QMedCONNECT Newsletter: Sep, Oct, Nov 2015


Dear friends

Sorry for  being away for a couple of months. A small team sometimes means firefighting and that is what we were doing, under some difficult circumstances. Here we are with news from September – November.

First – GlobalGiving, USA through which we raise funds, offered a Diwali bonus to NGOs from India who raised the maximum amounts or got the maximum number of donors during the Diwali period. And we are happy to say that we got the second largest number of donors and will get a bonus of $250!
In December the stakes for bonuses are higher!  Check out my special fundraiser page and see if you can help. Remember – even a $10 donation can make a difference. Do spread the message
 - especially to friends abroad.

In October I got to attend a conference of the World Association of  Medical Editors (WAME), that was organized in Delhi. Apart from meeting several editors and editorial board members of many journals and soaking in a lot of their experiences, I enjoyed presenting a poster about a small research project we carried out in QMed. The poster was titled – “Systematic Reviews in Indian publications, how many really are systematic reviews?”.  More about it in a section below.

In September, another wonderful trip was to the Jan Swasthya Sahyog in Ganiyari – near Bilaspur. JSS is an initiative of a group of doctors who had their medical training in AIIMS Delhi and chose to serve the rural and tribal population. We were invited there to conduct our workshops. I spent two days and trained a wonderful group, who put in a 100% attention into learning, and also sat with me in small groups – working out search strategies for specific topics. I was also taken round their small campus and got to see the wonderful work they did with minimal resources. JSS has requested that we do our workshops every year for their medical team as new people keep joining in their efforts. I can only say that we are privileged to work with such medicos!

Vasumathi Sriganesh


Do You Know

Covidence is a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews, including Cochrane Reviews. It has been designed to support more efficient production of systematic reviews. Once you have completed your data extraction in Covidence you can export your data directly into RevMan to complete your review. Read more about Covidence, here


Interesting Reading

This time, I would like to present our poster here – Systematic Reviews in Indian publications, how many really are systematic reviews? This study, presented at WAME 2015, is an attempt to find out how many Indian publications are described as systematic reviews in their titles, but are not truly systematic reviews. Such studies may mislead those searching for evidence and we hope to sensitize both authors and researchers to identify true systematic reviews. We retrieved articles from PubMed, published in Indian journals and had the words Systematic Review in the title and checked them to see whether they were systematic reviews produced following the necessary methodology, or if they were review articles. We found that a little less than 50% of the 147 articles were systematic reviews. We recommend that journal editors must tell authors of such papers, to amend the title to Review of literature, or just a Review. Get the poster here


Story/Participant Experience

Vasumathi delivered a lecture over Skype for participants of a Course on Bioethics. The lecture was about Searching for Bioethics literature. The feedback she got from one of the Faculty Coordinators, Dr Stanley Mathew was:

It was a precise, practical, engaging and flawless presentation. Though initially it seemed too basic to some of the participants (Oh I know all this ! attitude), by halfway almost every single participant was taking notes (inspite of knowing they would have access to the presentation). The entire group was in singular attention to every deliberate word you said. We were also able to sync the PPT projection here effortlessly due to the apt slides and your “the next slide shows” prompting. Your video projection was also good. The background was not disturbing and there was no sudden body movements (as there is a small lag when we see your image Vs when it occurs there). Less than 1 % of the presentation had loss of transmission (it is very likely to be due to bandwidth issue).

Skype sessions were not a favoured mode (when we reviewed the participants feedback) due to some connectivity and clarity problems in the last 2 sessions in September and October. Thank you for changing that perception also amongst the participants. Everyone appreciated the beauty and convenience of a Skype presentation.


What we did – September, October and November 2015

We reached out to over 400 health science students and professionals through our lectures and workshops

I) Talks on literature searching / referencing /citing at

• LTMMCH (Sion hospital), Mumbai- 9th Sep.

• TNMC (Nair Hospital), Mumbai – 9th Sep.

• AIIMS Raipur- 11th Sep.

• Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai – 11th Sep.

• Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai – 14th Sep.

• LTMMCH (Sion hospital), Mumbai- 7th Oct.

• Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Nashik – 8th Oct.

• Manipal University (over Skype)- 6th Nov.

• LTMMCH (Sion hospital), Mumbai – 19th Nov.

II) Workshops@ Institutions

• Half-day PubMed hands-on workshop for  a group of 15 students and health professionals at ‘Jan Swasthya Sahyog‘, Ganiyari, Bilaspur.

• Half-day workshop on Reference Management with Mendeley for a group of 15 students and health professionals at ‘Jan Swasthya Sahyog‘, Ganiyari, Bilaspur.

• Half-day workshop on Literature Search and Reference Management for a group of eight students of MS. Optometry at Lotus College of Optometry, Mumbai.

• Half-day PubMed hands-on workshop for a group of ten anesthesiologists as part of a pre-conference workshop at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai.

III) Workshops@QMed

PubMed Basics workshop for a group of three Masters in Physiotherapy students of Seth G S Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai.

Participant Feedback

• I had a basic understanding of PubMed and reference managing software before this workshop, but I was pretty disorganised in my approach, lacking a deep understanding of the principles and strategies of literature searches and reference management. The workshop was incredibly well-organised and the instructor was very articulate and patient. There was a good balance of lecture, demos and excercises. Overall a really valuable workshop. Thanks! – Brett Lewis, a participant of the workshop at Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Ganiyari.

• I came in with literally no knowledge about research and I am going back with information more than sufficient to do my thesis pretty well. Thanks Ma’am, looking forward to doing more workshops as this got my interest into research area – Priyanka Sangtani, Seth G S Medical College and KEM Hospital.


Training @JSS Ganiyari

Poster Presentation @ WAME 2015

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