May 30, 2024: Organization Story: Miles to go! Deep Diving! Spreading our wings! All for India’s research outputs

Systematic Reviews are publications arising from “Secondary Research”. Which means a team of authors identifies all research papers on a topic and then together analyze and synthesize the findings in each, in order to generate evidence of what is useful.

In India, recently there has been an upward movement in this area. Healthcare faculty are encouraged to author systematic reviews. And recently the ICMR is not only funding such secondary studies, but is also calling out to medical colleges to offer training in this area.

Just like the foundation of a building needs to be very strong, for the building to be sturdy and last long, the foundation of a good systematic review includes:

  1. Identifying several good sources (databases) to search
  2. Creating the best “Search Strategy” in each of these, to ensure that no study is missed
  3. Documenting the search strategies for future replicability

This is an area where there is a major lacuna in our country

QMed is working hard at training people to bridge this gap.

More importantly, recently I paid $245 to enroll for a course* that taught lots more about several resources to search, and about developments in several databases. As I went through the approximately six hours long course (spread over two days) I have learnt about many more resources to explore, the nuances of search strategies and more.

I will be sharing my learnings with my colleagues, so that QMed can teach and support this activity better and better in India.

My learnings – will include several more hours of research I put into – to go through the recommended databases, their tutorials and more. I will be travelling miles, diving deep and spreading my wings!

I have no doubt I will enjoy this learning journey. But the biggest joy will happen when:

  1. The Govt (ICMR, NMC and related bodies) accept this need for training and ensure that it gets across
  2. The faculty of the health sciences institutions make the efforts to learn
  3. And we find methods to create experts in every institution!
  4. Every educated individual in the country understands the importance of such work.

At QMed, we know – “We have miles to go before we sleep”!

*Searching for Systematic Reviews: Selecting and Searching Databases

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