QMedCONNECT: Highlights of January 2020

From our Founder's Desk

Dear Readers

 January 2020 began with a bang. I delivered three lectures and conducted one workshop this month - exactly how I would like our calendar to be! At every event we forge some more ties and we hope that each one helps spread our work wider. The feedback at each event strengthens the need for us to do lots more and we hope that it will be our Online Courses that fulfill our quest to eradicate the information literacy and search skills lacunae in the country. 

 While there is a lack of strong search skills, the other aspects of "information literacy" that need tackling are the issues of copyright, plagiarism, predatory publishing and more. Ethics in all these areas must come from within us, and it is not just about watching as to who is monitoring us. 

Read more about all these in our blog posts. And please do everything you can, to spread the word about QMed Knowledge Foundation and its courses - to help us eradicate information illiteracy!

Vasumathi Sriganesh




Date: 18-01-2020
Total number of participants: 20

All participants mentioned that they learned about, Mesh, Fields and Boolean operators in this workshop. All of them felt that Literature Searching should be included in the UG curriculum.Received many good comments, one of the participant said- “A post lunch session usually induces sleep but this was an eyeopener". Another participant said- “We moved from Mess to MeSH”.


APM’s Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Sion

APM’s Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Sion

Date: 20-01-2020

Total number of participants 50 (PGs and Faculty)

One participant had heard of MeSH and Field search. No one knew Boolean Operators and Single Citation Matcher

By a show of hands all agreed that the basics of literature searching should be included in the UG curriculum

Tele Medicine Society of India & MGUMS

Telemedicine Society of India & MGUMS, Jaipur 

Date: 12-01-2020
Total number of participants: 40

Vasumathi Sriganesh gave a brief talk on "Skills and Competencies to Frame Searches" at the 1st International Conference on Applied Health Informatics. She first focused on what constitutes good searches and then on the skills and competencies required for the same. She stressed on the lacuna in these, in the country and what QMed was doing to bridge this gap. She was flooded with questions and the School of Health Informatics MGUMS expressed interest in doing more with QMed!

Canvas of Clinical Pharmacology Workshop 2020 (CCPW2020)-Lecture

Canvas of Clinical Pharmacology Workshop 2020 (CCPW2020)

Date: 10-01-2020
Total number of participants: 100

Vasumathi Sriganesh delivered a lecture on Effective Literature Search – Hand on exercise at Canvas of Clinical Pharmacology Workshop 2020 (CCPW2020) organised by Dep of Clinical Pharmacology of Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital.
There were 86 registrations but the session was attended by 100 participants-PG students, Faculty and Organizers. At the beginning of the lecture by a show of hands- very few participants knew Boolean Operator. Mesh-small number never heard of it, very few said they use it, no one was fully comfortable with it. Fields- a few comfortable using it.

More Pictures


From our Blog

Predatory journals claiming that they follow all the ICMJE recommendations

Predatory journals claiming that they follow all the ICMJE recommendations

Potential predatory journals are colonizing the ICMJE recommendations list of followers.

R Dal-Ré, A Marušić. 

Neth J Med. 2019;77(2):92–96.
Link: http://www.njmonline.nl/getpdf.php?id=2093 ; PMID: 30895939.

Recently several predatory journals seem to claim that they follow all the ICMJE (The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) recommendations to gain the appearance of legitimacy.

The term ‘predatory journals’ could be assumed, that these are open access journals that publish poor quality articles, with poor or no peer-review process, owned by publishers providing no transparent editorial services. Their main objective is financial gain by article processing charges to authors.

In this paper, the authors picked a random 350 titles and checked them.

Following were the findings:

31% appeared to be predatory journals.
94% were included in the ICJME-R list of followers in the last four years... Read more.

The new PubMed is here! Learn something about it

The new PubMed is here! Learn something about it

In mid November 2019, the National Library of Medicine, USA announced the launch of the new PubMed. They mentioned that the new one will become the "default" from Spring 2020 - which will be around the 19th of March, 2020. It is time for us to start getting used to the new PubMed - both the good and the not so good, about the new PubMed. Here are some points of learning:

The site address

The new PubMed is available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ . If you have bookmarked the old, one, you will get a message asking you to try the new PubMed. But as I mentioned, in mid march, the new will become the default (and the old may disappear then)

Truncation (Wild card searching)

The best thing that we have noticed is that it has a very powerful truncation feature. In the old one, if we typed - hot* - in the search box (hoping to search for hot, hotter, hottest and all variations), we would get a message that said:

Wildcard search for 'hot*' used only the first 600 variations. Lengthen the root word to search for all endings.

IN the new PubMed - we do not get any message and it does search for all variations... Read more.

Compliance. Ethics. Integrity...

Compliance. Ethics. Integrity...

Compliance - makes us follow the law. We could be punished or fined if we are not compliant. Ethics - something we most often grow up with. Taught directly or indirectly by parents, other family members and teachers. Integrity - results when we have compliance and ethics deep rooted inside us.

The absence of integrity leads to the breakdown of trust. And this erosion of trust is very expensive! Stephen MR Covey explains this in his book - The Speed of Trust. He quotes the example of the cost of airport security forces, soaring after the 9/11 tragedy!

I would like to talk about the need for integrity in one aspect of academics, research and practice. This is about the use of journal articles. Except for the Open Access journals (or articles), all the others come under copyright protection. Which means, that except for fair use (where one gets a copy from a library, for research or academic purposes), one has to pay a "copyright fee" while downloading

I agree that the copyright fee charged by several publishers is enormous. But the law requires that those who buy articles for commercial use have to pay the copyright fee involved. And for academic (fair) use, one has to get an article from a library, or through a library network... Read more.


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