QMedCONNECT Newsletter: February 2010


Dear friends,

February continued to be a month of activities and developments. I enrolled for a Cochrane Protocol Development workshop conducted by the South Asian Cochrane Centre at CMC, Vellore. The workshop focused on the entire process of planning a Systematic Review and documenting the same. I went with the intention of observing the process, so that QMed could offer training and help in literature searching, but came away with the intention of working with a team in writing a Systematic Review. The faculty at the SACN, led by Dr. Prathap Tharyan went out of the way to encourage every participant to work on creating Reviews and have offered all help possible. The week ended with my being invited to help with training in literature searching in future workshops and also in more involvement with Systematic Reviews.

We also conducted two PubMed training programs and delivered two lectures this month. We visited institutions that attended our "Foundation Day" event to follow up on the Resource Sharing initiative. We are happy that all of them have promised to take things up as quickly as they can.

The "article of the month" discusses something we are passionate about - the initiative on "Responsible Literature Searching" which was taken up by the University of Pittsburgh, USA - along with inputs from members of the Medical Library Association of the USA. I urge all readers to go through this article. In India, I still see major events on Medical Writing / Medical Research / Clinical Trials etc which do not even include the component on Searching, leave alone give adequate time to it. QMed has made some difference, but I realise that we have to cover far larger ground.

Vasumathi Sriganesh


Do You Know?

WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform

Interest in the area of Clinical trials is increasing, with many new developments in the country. One important site of interest for those involved in Clinical Trials is the WHO ICTRP. The mission of the WHO ICTRP is to ensure that a complete view of research is accessible to all those involved in the health care decision making process. This is really crucial for enhancing transparency of research, and for strengthening evidence. The WHO ICTRP site facilitates prospective registration of Trial Registration Data Sets and ensures public accessibility of that information.

The site contains the ICTRP Search Portal that aims to provide a single point of access to information about ongoing and completed clinical trials. The Indian CTRI is part of the search portal.


Our Forthcoming Programs

PubMed - Basics. Churchgate, Mumbai

Our next PubMed Basics program will be held on Sunday, March 28, 2010 between 9.00 AM and 1.00 PM at Pushp Kunj, Gr. Floor, A– Road, Churchgate (West) Mumbai— 400 020


Maximum of 30 participants - on a first-come-first-served basis. The Fee is Rs. 500/- for students (proof of studentship required) and Rs.1000/- for other health professionals. Registrants from the Pharma industry will be charged Rs. 1500/- Payment can be made by cash, cheque or demand draft payable to "Quality Medical Knowledge Foundation". Please download the registration form from our website.

We offer a subsidy of Rs. 250/- for the first 10 participants - either students or health professionals. To avail of the subsidy, advance payment is a must. Do call us on 40054474 to check if you are eligible. Additionally we offer a 50% subsidy to past participants who wish to repeat this program

We invite medical colleges/hospitals to contact us for organizing a program for PG students, faculty and health professionals. Please check out details at our website.

PubMed Basics - Invited programs

The following institutions have invited us to conduct a PubMed - Basics program for their students

• Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal - 10th March, 2010

•  K.J. Somaiya Medical College, Mumbai - 12th March, 2010


Other Events of Interest

1. Clinical and Epidemiological Research Workshop Series: Public Health Foundation of India.

• 16th - 19th March, 2010 (Tuesday to Friday): Workshop 3 : Clinical Trial Designs

• 20th - 23th April, 2010 (Tuesday to Friday): Workshop 4: Conduct and Reporting of Systematic Reviews of Randomized Controlled Trials

Contact - Tel: 0124-4722917;

Email: sujata.raman at iiphd dot org

More details

2. First Annual Workshop on Clinical Research Methodology: Clinical Trials ; Tata Memorial Hospital - Clinical Research Secretariat.

• 10th & 11th April, 2010

Contact - Tel: 022-24177000. Extn. 4254, 4259;
Email: crmworkshop at gmail dot com

More details

3. VI Scientific Writing & Skill Development Programme ; P.D.Hinduja National Hospital & Medical Research Centre and Indian Journal of Ophthalmology.

• 1st & 2nd May, 2010 (Saturday - Sunday)

Conatct - Tel: 24447165, 24447131, 24447405;
Email: editor at ijo dot in

If you are organizing or know about other conferences, pre-conference workshops or training programs related to medical research, do let us know; we would like to include these in our website and newsletter.


Resources for You:

1. MDConsult. Doctors in India can avail of access to MDConsult at special rates, thanks to the efforts of the HELP Library. With MDConsult, you get access to about 50 reference books, 70 journals (including Clinics), Practice guidelines and lots more. For more details click here.

2. Supercourse Lectures. Supercourse is a repository of lectures on Global Health and Prevention designed to improve the teaching of Prevention. Supercourse is a library of 3623 lectures in 30 languages. It has been produced at the WHO Collaborating Center University of Pittsburgh, with core developers Ronald LaPorte and others.

Our Foundation has received a CD of entire content, and are distributing it for free to institutions during our training programs and also to anyone requesting for the same. This will be useful if you do not wish to view all lectures on the Internet for various reasons. Please get in touch with us at info@qmedkf.org.in if you wish to receive a copy.


Article of the Month

Wessel CB et al.

Evaluation of a self-paced learning module to teach responsible literature searching for research

J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 Jan;98(1):82-5.

The article discusses something that is extremely important, and unfortunately as good as neglected in our country, especially as we are growing in the volume of Clinical Research that we do. It refers to the death of a volunteer in a clinical trial carried out in a major university, due to an insufficient literature search. We had highlighted this in an earlier newsletter (July 2009), and had mentioned that the University of Pittsburgh had brought out an excellent guideline through a self-paced tutorial. This article evaluates this learning module. Around 1175 participants went through the module. Around 80% of participants felt that the module would change the way they would carry out their professional responsibilities when they conducted clinical trials!

As always we at QMed stress, that in India, we do not give literature searching significant importance even in medical education - especially the PG thesis. The lacuna in knowledge of literature searching is something we have been observing steadily, and articles like these highlight the urgency with which training in good literature searching becomes part of the medical curriculum, research and for those working in Clinical Trials.

What we did – February 2010

Participation in the a workshop at the South Asian Cochrane Centre, CMC Vellore - Protocol Writing for Systematic Reviews

Vasumathi Sriganesh participated in a workshop organized by the SACN, CMC Vellore. The one week workshop covered the concepts of EBM, with a very thorough grounding on choosing a topic, and writing a protocol for a Cochrane Systematic Review. Writing a protocol involves documenting every step that would be followed for writing a CSR. Participants went through sessions on literature searching, statistics, entering all information in the Review Manager software - REVMAN and finally another called GRADEPRO where the Evidence is graded. The workshop was intense and participants had an enriching learning experience. Overall the Centre, through such workshops that it conducts regularly, wishes to train and encourage the production of Evidence based reviews from India. Vasumathi also discussed QMed's participation in the activities of the SACN, and we are happy to note that we will be working in this area.


Training Programs: PubMed - Basics

February 25 - PubMed - Basics - at the Foundation for Medical Research, for its employees

February 28 - PubMed - Basics - at Pushp Kunj, Churchgate. This program was initiated by QMedKF
and had 18 participants. A noteworthy feedback was "Every health professional, particularly those aspiring for a career in Medical writing / Clinical research MUST attend this course".


Lectures by Vasumathi Sriganesh
February 14 - Lecture demonstration to members of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Mumbai Chapter, on the optimal use of the E-library created for them, by QMed. The E-library is now open to all.

February 21 - "Effective Literature Searching" - at a one day workshop on Research Methods organized by the Maharashtra Ophthalmic Society, Panvel Chapter. The program was well appreciated and the doctors requested for a full training program in the month of April.


Mumbai Medical Libraries Collaboration for Resource Sharing (MML-CRS)

This month we did a follow up by meeting doctors / librarians of the institutions that attended our Foundation Day and agreed to participate in our Collaboration initiative. We proposed that as a first step, we will help all institutions to integrate their journal holdings in PubMed. We expect that these institutions will soon provide us with details of their journal holdings, so that the first step of implementation can begin!


Document Delivery of Journal Articles

In the month of February 2010, we delivered 170 articles to individual members, libraries and corporate clients. The total number of documents delivered since April 2009 is 1765.


Request for Donations:

This message is for YOU. Not for "someone else". We need support from every individual reading this newsletter. Every Rupee you donate or help us get will make a difference. Do contribute at least a day's salary/earnings to our Foundation any time you can. And do not forget to spread this message. We are constantly working at helping doctors become better doctors; this in turn helps them offer better treatment for you, your family and friends.

We accept donations by cheques in favour of Quality Medical Knowledge Foundation. Please send the cheques to our address, or write to us for our account details. You will get the applicable IT Exemption for donations under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act.


Quote of the Month

We need to bridge the gap between the medical libraries and the hospital rooms; take the information out there already, add to it, focus it, harness it - and bring it to the patient who was just diagnosed today.
Bruce Vento - Congressman

Read the speech from which this quote was taken - Mesothelioma Does Not Respect Leadership or Courage


Directory of Indian Medical Sites (www.indianmedicalsites.in)

We have added 80 new sites in February and the total number of sites is about 3000.

We invite volunteers to add new sites. If you would like to help, do write to us and we will send you a set of instructions that will make it easier for you to work. Please write "Volunteering for Indian Medical Sites" in the Subject of the email


Copyright © QMed Knowledge Foundation – Trust registered with the Charity Commissioner Mumbai – Registration No: E-24663