Welcome to this months edition of MedLib’s Round, a blog carnival of “excellent blog posts in the field of medical information”.
This round is a little belated, because of late submissions and my absence earlier this week.
But lets wait no longer …..!
Peer Review, Impact Factors & Conflict of Interest
Walter Jessen at Highlight HEALTH writes about the NIH Peer Review process. Included is an interesting video, that provides an inside look at how scientists from across the US review NIH grant applications for scientific and technical merit. These scientists do seem take their job seriously.
But what about peer review of scientific papers? Richard Smith, doctor, former editor of the BMJ and a proponent of open access publishing, wrote a controversial post at the BMJ Groups Blog called “scrap peer review and beware of “top journals“. Indeed the “top journals” publish the sexy stuff, whereas evidence comprises both the glamorous and the unglamorous. But is prepublication peer review really that bad and should we only filter afterwards?
In a thoughtful post at his Nature blog Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat another Richard (Grant) argues that although peer review suffers terribly from several shortcomings it is still required. Richard Grant also clears up one misconception:
Peer review, done properly, might guarantee that work is done correctly and to the best of our ability and best intentions, but it will not tell you if a particular finding is right–that’s the job of other experimenters everywhere; to repeat the experiments and to build on them.
At Scholarly Kitchen (about what is hot and cooking in scholarly publishing) they don’t think “peer review“ is a clear concept, since the list of ingredients differ per journal and article. Read their critical analysis and suggestions for improvement of the standard recipe here.
The science blogosphere was buzzing in outrage about the adding a corporate nutrition blog sponsored by PepsiCo to ScienceBlog (i.e see this post at the Guardian Science Blog). ScienceBlogs is the platform of eminent science bloggers, like Orac, Pharyngula and Molecule of the Day. After some bloggers left ScienceBlog and others threatened to do so, the Pepsico Blog was retracted.
An interesting view is presented by David Crotty at Scholarly Kitchen. He states that it is “hypocritical for ScienceBlog’s bloggers to have objected so strenuously: “ScienceBlogs has never been a temple of purity, free of bias or agenda.” Furthermore the bloggers enjoy more traffic and a fee for being a scienceblogger, and promote their “own business” too. David finds it particularly ironic that these complaints come from the science blogosphere, which has regularly been a bastion of support for the post-publication review philosophy. Read more here.
Indeed according to a note of Scienceblog at the disappeared blog their intention was “to engage industry in pursuit of science-driven social change”, although it was clearly not the right way.
The partiality of business, including pharma, makes it’s presence in and use of Social Media somewhat tricky. Still it is important for pharma to get involved in web2.0. Interested in a discussion on this topic? Than follow the tags #HCSM (HealthCare Social Media) and #HCSMEU (Europe) on Twitter.
Andrew Spong, has launched an open wiki, where you can read all about #HCSMEU.
The value of journal impact factors is also debatable. In the third part of the series “Show me the evidence” Kathleen Crea at EBM and Clinical Support Librarians @ UCHC starts with an excerpt of an article with the intriguing title “The Top-Ten in Journal Impact Factor Manipulation”:
“The assumption that Impact Factor (IF) is a number absolutely proportional to science quality has led to misuses beyond the index’s original scope, even in the opinion of its devisor.”
The post itself (Teaching & Learning in Medicine, Research Methodology, Biostatistics: Show Me the Evidence (Part 3)b) is not so much about evidence, but offers a wealth of information about journal impact factors, comparisons of sites for citation analysis, and some educational materials for teaching others about citation analysis. Not only are Journal Citation Reports and SCOPUS discussed, but also the Eigenfactor, h-index and JANE.
Perhaps we need another system of publishing and peer review? Will the future be to publish triplets and peer review these via Twitter by as many reviewers as possible? Read about this proposal of Barend Mons (of the same group that created JANE) at this blog. Here you can also find a critical review of an article comparing Google Scholar and PubMed for retrieving evidence.
Social Media, Blogs & Web 2.0 tools
There are several tools to manage the scientific articles, like CiteULike and Mendeley. At his blog Gobbledygook Martin Fenner discusses the pros and cons of a new web-based tool specifically for discussing papers in Journal Clubs: JournalFire
At the The Health Informaticists they found an interesting new feature of Skype: screen sharing. Here you can read all about it.
Andrew Sprong explains at his blog STweM how to create a PDF archive of hashtagged tweets using whatthehashtag?! and Google Docs, Scribd or Slideshare. A tweet archive is very useful in case of live tweet or stream sessions at conferences. (each tweet is then labeled with a # or hashtag, but tweets are lost after a few days if not archived)
At “Cool Toy of the Day” Patricia Anderson posts a lot about healthcare tools. She submitted Cool Toys Pic of the day – Eyewriter“, a tool for allowing persons with ALS and paralysis to draw artwork with their eyes. But you find a lot more readworthy posts at this blog and her main blog Emerging Technologies Librarian.
Heidi Allen at Heidi Allen Digital Strategy started a discussion on the meaning of social-medicine for Physicians. The link to the original submission doesn’t work right now, but if you follow this link you see several posts on social-medicine, including “Physicians in Social Media”, where 3 well-known physicians give their view on the meaning of social-medicine.
Dr Shock at Dr Shock MD PhD, wonders whether “the information on postpartum depression in popular lay magazines correspond to scientific knowledge?” Would it surprise you that this is not the case for many articles on this topic?
The post of Guus van den Brekel at DigiCMB with the inspiring title Discovering new seas of knowledge partly goes about the seas of knowledge gained at the EAHIL2010 (European Association for Health Information and Libraries) meeting, with an overview of many sessions, and materials when possible. And I should stress when possible, because the other part of the post is about the difficulty of obtaining access to this sea of knowledge. Guus wonders:
In this age of Open Access, web 2.0 and the expectancy of the “users” -being us librarians (…) one would assume that much (if not all) is freely available via Conferences websites and/or social media. Why then do I find it hard to find the extra info about those events, including papers and slides and possibly even webcasts? Are we still not into the share-mode and overprotective to one’s own achievements(….)
Guus makes a good point,especially in this era, when not all of us are able to go and visit far away places. Luckily we have Guus who did a good job of compiling as much material as possible.
Wondering about the evidence for the usefulness of web 2.0, then have a look at this excellent wiki by Dean Giustini: http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Evidence-based_web_2.0.
The Health Librarianship Wiki Canada (the mother wiki) has a great new design and is a very rich source of information for medical librarians.
Another good source for recent peer reviewed papers about using social media in medicine and healthcare is a new series by Bertalan Mesko at Science Roll. First it was called Evidence Based Social Media News and now Social media journal club.
EHR and the clinical librarian.
Nikki Dettmar presents two posts on Electronic Health Records at Eagledawg.net, inspired by a recent Medical Library Association meeting that included a lot about electronic health records (EHRs). In the first part “Electronic Health Records: Not All About the Machine” she mentions the launch of an OpenNotes study that ”evaluates the impact on both patients and physicians of sharing, through online medical record portals, the comments and observations made by physicians after each patient encounter.” The second post is entitled “a snapshot of ephemeral chaos“. And yes the title says it all.
Bertalan Mesko at Science Roll describes a try out of a Cardiology Resident and Research Fellow in Google Wave to see whether that platform is suitable for creating a database of the electronic records of a virtual patient. The database looks fine at first glance, but is it safe?
Alisha764′s Blog celebrated its 1 year anniversary in February. Alisha Miles aim for the next year is to not only post more but to focus on hospital libraries including her experience as a hospital librarian. Excellent idea, Alisha! I liked the post Rounding: A solo medical librarian’s perspective with several practical tips if you join the round as a librarian. I hope you can find time to write more like this, Alisha!
Our next host is Walter Jessen at Highlight HEALTH. You can already start submitting the link to a (relevant) post you have written here.
See the MedLibs Archive for more information.