QMedCONNECT: Highlights of November 2019

From our Founder's Desk

Dear Readers

We are happy to share our new home page - www.qmed.ngo - we got  this up just a couple of weeks ago. Our colleague Fatima - a librarian turned web-geek has created this all by herself and we are all very thrilled with this. We hope you enjoy it too. 

This month, after a  rather long gap, I had the opportunity to deliver three  lectures and also conduct four workshops. Three of the lectures were at a Systematic Review workshop organized by the Nursing Research Society of India. There were 226 participants - ranging from BSc Nursing students to professionals. It was wonderful seeing the interest in research in this community. 

We conducted two workshops in Nanavati Hospital Mumbai, where they were happy to accommodate outside participants too. Then the GMC Patiala invited us for the  third time. Dr Vishal Chopra has always worked hard at getting our workshop planned in the institution. This time the HoD of the Gynec Dept, Dr Mohi also ensured that many of her residents attended, and she too attended a second time. She was very happy to learn about our online courses, and she said those would serve the residents who could not attend. 

We are exploring the opportunity of requesting institutions to organize workshops, where they could invite participants from outside their institutions too. If they did this, we are happy to spread the word and get more participants for them. 

Our online courses are on in full swing. More than 300 people are on the course - Mastering PubMed: Basics; while 75 have completed it. One person has also finished the PubMed Advanced and Mendeley. 

This month PubMed has announced the availability of their new interface. One can view this through the regular PubMed home page. In Jan 2020, the new interface will replace the old one.  We have been sensitizing participants about the new interface in our workshops, and encouraging them to get familiar with it, so that they continue using it with comfort! 

Vasumathi Sriganesh



MOGS - Dr NA Purandare PG Training Program & PICSEP Workshop

MOGS - Dr NA Purandare PG Training Program & PICSEP Workshop

Date: 30-11-2019
Total number of participants: 15

Vasumathi delivered a lecture on Literature Search and Reference Management.

Maharashtra University of Health Sciences-Lecture


Date: 28-11-2019
Total number of participants: 226

Vasumathi delivered three sessions -Basics of Search Strategies for Systematic Reviews, Databases to be searched and Reference Management.

The attendees were Senior Nursing professionals, Nursing Faculty, PhD Scholars and students of Masters and Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. By a show of hands many indicated that the basics of literature searching and referencing should be taught during the Bachelor’s degree. More advanced teaching maybe implemented during the Master’s degree program onwards.

Some senior professionals have asked for details of the Online Courses as well as workshops and expressed interest to have them at their institutions.

Maharashtra University of Health Sciences-Lecture

Maharashtra University of Health Sciences-Lecture

Date: 06-11-2019
Total number of participants: 52

This session had a mixed audience of PG Students and faculty members. We asked participants to scan a QR Code from our presentation and respond to our small survey. Out of the 52 participants 36 filled up the form.
Twenty-eight said they learnt MeSH properly for the first time, 30 learnt Boolean Operators, 23 learnt Single Citation Matcher, 18 learnt Fields. Two participants mentioned that they had learned about MeSH, Fields, Boolean Operators and Single Citation Matcher earlier.
Twenty-Six felt this should be introduced in the UG level and 10- at the PG level.


Government Medical College-Workshop

Government Medical College, Patiala

Vasumathi Sriganesh conducted a full day Workshop on PubMed Basics and Reference Management.

Date: 17-11-2019
Total number of participants: 26
Filled in forms: 26

All participants mentioned that they learned about, Mesh, Fields and Boolean operators in this workshop
Could use a Reference Manager before this workshop: 9
Felt that PubMed should be included in the UG curriculum: 23
Felt that Mendeley  should be included in the UG curriculum: 23

Nanavati Hospital-Workshop

Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai

Vasumathi Sriganesh conducted a half-day interactive workshop on PubMed Basics for a mixed audience of PG students, Doctors and Practitioners.
Date: 02-11-2019
Total No of Participant: 26
Filled in form: 16
Majority of the participants mentioned that they had learned about, Mesh, Fields and Boolean operators in this workshop.
All of them felt that these workshops should be introduced in the UG curriculum.

More pictures

Nanavati Hospital-Workshop

Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai

Vasumathi Sriganesh conducted a half-day interactive workshop on PubMed Basics for a mixed audience of PG students, Doctors, Practitioners.

Date: 05-11-2019
Total No of Participant: 31
Filled in form: 30
Majority of the participants mentioned that they learned about, Mesh, Fields and Boolean operators in this workshop.
Majority felt that these workshops should be introduced in the UG curriculum

More pictures


From our Blog

9th Annual International conference of the Indian Academy of Biomedical Sciences - IABSCON 2020- February 27- 29, 2020

9th Annual International conference of the Indian Academy of Biomedical Sciences - IABSCON 2020- February 27- 29, 2020

The Department of Biochemistry, D.Y.Patil Medical College, Kolhapur is organizing IABSCON 2020 from 27th to 29th Feb 2020 at Sayaji Hotel, Kolhapur.


The conference will cover all the research areas like Laboratory Medicine/Quality Assurance, Metabolic Syndromes & Inborn Disorders, Cancer Biology and Therapeutic Advances, Cardiovascular & Respiratory Diseases, Brain Diseases, Drug Discovery/Drug Delivery, Indian Systems of Medicine, Stem cell & Regenerative Medicine and many more.

This is a multi-disciplinary conference open for scientists, faculty and students from the fields of Modern Medicine, Indian Systems of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Biotechnology/Nanobiotechnology, Stem cells & Regenerative Medicine, Laboratory and Industry personnel.

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

For more information click here: www.iabs.inwww.dypatilunikop.orgwww.dypatilmedicalkop.org 

To download the registration form, click here: http://www.dypatilmedicalkop.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IABSCON-2020_compressed_compressed.pdf

Predatory journals can affect global research!

Predatory journals can affect global research!

Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research

Forero DA et al. Negative Effects of "Predatory" Journals on Global Health Research. Ann Glob Health. 2018 Nov 5;84(4):584-589. PMID: 30779504

Our blogs have covered predatory journals earlier, but there is always more to learn on this topic.

This article has a great abstract giving the most important information about predatory journals. If anyone has read this term for the first time, this paragraph gives them all they need to know. Predatory journals exploit the "Open Access concept" in negative ways - acceptance of practically anything - including bad stuff, and publishing without peer review. And by doing this, they are the source for propagating wrong science, wrong medicine, and any wrong information. Forero and colleagues then move on to elaborating on the negative implications of these journals. To start with the authors mention how predatory journals being free, inexperienced authors read them and then cite them in their papers. The general public too has easy access to predatory journals and can easily end up reading wrongly done research and get influenced by their findings. This not only means a spread of "junk science" but also leads to countries of these putlications getting a lower ranking in academic ranking systems like Scimago.

Then there are suggestions for authors who are not very familiar with the publishing process and are thus inexperienced. They stress on the importance of going through some articles of any journal, to assess the quality, before thinking of submitting an article for publication. Checking where a journal is indexed, can help to identify its genuineness. They recommend an international initiative called “Think. Check. Submit.” (http://thinkchecksubmit.org) that provides several recommendations to potential authors. And they also caution people to be watchful in accepting "editorial board invitations" from such journals, because it is tempting to accept "a position" but then if you do, you are contributing to poor science!

Next they come up with recommendations for Institutions engaging in improving publications (like COPE, DOAJ etc). They suggest that such agencies must maintain a list of predatory journals, and explore together how to curb the growth of predatory journals and people publishing in them.

Finally they suggest that Universities should develop all possible strategies for authors to stop them form publishing in predatory journals, and clearly mention that such publications are not counted for an author's credentials. And countries where authors cannot afford the Open Access journals' APC (Author Processing Charges) should come up with funding to support these, and that OA journals should also do more to subsidize APCs for such countries.

They conclude by saying that predatory journals being completely commercial, have to be monitored by national / international agencies involved in checking financial activities of such organizations. These bodies must take necessary action against such journal offices.

Another resource for free articles

Another resource for free articles

Everyone loves getting articles for free! Let us introduce a unique tool to find free articles

Unpaywall - https://unpaywall.org/ - is a database of more than 24 million legally free articles! Unpaywall harvests these articles from open access repositories (like PubMed Central) and from over 50000 journals.

However it is not a database that can be searched in itself. It has to be integrated in any other collection - example - a library's collection or into a collection like PubMed

This is best used when you install the Chrome Browser Extension available at https://unpaywall.org/products/extension Once you install this, then when you browse any database that has integrated Unpaywall, on the right side of your screen you will see a symbol of a lock. If it is green, the article is free. If it is white, the article is not free

Go ahead - install the Chrome extension and try. You never know. Articles that you think are not free may actually be free!

And librarians and library committee members - please do see about integrating Unpaywall into your collections! You may do your users a lot of good!

Writing keywords while submitting articles - a new confusion

Writing keywords while submitting articles - a new confusion

The number of authors writing in medical journals is increasing day by day, thanks to the "Publish or perish" and the "need for promotions" among academicians. I meet many of these authors (or want to be authors) when I deliver lectures or conduct workshops.

I teach about MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) in PubMed - an important - actually the most important part of PubMed. And most often I understand that it is in my lectures and workshops that people understand how to use MeSH correctly.

During one such event some years ago a journal editor had asked me if he should ask authors to give MeSH terms instead of author keywords when they submitted articles. I had to explain that MeSH indexing for articles is done by trained and experienced indexers and there are several criteria for choosing the right MeSH Term to index an article. And that it was better for authors to give plain language keywords, because they would be retrieved by a word search.

In a recent lecture I had a different experience. A participant said "I always thought that MeSH Terms were the words that authors added as keywords". She expressed that only now she understood the depth of work behind the MeSH Database, and how it is used in searching.

Which also brings me to one more point. In an earlier post, I had written about the mandate for current Postgraduate Residents to do an online course in Research Methodology. And how in that platform there is a module on "Literature Review" where they are told that the PubMed site has its own tutorials and that they can "easily" learn from there. Obviously practically no one learns from there - as is shown through doubts and ideas expressed in our lectures and workshops.

We at QMed constantly are reminded that we have miles to go before we sleep!



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