QMedCONNECT: Highlights of September 2019


From our Founder's Desk

Dear friends

It is with great delight I share that our Online Courses are now part of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education's offering to their faculty and students. They have taken access for 1000 (one thousand) students / faculty across three of their institutions. This has happened after nine of their faculty from these institutions evaluated our course and gave great feedback. Thank you MAHE for your feedback and more importantly thank you for helping us spread our primary mission - to ensure that healthcare professionals in India learn the art of systematic searching and referencing. 

While this is a fantastic development for QMed, I will also share that this comes with a huge responsibility for us. Before I speak out more, I will first thank our partners Mediknit for hosting the courses, handling all the registrations & technology related matters and for various other ways in which they support us. So, it is really a responsibility for both organizations to ensure that we add new courses and keep updating the same. Mediknit bears the responsibility for any technical support and QMed bears the same for learning support. We will both strive to do our best. 

It is our endeavour that through our online courses, we will reach all over India and make a difference. Our first course online was "Mastering PubMed". The next two courses scheduled to go online soon are "Mastering PubMed: Advanced" and "Reference Management with Mendeley". And still more are being planned. 

I am also happy to share that the SNDT Women's University in Mumbai has made me part of their Library Committee. It is an honour to be part of this group - where they would like my help in guiding them to ensure that the online databases they subscribe to are utilized fully. I believe this is a very important priority for every institution and it must be looked into. 

 In this issue of QMedCONNECT, we have compiled all the September blog posts - JURN - a tool for open access content, an interesting article on medical research outputs, an upcoming conference on systematic reviews for nurses, and more. Happy reading and as always we look forward to hearing from you. 

Vasumathi Sriganesh



From our Blog

JURN: A search tool for open access content

JURN: A search tool for open access content

JURN is a free online search engine for finding and downloading of free full-text scholarly works. It is powered by a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) and is run without any advertisements. It has an effective way to find open access content from a variety of sources. It is a hand-crafted and curated index.

Coverage: JURN doesn’t index journal home pages but article URLs. It covers subjects like Arts, Humanities, Business, Law, Nature, Science and Medicine.

The plus point of JURN is that it serves to remove unwanted results unlike what we get with generic search engines

How to use it: You can use it like you use Google. But searching here with just one or two words will not retrieve a good result. Better results will come from using the usual Google search modifiers such as the intitle: modifier, or putting phrases in “inverted commas”.

Here is an example:

Your topic is - diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

If you search with the above phrase, the result will only obtain an interesting set of very broad search results. 

For a specific and useful results, you will need to use the intitle modifier along with the “inverted commas”.
intitle:”diabetes mellitus” "pregnancy"

Here’s a quick primer on some of the ways to search JURN

“diabetes mellitus in pregnancy” - Searches for a phrase
intitle:gestational diabetes – will display only results with this word in the title
"diabetes mellitus in *" - Accept any wildcard word inside a phrase (you get articles where - diabetes mellitus in - is followed by any word, eg - elderly, children, Saudi Arabia etc.
ext:pdf - useful if you are sure you only want PDFs

So a simple search strategy can be: 

intitle:gestational diabetes ext:pdf
intitle:"diabetes mellitus in*" ext:pdf

Can you search for a specific article?
Yes you can. Note that a search for very long journal article title, placed in quote marks, may not always give results in JURN. Using keyword search is recommended.

Who is JURN intended for?
Researchers, Students, Teachers, Professionals, Public Policy Makers and Planners, Journalists, Editors etc.

What’s included?
PhD thesis, Free Full Text Articles, Book Chapter and University Repositories.

JURN appears to be a quick and easy way of searching for open access materials in one place

Check the website: http://www.jurn.org
How to use JURN: https://jurnsearch.wordpress.com/about/
FAQ’s: https://jurnsearch.wordpress.com/about/

Medical colleges & research outputs - need for escalation!

Medical colleges & research outputs - need for escalation!

Medical Research in Medical College in India: Current Scenario and Ways to Improve it

Ghosh K, Ghosh K.
J Assoc Physicians India. 2019 Apr;67(4):71-73. PMID: 31299844.

The authors actually drop a bombshell when they say that they reviewed and discovered that 60% of research papers in indexed journals are published by just 6 - 10 medical colleges, when we have around 450 medical colleges in India! Now that is something to be concerned about!

The authors have reviewed several papers and listed as well as cited various reasons for lack of good research out in the country's medical colleges. They have also come up with some sound suggestions, which include the generation of real interest in research, motivating factors, money and more.

There is a mention of the need for good medical statisticians in every institution, and this is of course a must (and sadly a major lacuna).

And (as expected) there is no mention of the lack of literature searching skills and the need for a good information specialist (usually the librarian). I am not surprised. This is the scenario in our country. There is a huge lack in this aspect and I would add it to this article.

And that - dear readers is why QMed exists. To fill up this gap!

As the authors say - we do have skills in the country, but they need to be spread across all institutions with thorough training and skill building. We have the patient load. We can produce top notch research publications if skills are built, if the research environment exists and there is great motivation. Let us all work at these together!

NRSICON 2019- National conference on Systematic Review -A tool for Evidence based Practice- November 28- 30, 2019

NRSICON 2019- National conference on Systematic Review -A tool for Evidence based Practice- November 28- 30, 2019

MGM New Bombay College of Nursing have organized the 23rd Annual Conference – Nursing Research Society of India at MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Navi Mumbai.

The objective of the workshop is to learn basics of evidence health care, describes stages of systematic review, formulate research review questions, conduct relevant literature search, assess the quality of evidence, analyze and interpret the findings and finally write a review report.

Our CEO, Vasumathi Sriganesh will be a key resource speaker on the topics – Literature searching and Reference management with Mendeley.

For more information click here: http://www.nrsindia.org/

What made me choose to be a Trustee of QMed

What made me choose to be a Trustee of QMed

Since childhood, I have always been curious to know about the lives of doctors and other para medical professionals. Destined to become Librarian by profession, it gave me a chance to work closely with doctors and other para medical professionals when I was selected for the job at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital Library at Sion, Mumbai, where I worked for close to three years.

While working at Sion Hospital, I observed that doctors, especially PG students, were hard pressed for time and needed support from librarians; this combined with the fact that they were not really trained in how to look for relevant information in minimal time. But I also observed that they did not seem to realise that we librarians are formally trained in information searching in our University and we could add great value to their research or thesis. That we were taught and trained on using various sources some of which were free of any charges came as a big surprise to them. When I helped them, I was often asked if were a doctor, as I could get them exactly what they wanted, even when they spoke to me in medical terminology.

Ms. Vasumathi, who is my batchmate from the Library Science Degree course, was working for Hinduja Hospital at that time and quite often we exchanged notes on our experiences at the respective hospitals where we worked. We had similar experiences and concerns. Soon, I shifted to a corporate job, and she started her own venture - QMed.  I was thrilled to know that QMed was doing exactly what we both used to feel strongly about and had much more value added services to offer. Many times when I visited her office, I secretly wished that I could do what she had been doing all these years - making a difference in the way information and knowledge search happens in medical institutes. I often joked that I wish I could afford to do such work, even if I were not being paid for it.

And one pleasant day in 2019, I realized that I was in luck and my dream would materialize. Vasumathi asked if I would join QMed as one of the Trustees! I actually stopped short of jumping with joy. And looked forward with total anticipation to get associated with medical profession all over again. The role of course is pretty different from what I had done at Sion Hospital, where I had a direct involvement with the profession. But here the opportunity came for brainstorming, critical thinking and more, in this domain. Hence, it was only natural that I grabbed her offer. 

So, the fruits of my early efforts in this profession have indeed been growing sweeter all this while. Well, as they say, where there is determination and passion for something, miracles are bound to happen! 

In the first couple of months of my being a Trustee, Vasumathi and I have had some great discussions. There is lots more for me to delve into and experiment, to give my offerings to QMed. I have met the other Trustees and enjoyed knowing them. Yes - there are "Miles to go before I sleep", but I believe every mile is going to be very enjoyable.

Anujaa Navaratnaa - Trustee

We are delighted to discover that our teaching spreads...

We are delighted to discover that our teaching spreads...

Recently three Postgraduate residents from a Dental College visited our office. Their research guide told them to consult me as each one of them was working on a systematic review. They needed help with search strategies that they had worked on. The residents explained that as part of a project submission, they were required to do either a "Literature Review" or a "Systematic Review", and their institution wanted them to work on the latter. I had done a workshop in this institution in 2017, and this was a follow up from their side.

I checked each resident's search strategy. As expected, it certainly was not thorough. This is not surprising. Creating a search strategy for a systematic review requires sustained training and practice. These residents had certainly not had the required level of training and neither had any of their faculty guides.

I explained how they needed to modify their approach. As I explained, I used technical terms that I teach in our workshops. They understood well, absorbed several instructions that I gave, repeated some of them for clarity and said that they would rework their strategies and send them to me. At the end of this exercise, I asked them a question about the 2017 workshop. It was then that they mentioned that they had not attended our workshop.

It was their seniors who had, and they had taught these residents
the search steps

Now, though their initial work was far from perfect, it was wonderful to find out that they had learned a lot of the basics from their seniors. If these residents could understand all that I mentored them with, then that was an achievement in its own!  This trend of spreading knowledge needs to continue. It is important to note, that couple of hours of mentoring from me, made them feel reasonably confident about improving their work.

It is also a fact that writing systematic reviews is a fairly intense effort and needs anything between six months and eighteen months for novices. It also needs to be done in groups. For these residents, when they had to publish individually, in less time frames, a literature review was a better option – and I told them to discuss this in their institutions.

In the long run, we believe that our online courses being made available in institutions can create a great environment for shared learning amongst residents and faculty. And we would always be available to guide them when they needed help. For now, I am delighted with these initial steps of shared learning.


Note: Creating search strategies for systematic reviews actually requires librarians / information specialists with specialized training. While some reviewers in the world have learned this art, most of them usually get a librarian to at least check their strategies. We need to create such specialists in our institutions



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