QMedCONNECT Newsletter: May 2016


Dear friends

We are late with this newsletter - and we are sorry about that! But, we are on our toes as usual, and several good things have happened. I attended an event - Quest Unplugged - where medical students (MBBS) presented on topics after searching the literature and reading up articles. I am not giving away more here - do read the "From our blog" section and do read the blogpost. This event was a landmark one for QMed too - because there was a real outcome of our teaching efforts! As I said - please DO read the blogpost.

I did three workshops via Skype this month and that was a good experience. I would love to do small group workshops (for about five people) using any of these technologies. I would ideally like to monitor all participants' laptops and also let them view mine. Any help / suggestions towards this would be gratefully accepted.

We are also happy to welcome Aditi Bhandarkar to QMed Knowledge Foundation, this month. Aditi just completed her Masters' degree in Library & Information Sciences and will be a full time intern with us for a period of one year. She will learn and contribute to our work. We wish her the best. 

Vasumathi Sriganesh


From our Blog

 As we are a bit late this month with our newsletter, we thought we might as well share something hot off the press! Do check out our most recent blog post - 

A wonderful two days with UG students – at Quest Unplugged

On June 1 and 2, Vasumathi had a chance to attend Quest Unplugged - an event where MBBS students from colleges in Mumbai and around, presented on topics they researched on by searching the medical literature and reading up key articles. They were mentored for about a month to do this, and all groups did a thorough job. Some of them presented with lots of creativity too - enacting some scenes and more. Do read about this in our blog post. 

Did You Know

 Open-i - Open Access Biomedical Image Search Engine

When we think of the National Library of Medicine, USA, we think of PubMed. But the NLM has so much more to offer. One interesting resource is - Open-i  - a service that enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images from the open source literature, and biomedical image collections. This includes charts, graphs, clinical images, and more.  You could search by text queries or even query images. Open-i provides access to over 1.6 million images from about 580,000 PubMedCentral articles and 7,470 chest x-rays with 3,955 radiology reports. 

Have fun going through this massive collection, and for the terms of use of the images, please click here.


Interesting Reading

Page MJ, Shamseer L, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Sampson M, Tricco AC, Catalá-López F, Li L, Reid EK, Sarkis-Onofre R, Moher D.
Epidemiology and Reporting Characteristics of Systematic Reviews of Biomedical Research: A Cross-Sectional Study.
PLoS Med. 2016 May 24;13(5):e1002028 

Systematic reviews can help decision makers interpret research findings in the overload of published biomedical literature. However if a systematic review is not done well, or not reported correctly, its value is lost. The authors found that there was a huge increase in the number of systematic reviews being published, in the last three decades, but...when it came to the methods / reporting:

• At least a third of the reviews did not report how they searched for studies or how they assessed the quality of the included studies

• Most studies did not include unpublished data

• At least a third of the reviews used statistical methods discouraged by leading organizations that have developed guidance for systematic reviews

The authors' recommendations to improve  this situation include better software to facilitate better reporting, and training of all stakeholders in research publishing. 


From QMed’s Calendar

Talks on Literature Search, Referencing, Citing at:

• Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai- Research Methodology Workshop for DNB students - 6th May

• Tata Memorial Hospital-Research Methodology Workshop- Lecture on PubMed Basics - 28th May

• Tata Memorial Hospital-Research Methodology Workshop- Lecture on Reference Management  - 29th May


• PubMed Basics workshop for three post-graduate students from Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital.

• PubMed Basics workshop over skype for a consultant from Hyderabad.

• Workshop over skype on Reference Management with Mendeley for a consultant from Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia.

• Workshop over skype on Searching for Studies for a consultant from Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia.

• PubMed Basics workshop for a Pre-PG student from K.B. Bhabha Hospital, Mumbai.

Participant Feedback

1. It was a fun session. I learned new methods with hands-on experience. Would recommend it to everyone in medical field. It makes PubMed searching fun and easy.
Dr Saurabh Patil, K.B. Bhabha Hospital, Mumbai.

2. Will help me in evidence-based medicine practice and academic activities.
Dr Saurabh Biswal, Consultant at Critical Care Hospital, Hyderabad.

3. This course (Searching for Studies for a systematic review - special course)  is tailor made for researchers who are interested / involved in systematic reviews. The course comprehended various search strategies in Pubmed, Ovid-Embase and Central. Using MeSH terminologies, Boolean operators, sensitizing the search and using additional features in Pubmed are taught during the workshop. I found this course quite helpful and feel confident about designing a search strategy for my forthcoming Cochrane Systematic review. The course was conducted virtually, but I couldn’t make out the difference as the course co-ordinator made me so much involved. Thank you for designing such a wonderful course.
Dr Sumanth KN - Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia


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