badly need in the country is a major shake up in medical librarianship, with several refresher courses, strong guidelines on what a medical library has to deliver, and a model to see how the budget spent on libraries should show good returns of real use. The MCI, NBE, ICMR and NAMS need to come together for discussions with senior librarians and younger ones both giving their voices. 

Meanwhile -  Do click and donate here to our good work with PG students! 

Vasumathi Sriganesh


Did You Know

Data, Tools and Statistics

The National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), a unit of the NIH hosts a directory of data, tools and statistics on https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hsrinfo/datasites.html. A wide range of resources is available in this directory and it is a boon for any data from the US. 

Open Government Data (OGD) Platform India

From India we have the Open Government Data Platform at https://data.gov.in/ . This portal overall covers lots more than health, and browsing is best started by checking the available sectors - at https://data.gov.in/sectors

If the above two resources seem mind boggling and a bit too serious, here is something to relax with: 

Free public domain audiobooks: LibriVox


The world of free audiobooks opens up in this site, starting with children's literature. There are collections of various subjects, biographies and more. For the medical domain, click Browse by Genre, scroll down till you reach "Non fiction>Medical". Click this link and you find Grays Anatomy, works by Sir William Osler, Edward Jenner, Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing and more treasures! 


Interesting Reading

Grant MJ, Booth A

A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies.

Health Info Libr J. 2009 Jun;26(2):91-108

PMID: 19490148. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.

Download pdf

We talk of review articles and we talk of systematic reviews. Our observation in India is that many do not know the difference between the two. And many are not at all clear about what a true systematic review is. In such a scenario we wonder who would have ever thought about there being 14 different types of review articles! This article describes 14 types of reviews and the methodologies associated with each one. Published in 2009, it obviously has not percolated well enough (at least in India), and it is time we got aware of these. Only when we are clear about these types, it becomes easier to figure out how we will be doing a review - regular / scoping / systematic or otherwise! 


From QMed's Calendar

Talks on Literature Search / Referencing & Citing at

• Nair Dental College -Research Methodology Workshop - Aug 2

• Research Methodology workshop for PhD scholars of Maharashtra at MUHS, Nashik- Aug 7

• Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Nashik - Research Methodology workshop - Aug 11

Guest lecture

• Vasumathi Sriganesh gave a talk on "Access & Usage: Delivering the Best of both" at the BMJ Conclave 2017: Evolving trends in librarianship in India, organized by BMJ India. The event was held in Kolkata and about 20 medical librarians participated. There was another talk on Research Data and what librarians could do to help researchers retrieve and organize the same. This talk was by  by Dr Avinash Chinchure, Chief Librarian of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, Bangalore. The Chief guest of the day was the Director of the National Medical Library Delhi, Dr KP Singh, who gave an overview of the NML's current services and updates.



• Half day Workshop for employees of Cellcys Labs, Mumbai - Aug 5. Eight participants attended.

The 100 PGs project: (For more details - click here)

• Mastering PubMed & Reference Management with Mendeley was held at QMed’s office on Aug 13, two PG students attended this workshop.


QMed Participates 

• 8-Aug: We participated in a workshop on Board Governance, organized by the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy. The workshop clearly explained what constitutes law and what constitutes "must do" activities for a non profit board. The participants also got recommendations on how to have a good board and to get the best out of the board.

• 23-Aug: We participated in a workshop on Fundraising, organized by Danamojo. A wonderful learning experience, where participants got to do hands on activities to get started on a number of fund raising ideas! What was great about this workshop was the range of perspectives on fundraising - from the view points of experienced NGOs to the view points of donors. The founder also offered to comment on the "Donation" page of NGOs who were looking for feedback, and the comments / ideas were so good, that we could implement some of them the next day. The best part was that the Danamojo platform was demonstrated very briefly, but that was more than enough for an NGO to learn why they should immediately have this platform up on their website. We will have the platform on our site very soon, making it much easier for donors to give. 

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