QMedCONNECT Newsletter: September 2009


Dear friends,

I had the privilege of attending the 10th International Congress on Medical Librarianship in Brisbane, Australia during the dates August 31 - September 4, 2009. Being the only one from India to receive a scholarship to attend this event was something very special. There were 24 more scholarship winners (from a total of 70 applicants) from other developing countries. The scholarships were awarded based on the details that we provided about what each of us hoped to gain from the ICML. All of us had the honour of meeting our sponsors.

I attended three continuing education programs and I hope I can put to use some of the learning, to make a difference here in India. The conference itself covered many interesting papers. It is slightly sad to note that the majority of Indian medical libraries are way behind those of the developing world in exploiting IT for their libraries and library services. With the available IT manpower in India I believe we have no excuses to stay way behind. What I feel strongly is that the powers to be (MCI and related bodies) and medical teachers must insist on better availability of such facilities and more importantly everyone must be trained to use them well.

The other focus of our last newsletter was "The Joy of Giving Week". I am pleased to share with you that we have succeeded in launching a small act of giving, and we also received one donation. A small beginning, but we believe that a small step taken now will take us much higher in future!
Our training activities are going full swing - thanks to a couple of sponsorships we received. And now with two donations, we plan to do some more.

Vasumathi Sriganesh


The 10th ICML: Report from our CEO

The ICML is an event that is held once every four years. Medical librarians from world over attend the event.

The first two days had several CE programs and I attended three of them. One program covered many hitherto unknown web-resources; many containing free access to research in progress. A second was on integrating various resources in library websites. Libraries, however small, can ensure that their websites are useful "starting points" to offer their institutional members access to all that is free and all that the institution subscribes to. This is not only about hyperlinking, but also about issues like controlled access to paid resources using link resolvers, IP authentication and lots more. The third CE program was on the librarian's role in Systematic Reviews. India has doctors who are involved in writing SRs and we also have the South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre. I hope that we can play a major role in helping them to access all relevant literature to create their Reviews. In the long run, I hope we can collaborate with them to train more information specialists for supporting the literature needs activity.

The next three days, were the days of the main conference. The plenary sessions had several experts enlightening us on various topics. Parallel sessions had papers and posters presented by people from all over the world. There was much to learn from the experiences of various presenters. My own paper - QMed Knowledge Foundation - empowering the medical information user was well appreciated. All papers are available online at the UQ Repository. 


The Joy of Giving Week

QMed Knowledge Foundation participated in the Joy of Giving Week, by offering a free student membership to Ten Undergraduate Medical Students who have been selected for the ICMR-STS scholarships for research projects they undertake. We had 19 applications and we picked 10 students by draw of lots. The students who will be getting our literature support for their projects are:

1. Akshay Athreya - Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
2. Ashok Kumar Biswas - Midnapore Medical College And Hospital, Midnapore - West Bengal
3. Bharath Dath Anche.T.R - Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore 
4. Biren Khimji Patel - Topiwala National Medical College,Mumbai
5. Eishaan Kamta Bhargava - University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi 
6. Gurmeen Kaur - Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi
7. Hariharasudan Ranganathan - Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi
8. Nazim Nasir - Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College - Aligarh
9. Riddhi Patira - Pt.J.N.M.Medical College – Raipur
10. Siddharth Sanjay Shah - B.J. Medical College, Pune

We hope that next year we will be able to have meaningful selection criteria and do even more for such events. We thank the President of INFORMER (Indian Forum for Medical Students Research), Dr. Akshay Sharma, who helped us by circulating this offer to all the members; this helped us getting quick responses

Our "Interim Newsletter" requesting support by way of "at least a day's earnings" from all recipients, brought one response - from Dr. M. G. Koppikar - a Surgeon from Mumbai, who sent us a cheque for Rs. 5000/- as soon as he received the same. We are specially grateful to him for this gesture; he has always had good words for us, and is very encouraging in his responses. Thank you Dr. Koppikar!

The Joy of Giving



What we did – September 2009

Training programs: PubMed - Basics and Talks on Literature Searching

Programs conducted

In September 2009, we conducted programs at 
a) Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
b) Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata
c) Regional Cancer Centre Trivandrum 
d) Institute of Kidney Diseases, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad
These events were sponsored by two pharmaceutical companies, thanks to the efforts of XRays Biocom. We thank them and our sponsors for this gesture.

Forthcoming Programs

We will be conducting five programs in October - four in Mumbai and one in Kolkata. All these are on invitation by different institutions / event organizers / sponsors. 

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.


Events of Interests:

1.November 16-19, 2009. Systematic Reveiw Completion Workshop. SACC, Christian Medical College, Vellore. More details

2. November 19-21, 2009. Clinical Research Workshop. Christian Medical College, Ludhiana. More details.

3. November 21-22, 2009. The 12th Workshop on ‘Biomedical Informatics and Communication’ at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram (Wardha). More details

4. December 3-4, 2009. JPGM Writecon 2009 : A conference on medical writing - at the Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital Mumbai. More details 


Additional donation received:

Aside from the contribution mentioned above, a donor who wishes not to be named, sent us an additional Rs. 8000/- (this person had already promised us Rs. 48,000/- when we made an appeal for this amount for costs incurred for training programs). We received this higher amount with a request to use it to the best extent for developing and delivering our training programs.

We sincerely thank both donors for their contributions, and for their encouragement. 

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


News: India wins a patent battle in Europe!

You may recall, in our February 09 issue, we had carried a news item on the initiative taken by Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to stop piracy by scientifically completing the documentation work of over two lakh medical formulations of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani of Indian origin. This initiative by TKDL has led India to win a patent battle in Europe !

The European Patent Office (EPO) has cancelled its “intent to grant patent” order to a Spanish company on the use of melon extract to cure vitiligo (leucoderma) a disease that causes skin depigmentation to almost 65 million people globally. It is a major victory for Indian government. The Spanish firm had applied for the patent in July 2006. The patent was for a cream that uses vegetal ingredients such as melon and lemon, which when employed on the white patches resulted in regeneration of melanocytes. The EPO decided to grant patent on June 4, 2009 . On July 8, India   gave evidence of books by Indian authors  to EPO that talked about melon’s anti-vitiligo properties and how it has been used here for over 1200 years. On July 27th the EPO refused to grant patent.

Kudos again to TKDL!

Source: The Times of India, September 17, 2009.


New Website:

We are happy to announce that we will be creating an "Alumni website" for the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru. 


Document Delivery Of Journal Articles

In the month of September 2009, we delivered 210 articles to individual members, libraries and corporate clients. The total number of documents delivered since April this year is 1025.


Special Announcement!!

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 teaching prevention. Supercourse has a network of over 64000 scientists in 174 countries, who are sharing for free a library of 3623 lectures in 30 languages. Supercourse 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 the entire content, and we are willing to copy it - as requested by Ronald and give it to interested individuals/institutions. 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.

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.


Article of the Month:

Deo MG.

Need for research oriented medical education in India.

Indian J Med Res. 2009 Aug;130(2):105-7

In this editorial, Dr. Deo highlights something that is a fundamental need and is unfortunately a lacuna. Research in our medical curriculum has far less importance than it deserves, the result of which is visible in the dramatic fall in the number of publications from India and also in the quality of majority of the postgraduate theses. Dr. Deo also highlights the need for better access to research support. 

We at QMed, will specifically state that we are acutely aware of the lack of training in the proper use of medical literature and in the area of medical writing and reporting. We are doing our bit with our programs and facilities. On Dr Deo's personal advice to us, we promise to focus strongly on medical students for all our offerings.


Quote of the Month

"Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used".

- Dr. Carl Sagan


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

We have added 30 new sites in the last month and the total number of sites is about 2485. 

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.


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