“Pharmacological Action” in PubMed has no True Equivalent in OVID MEDLINE

11 01 2012

Searching for EMBASE Subject Headings (the EMBASE index terms) for drugs is relatively straight forward in EMBASE.

When you want to search for aromatase inhibitors you first search for the Subject Heading mapping to aromatase inhibitors (aromatase inhibitor). Next you explode aromatase inhibitor/ if you are interested in all its narrower terms. If not, you search both for the general term aromatase inhibitor and those specific narrower terms you want to include.
Exploding aromatase inhibitor (exp aromatase inhibitor/) yields 15938 results. That is approximately twice what you get by searching aromatase inhibitor/ alone (not exploded). This yields 7434 hits.

It is different in MEDLINE. If you search for aromatase inhibitors in the MeSH database you get two suggestions.

The first index term “Aromatase Inhibitors” is a Mesh. It has no narrower terms.
Drug-Mesh are generally not arranged by working mechanism, but by chemical structure/type of compound. That is often confusing. Spironolactone for instance belongs to the MeSH Lactones (and Pregnenes) not to the MeSH Aldosterone Antagonists or Androgen Antagonist. Most Clinicians want to search for a group of compounds with the same mechanism of action, not the same biochemical family

The second term “Aromatase Inhibitors” [Pharmacological Action]  however does stand for the working mechanism. It does have narrower terms, including 2 MeSH terms (highlighted) and various substance names, also called Supplementary Concepts. 

For complete results you have to search for both MeSH and Pharmacological action: “Aromatase Inhibitors”[Mesh] yields 3930 records, whereas (“Aromatase Inhibitors”[Mesh]) OR “Aromatase Inhibitors” [Pharmacological Action] yields 6045. That is a lot more.

I usually don’t search PubMed, but OVID MEDLINE.

I know that Pharmacological Action-subheadings are important, so I tried to find the equivalent in OVID .

I found the MeSH Aromatase Inhibitors, but -unlike PubMed- OVID showed only two narrower Drug Terms (called Non-MeSH here versus MeSH in PubMed).

I found that odd.

I reasoned “Pharmacological action” might perhaps be combined with the MESH in OVID MEDLINE. This was later confirmed by Melissa Rethlefsen (see Twitter discussion below)

In Ovid MEDLINE I got 3937 hits with Aromatase Inhibitors/ and 5219 with exp Aromatase Inhibitors/ (thus including aminogluthemide or Fadrozole)

At this point I checked PubMed (shown above). Here I found  that “Aromatase Inhibitors”[Mesh] OR “Aromatase Inhibitors” [Pharmacological Action] yielded 6045 hits in PubMed, against 5219 in OVID MEDLINE for exp Aromatase Inhibitors/

The specific aromatase inhibitors Aminogluthemide/and Fadrozole/ [set 60] accounted fully for the difference  between exploded [set 59] and non-exploded Aromatase Inhibitors[set 58].

But what explained the gap of approximately 800 records between “Aromatase Inhibitors”[Mesh] OR “Aromatase Inhibitors”[Pharmacological Action]* in PubMed and exp aromatase inhibitors/ in OVID MEDLINE?

Could it be the substance names, mentioned under “Aromatase Inhibitors”[Pharmacological Action], I wondered?

Thus I added all the individual substance names in OVID MEDLINE (code= .rn.). See search set 61 below.

Indeed these accounted fully for the difference (set 62= 59 or 61 : the total number of hits in PubMed is similar)

It obviously is a mistake of OVID MEDLINE and I will inform them.

For the meanwhile, take care to add the individual substance names when you search for drug terms that have a pharmacological action-equivalent in PubMed. The substance names are not automatically searched when exploding the MeSH-term in OVID MEDLINE.

——–

For more info on Pharmacological action, see: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/mesh/paterms.html

Twitter Discussion between me and Melissa Rethlefsen about the discrepancy between PubMed and OVID MEDLINE (again showing how helpful Twitter can be for immediate discussions and exchange of thoughts)

[read from bottom to top]





Search OVID EMBASE and Get MEDLINE for Free…. without knowing it

19 10 2010

I have the impression that OVIDSP listens more to librarians than the NLM, who considers the end users of databases like PubMed more important, mainly because there are more of them. On the other hand NLM communicates PubMed’s changes better (NLM Technical Bulletin) and has easier to find tutorials & FAQs, namely at the PubMed homepage.

I gather that the new changes to the OVIDSP interface are the reason why two older OVID posts are the recent number 2 and 3 hits on my blog. My guess is that people are looking for some specific information on OVID’s interface changes that they can’t easily access otherwise.

But this post won’t address the technical changes. I will write about this later.

I just want to mention a few changes to the OVIDSP databases MEDLINE and EMBASE, some of them temporary, that could have been easily missed.

[1] First, somewhere in August, OVID MEDLINE contained only indexed PubMed articles. I know that OVID MEDLINE misses some papers PubMed already has -namely the “as supplied by publisher” subset-, but this time the difference was dramatic: “in data review” and “in process” papers weren’t found as well. I almost panicked, because if I missed that much in OVID MEDLINE, I would have to search PubMed as well, and adapt the search strategy…. and, since I already lost hours because of OVID’s extreme slowness at that time, I wasn’t looking forward to this.

According to an OVID-representative this change was not new, but was already there since (many) months. Had I been blind? I checked the printed search results of a search I performed in June. It was clear that the newer update found less records, meaning that some records were missed in the current (August) update. Furthermore the old Reference Manager database contained non-indexed records. So no problems then.

But to make a long story short. Don’t worry: this change disappeared as quickly as it came.
I would have doubted my own eyes, if my colleague hadn’t seen it too.

If you have done a MEDLINE OVID search in the second half of August you might like to check the results.

[2] Simultaneously there was another change. A change that is still there.

Did you know that OVID EMBASE contains MEDLINE records as well? I knew that you could search EMBASE.com for MEDLINE and EMBASE records using the “highly praised EMTREE“, but not that OVID EMBASE recently added these records too.

They are automatic found by the text-word searches and by the EMTREE already includes all of MeSH.

Should I be happy that I get these records for free?

No, I am not.

I always start with a MEDLINE search, which is optimized for MEDLINE (with regard to the MeSH).

Since indexing by  EMTREE is deep, I usually have (much) more noise (irrelevant hits) in EMBASE.

I do not want to have an extra number of MEDLINE-records in an uncontrolled way.

I can imagine though, that it would be worthwhile in case of a quick search in EMBASE alone: that could save time.
In my case, doing extensive searches for systematic reviews I want to be in control. I also want to show the number of articles from MEDLINE and the number of extra hits from EMBASE.

(Later I realized that a figure shown by the OVID representative wasn’t fair: they showed the hits obtained when searching EMBASE, MEDLINE and other databases in Venn diagrams: MEDLINE offered little extra beyond EMBASE, which is self-evident, considering that EMBASE includes almost all MEDLINE records.- But I only learned this later.)

It is no problem if you want to include these MEDLINE records, but it is easy to exclude them.

You can limit for MEDLINE or EMBASE records.

Suppose your last search set is 26.

Click Limits > Additional Limits > EMBASE (or MEDLINE)

Alternatively type: limit 26 to embase (resp limit 26 to medline) Added together they make 100%

If only they would have told us….


3. EMBASE OVID now also adds conference abstracts.

A good thing if you do an exhaustive search and want to include unpublished material as well (50% of the conference abstracts don’t get published).

You can still exclude them if you like  (see publication types to the right)

Here is what is written at EMBASE.com

Embase now contains almost 800 conferences and more than 260,000 conference abstracts, primarily from journals and journal supplements published in 2009 and 2010. Currently, conference abstracts are being added to Embase at the rate of 1,000 records per working day, each indexed with Emtree.
Conference information is not available from PubMed, and is significantly greater than BIOSIS conference coverage. (…)

4. And did you know that OVID has eliminated StopWords from MEDLINE and EMBASE? Since  a few years you can now search for words or phrases like is there hope.tw. Which is a very good thing, because it broadens the possibility to search for certain word strings. However, it isn’t generally known.

OVID changed it after complaints by many, including me and a few Cochrane colleagues. I thought I had written a post on it before, but I apparently I haven’t ;).

Credits

Thanks to Joost Daams who always has the latest news on OVID.

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Advanced Neuritis in PubMed

8 03 2009

pubmed-logoAlmost a year ago (June 2008) I discussed PubMed’s Advanced Search Beta in a series entitled PubMed: Past, Present and Future. At that time I was not particularly impressed by disliked Advanced Search Beta and I still do.

November last year some of its features have improved: like the addition of a Clear Button, Focused Queries, providing links to the Clinical Queries and Special Queries pages, and the author/journal search has been extended with optional fields so that it looks more like the valuable Single Citation Mapper in the blue side bar of the Basic PubMed page. And there is a link to the MeSH-database (see NLM Technical Bulletin November 2008).
Although these are real improvements, the links to the Queries and to the MeSH database are inconspicuous, at the end of the page below all kind of limits. My major objections to the Advanced Search is that people are more inclined to narrow their search by using as many limits as possible (because these are so prominently present) and that the MeSH cannot be easily looked up and/or are wrongly translated. Previously I gave some examples, where lung cancer[mesh] was searched, whereas the MeSH is lung neoplasms, or where recurrent pregnancy loss[MeSH] returns no result, because the term is habitual abortion (see previous post).

I avoid Advanced Search as long as I can, but the problem is, the library-users don’t. They like to experiment, especially when they consider themselves as advanced searchers.

Last month a Neurologist asked me if I could check his search for a Diagnostic Systematic Review. A search for a Systematic Review should be comprehensive and thus contain both MeSH-terms (Controlled terms of MEDLINE) and free text words (tw).

He was a resident in Neurology for 5 years and knew how to search PubMed.

Below is the first part of his search.

((((((((motor neuropathy[MeSH Terms] OR motor neuron[tw] OR motor neuropathy[tw]) OR multifocal motor neuropathy[tw]) OR demyelinating neuropathy[tw]) OR multifocal demyelinating motor neuropathy[tw]) OR neuropathy[tw]) OR neuropathies[tw]) AND (((((((((((((((((((((((((…..

Grosso modo it looked all right and well structured. The awful number of brackets is often seen when people combine directly in PubMed (although I was already glad there were no brackets around every single word and he didn’t copy the entire translation from the Details-Tab). And some terms were superfluous: you don’t have to search for multiword terms with neuropathy (i.e. motor neuropathy) because these are already found by searching neuropathy.

So we made the search simpler, like this:

(motor neuropathy[MeSH Terms] OR motor neuron[tw] OR neuropathy[tw]) OR neuropathies[tw]) AND (………

Just to be sure I asked him: “Do you mind if we check the MeSH? Motor Neuropathy looks just fine, but you never know.”

To my surprise, typing motor neuropathy in the MeSH search bar yielded 4 suggestions, none of which was motor neuropathy.

pubmed-motor-neuropathy-mesh-1

The most suitable term appeared Neuritis. When bringing this MeSH-term to PubMed we got exactly the same number of hits as with Motor Neuropathy. Mere coincidence? No, the hits weren’t any different (#1 NOT #4 giving zero results).

pubmed-motor-neuropathy-search-1

Looking Up the Query Translation under the Details Tab confirmed my suspicion: motor neuropathy[mesh] was translated as “neuritis”[MeSH]. This is disturbing. Not only doesn’t there exist any MeSH specific for motor neuropathy, people are put on the wrong track since it looks like motor  neuropathy[mesh] is recognized as such.

pubmed-motor-neuropathy-search-1b-details

Then it came to my mind that I had seen a similar odd “translation” when using PubMed Advanced Search (see above). And I asked him: “Did you by any chance use the Advanced Search”, which he did.

To check this I searched in Advanced Search for the MeSH: motor neuropathy. And, yes indeed, the motor neuropathy[MeSH] was searched so it seemed. (in reality we now know: Neuritis was searched). The difference with searching the MeSH database is that here I know that I search for neuritis (I choose to), whereas the Advanced search misleads me by suggesting I’m searching for motor neuropathy.

pubmed-motor-neuropathy-2

pubmed-motor-neuropathy-2a

Why do I bother? Why don’t I just use motor neuropathy[mesh]. First because I don’t get what I want: I get neuritis[mesh] not neuropathy! Second, and most important, because it is not the most appropriate MeSH-term.

To find more appropriate MeSH I use a trick. I look for MeSH-terms assigned to articles, having motor neuropathy in their title, assuming that motor neuropathy is an important aspect of those papers.

Although you can look up MeSH assigned to each individual citation in PubMed in the citation display format, it takes a lot of time to go through the papers one at a time. Therefore I rather use GoPubMed or even better PubReminer for this purpose, because these give you a frequency list of the MeSH assigned.

Of the 379 hits found in GoPubMed, 219 were categorized as Motor Neuron Disease, 153 as Demyelinating Diseases and 145 as Polyneuropathies. These categories are MeSH term you can use for your search.

gopubmed-neuropathy

Similarly of the 380 references found in PubReminer, many papers were indexed with Motor Neuron Disease, Demyelinating Diseases, Polyneuropathies, peripheral nervous system diseases and motor neuron.

(Below are the number of papers, indexed with the indicated MESH in PubReminer; PubReminer shows the subheading coupled to the MeSH)

  • 65 Motor Neuron Disease/diagnosis
  • 32 Motor Neurons/physiology
  • 26 Demyelinating Diseases/diagnosis
  • 16 Peripheral nervous system diseases/diagnosis
  • 8 Polyneuropathies

Using this approach we were able to set up a more complete search in PubMed. Remember it was the neurologist’s purpose to to an exhaustive search, for a less exhaustive search we would have only used motor neuropath* and perhaps motor neuron disease[mesh].

How different is it when you use the OVID interface for searching MEDLINE.

When you type Motor Neuropathy, several MeSH are suggested, many of which are useful:

ovid-motor-neuropathy-1

When you click on Motor Neuron Disease, you see the hierarchal context and can choose which terms you would like to add. We choose not to explode Motor Neuron Disease, but only include one narrow term in our search: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

ovid-motor-neuropathy-2

Finally the first part of the search in MEDLINE (OVID) looked like this. It is rather broad but the second part of the search (not shown) puts it into context.

1. motor neuron disease/ or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/
2. exp Motor Neurons/
3. Demyelinating Diseases/
4. neuromuscular diseases/ or peripheral nervous system diseases/ or neuritis/ or polyneuropathies/
5. (neuropathy or neuropathies).tw.
6. motor neuron*.tw.
7. or/1-6

OVID MEDLINE was easier to use, you get what you see (and want) and the search is easier to save and edit. Furthermore the entire MEDLINE search can be easily transformed to a search in EMBASE: just replace MESH by EMBASE keywords.

I’m not happy with the Advanced Search for reasons explained above. I don’t find the altered mapping and citation sensor a success either. I don’t like that they removed the blue side bar in some display formats. And I’m really getting depressed by NLM’s announcement (November 2008):

PubMed Advanced Search will soon no longer be a beta site. It is now the place to go to use features such as field searching and limits. In the near future the tabs for Limits, Preview/Index, History, Clipboard, and Details will be removed from the basic PubMed pages. History, Limits, Index of Fields, and a link to Details are available from the Advanced Search screen. A link for the Clipboard appears to the right of the search box on the PubMed screen when the Clipboard has content.

If I understand it correctly this means that Pubmed Advanced Search is taking over the basic search.

It looks that my original idea was right: PubMed is going for the mass, it is going for the Google-like quick searches by people that don’t know much about MEDLINE and don’t want to learn it. But you have to know some basic principles to get the most out of subject searching. It is such a pity, that PubMed tries to copy its clones, whereas it holds all the trumps. No other 3rd party tools offer the same possibilities that PubMed offers, although they are more suitable for certain purposes (see examples of GoPubMed and PubReMiner above).

At least make two interfaces, one for the beginner (the present Advanced Search) and one for librarians and other people doing subject searches.

But I don’t have the illusion that the people of PubMed/NLM will listen to me and I’m not going to contact them for a 3rd time. PubMed’s route is determined, I guess.





New OvidSP-release, Version 2 – Part I

21 08 2008

Thursday August 14th, the new OVID-release went live.

It seems that the release comes in two phases, the first focusing on workflow improvement and the second on new features (My Projects, a workspace area for saving and managing files, and Ovid Universal SearchTM, a cross-platform search) (see OVID-SP latest news ; OVID-SP-screenshots and blogpost of Michelle Kraft; follow this link to register for a webex course).

The following changes have now been implemented: (Note that I avoid the word ‘enhancements’, because I’ developed an allergy against the recent abuse of this term, although in this particular case “enhancement” may be justified)

* A new Multi-Field Search tab.
Makes me think of advanced search beta in PubMed, or searching in the Cochrane Library, just as it reminds Michelle Kraft of EBSCO-searching. Like Michelle says, this tab basically allows you to easily search for multiple things within multiple fields all at one time. Perhaps useful for the beginner, but not of much use to the advanced searcher, who knows the field codes by head.

* New and Improved User Workflow Tools

  1. Collapsible Search Aid box
  2. Results Manager is collapsible and available above and below the main search box
  3. Ability to move the Search History above the main search box, sort searches in ascending or descending order, and identify each search by search type
  4. Customize common limits on the main search page
  5. Ability to create, edit, and add multiple annotations to a citation
  6. Browse Books and Browse Journals links are now on the Select a Database page
  7. Browser support for adjusting font size
  8. When logged into their personal accounts, users will see their name and institution.

To begin with the last point, I was unpleasantly surprised that I had to fill in a whole list of details (name, address, institution) when I assessed one of my saved searches. With the emphasis on one. I’ve literally a few dozens of accounts, at least one for each patron. Should I fill in the patron’s name or mine?…each time? Dee (on twitter) said she just filled in 0 in most boxes. You can also press the back button.
OVID apparently requires this personally identifiable information for My Projects so you can create a community to collaborate with others later on.

But what an improvements! :) This is really what I had hoped for (see this post on the new OVID SP; and a previous one about Ovid causing RSI). ‘All’ boxes collapsible, and movable… Although I first didn’t succeed in moving the Search History, but via the OVID-SP-screenshots I found out that it was just a little grey square you had to press (with a pop-up if you move your mouse over it, see figure above). No more endless scrolling, no more pain in my wrists after a whole day searching. Almost, almost ideal… If..If …the Search Tip wasn’t so prominent. :( As I said before, the Tip (that never gave me any useful information) fills 1/3 of the search screen. Because of this, the unnecessary addition of the field “Search Type” and the broad columns, the search history itself comprises less than 1/4th of the screen. Thus it is difficult to keep a good overview over large searches (see for instance the screenshot and the video below )

Compare the “usual view”

with the search in “print” format

And see the original search in this ultrashort video:

I’m not the only one that dislikes the Tipbox. According to a recently finished survey on the original OvidSP-version redesign earlier this year the number one thing people wanted to change was to remove or hide the Ovid Tips (see PDF of Danielle Worster’s and Debbie Pledge’s poster here). Overall one of the main concerns was the usage of screen space by the new design including features- including the Tips on the right hand side and the new placement of Results Manager.

But, as Danielle points out at her (shared) blog The healthinformaticist, the response was quite heterogenous, what was “annoying” to one person was “fine” to another! And vice versa!

With Danielle I wonder how the recent changes will be perceived. Will the people who complained about the new interface be pleased with the new arrangements? And what about the people that just thought it was fine? And those who’s main frustration was the adaptation to the new interface? One librarian sighed at the MEDLIB-list: “what is the credibitiy of the library in promoting the 3rd Ovid advanced search version in less than a year over the relatively consistent PubMed interface?” It is interesting how perceptions can differ. Personally I find it much harder to explain why functionalities (like ATM!) change radically while the interface looks the same (and are therefore not noticed).

Isn’t it most important that adaptations represent (1) improvements, (2) preferably easy to understand? Of course there is a limit to the number of substantial changes and their frequency. We know that the second update of OvidSP version 2 lies ahead and I sure wish that it will be soon followed by a third one that brings us an optional TIP-box. I don’t hope that the suggestion raised at Danielle’s blog, that “the Tip-box was created for advertising (commercials?) to recover the cost of all these (unnecessary) changes” is true.
More basic changes concerning Reference Manager as discussed by Krafty are also welcomed, at least by me.

——————–

Afgelopen week, op donderdag 14 augustus, “ging de nieuwe OVID release in de lucht”.
De release gaat in 2 stappen. Deze eerste stap dient om het zoekproces te versoepelen, bij de 2e komen er nieuwe functionaliteiten bij (My Projects en Ovid Universal SearchTM) (zie OVID-SP nieuws ; OVID-SP-screenshots, blogpost van Michelle Kraft; en volg evt. deze link om u op te geven voor een webex instructie).

Dit zijn in grote lijnen de veranderingen:

* Multi-Field Search tab.
Een manier om tegelijk op verschillende termen in verschillende velden te zoeken. Misschien handig voor de beginner, maar voor een gevorderde die de commando’s kent werkt advanced search veel sneller.

* Nieuwe Tools

  1. Inklapbare Search Aid (nooit gebruikt)
  2. Results Manager inklapbaar; zowel boven als onder het zoekvak aanwezig.
  3. Zoekgeschiedenis verplaatsbaar, sorteren in op- of aflopende volgorde. Elk zoektype aangeduid.
  4. Algemene limieten op de hoofdpagina zijn aangepast .
  5. Mogelijkheid tot het maken van notitities bij een record.
  6. Browse Books and Browse Journals links zijn nu aanwezig op de “Select a Database” pagina.
  7. Grootte van het lettertype kan aangepast
  8. Na inloggen (op persoonlijk account) verschijnt naam en instituut.

Om met dat laatste te beginnen, ik werd nogal onaangenaam verrast dat ik een hele waslijst met gegevens moest invullen (naam, adres instituut, titel, beroep etc) toen ik één van mijn opgeslagen searches wilde openen. Met de nadruk op één. Ik heb namelijk tientallen accounts, tenminste 1 voor elke klant. Moet ik mijn of zijn/haar naam invullen? Elke keer opnieuw? Dee (op twitter) zei dat ze gewoon 0 in alle vakjes invulde. Je kunt ook ‘n pagina terug gaan in je browser.
OVID heeft kennelijk deze persoonlijke gegevens nodig voor ‘My Projects’ zodat je later een eigen samenwerkingsgroep kunt creeeren.

Maar wat een verbetering zeg, deze versie, geweldig! :) Hier had ik aan het begin van het jaar niet op durven hopen (zie bijv. dit bericht over OVID en RSI). Bijna alle vakjes inklapbaar, of verplaatsbaar… Hoewel het wel even duurde voordat ik door had hoe je de Zoekgeschiedenis nu kon verplaatsen (niet dat ik dat wilde, maar om ff te checku)… maar de OVID-SP-screenshots brachten uitkomst: je moest gewoon op een klein grijs blokje rechtsboven klikken (zie Figuur hierboven). De toelichting verschijnt als je er met de muis overgaat, maar dat moet je maar net weten.
Geen eindeloos gescroll meer, geen pijn meer in mijn polsen na een-hele-dag-Ovid-zoeken. Haast ideaal, ware het niet … dat de zoektip nog steeds zo prominent in beeld staat. Zoals ik al eerder heb gezegd neemt de (voor mij nutteloze) TIP 1/3 van het zoekscherm in horizontale richting in beslag. Daarnaast is in de zoekgeschiedenis ook nog een extra kolom toegevoegd (zoektype) en zijn veel kolommen onnodig breed. Resultaat: zoekactie wordt gecomprimeerd tot 1/4e van het scherm. Het is dan moeilijk om overzicht te behouden, het leest naar en je moet alsnog scrollen (zie fig en video hierboven).

Gelukkig sta ik niet alleen. Uit een recent onderzoek naar de tevredenheid van ervaren informatiespecialisten over de OvidSP-makeover begin dit jaar, bleek dat het verwijderen of verbergen van de OvidSP Tip met stip op nummer 1 van het wensenlijstje stond (zie hier voor poster van Danielle Worster en Debbie Pledge). In het algemeen was de ruimte-inname door het nieuwe design een veelgehoorde klacht.

Maar zoals Danielle op haar (gedeelde) blog The healthinformaticist vermeld, was de respons nogal uiteenlopend. Wat de een vervelend vond, vond de andere wel best!

Ik ben, met Danielle, benieuwd hoe men tegen de huidige veranderingen aankijkt. Zullen de mensen die klaagden over de nieuwe interface nu wel tevreden zijn? En de mensen die het allemaal juist prima vonden? Of diegenen wier grootste frustatie het steeds weer wennen aan de nieuwe interface was? Een informatiespecialist verzuchtte hoe je als bibliotheek nog geloofwaardig kunt zijn als je in minder dan een jaar 3x een nieuwe Ovid advanced search moet promoten terwijl PubMed redelijk hetzelfde blijft” Grappig hoe verschillend mensen tegen iets aan kunnen kijken. Zelf vind ik het veel moeilijker uit te leggen waarom een ogenschijnlijk identiek Pubmed achter de schermen toch de zoekactie anders uitvoert (ATM).

Is het niet het belangrijkste dat de veranderingen die doorgevoerd worden ook verbeteringen zijn en niet te moeilijk op te pakken? Natuurlijk is er een grens aan hoe veel en hoe vaak je een interface verandert. We weten dat er een 2e update van OvidSP version 2 in het verschiet ligt en ik mag hopen dat de 3e ons een optionele OvidSP-TIP brengt. Meer fundamentele veranderingen bijv. voor wat betreft Reference Manager (zoals gesuggereerd door Krafty zijn ook zeer welkom, zeker wat mij betreft.





New OvidSP version 2.0 postponed

6 08 2008

The new OvidSP version 2.0 scheduled to be launched August 5th and announced on my blog yesterday (see here) is postponed a few days.

According to OvidSP:

“Some last minute adjustments are being carried out at present to ensure the absolute excellence of the platform. Unfortunately this means that the release date has been postponed with no new date available yet.”

As a result, my training schedule on August 8th will be cancelled (so that’s how I found out). It is advised to register for any training session on “what’s new in OvidSP” (click here) once the release date is announced.

Thus we have to wait a few days for the much-desired new OvidSP version.
That’s regretful, because my coming days are fully planned with OVID searches and I’m really looking forward to this new flexible platform…. But changes are on their way… And I’m looking forward to them

——–

In mijn vorige bericht kondigde ik aan dat de nieuwe OvidSP versie 2.0 gisteren in de lucht zou zijn, maar deze deadline is kennelijk niet gehaald. Er moet toch nog het e.e.a. aan versie 2.0 gesleuteld worden, voordat deze perfect werkt.

Ook de trainingssessies zijn tot nader order uitgesteld. Aangeraden wordt om je pas op te geven als OvidSP werkelijk draait.

Ik vind het jammer, want ik keek er echt naar uit. Juist nu, want de komende dagen zijn gevuld met lange OVID searches (voor systematische reviews en een richtlijn). Maar, ja, wat in het vat zit verzuurt niet…





New OvidSP release (planned August 5th 2008) will allow more flexible searching

5 08 2008

Update 2010-08-14: I see many people going to this post because of recent changes to OVID SP. This post is NOT about the 2010 changes. Thus I added 2008 in the title.

I wrote before (see here) that ‘OVID-SP gave me RSI’, because I had to scroll too much between last search and new command. A huge TIP-box is in the way and the last search and command bar are too far apart.

Friday, I finally decided to write to OVID’s customer service, asking them if they could do something about the TIP-box and the way the search box and search history are placed relative to each other.

The same day I got an answer from a very kind Technical Support Engineer writing:

“I am really sorry but we can not remove the Tip box. However the interface is going to change next week, the search history box will be more customizable.”

YES!
Never mind the TIP-box (for the moment).
I’m very happy that OVID does take his users seriously. This means a real step ahead for heavy OVID-users. Thanks!

He also gave me the official communication about the new release, shown below (or follow this link)

By the way the new OvidSP version 2.0 is scheduled to be launched TODAY instead of July 31st.

Want to become acquainted with the new features and functionality in the latest version of OvidSP than follow this link to register for a (webex) course (choice from 20 dates!)

Transforming the Way You Search with More Flexibility and Customization of OvidSP Workflow Tools

Dear Ovid Customer:

The next release of OvidSP on July 31st is all about flexibility and enabling users to search the way they want to search. In our third weekly email introducing what you and your users will see on July 31st, learn more about new user-configurable customization enhancements to OvidSP’s workflow tools that further deepen the search experience and help users get to the results they need quickly.

  • Search Aid – Now users can expand or collapse this search refinement feature based on their preferences for managing the results screen.
  • Search History Many users perform complex searches, some involving as many as 60-80 lines of search. Now, the Search History can be placed above or below the main search box, so there’s no need to spend time scrolling up the page to review search strategies. Plus, you can sort all your searches in either ascending or descending order so that the last search statement is always viewable.
  • Results Manager – To accommodate for a wide variety of user behavior and to minimize scrolling when it comes to managing results, the Results Manager is now located in two places, above and below the results set. You can minimize it in both places to save valuable screen real estate.

Plus, now you can customize the “common” limits—those available on the main search page. These settings will act as defaults for users who are able to login via a personal account.

Like all of the upcoming enhancements and new features, those illustrated above are based on extensive feedback from and interviews with customers and users.

Coming soon to the OvidSP Resource Center will be screenshots, an updated training schedule, Frequently Asked Questions, and more. Be sure to contact your Ovid Account Representative or support@ovid.com with any questions.

Regards,

Wolters Kluwer Health – Ovid


©2008 Ovid Technologies

Eerder schreef ik dat OVID mij RSI bezorgde, omdat ik teveel moest scrollen bij langdurige searches. Er staat een enorme “OVIDSP TIP” hinderlijk in de weg en de zoekregel staat te ver van de laatste search.

Vrijdag besloot ik eindelijk om OVID’s klantenservice te mailen. Of ze niet de tip weg konden halen en iets aan de plaatsing van zoekgeschiedenis en de zoekregel konden doen (ik verwees daarbij naar mijn blog).

Diezelfde dag nog kreeg ik antwoord van een zeer attente mijnheer van de helpdesk (die getuige latere correspondentie ook inhoudelijk het een en ander weet). Hij schreef:

“I am really sorry but we can not remove the Tip box. However the interface is going to change next week, the search history box will be more customizable.”

YES!
Laat de OVIDsp-TIP maar even zitten (voor nu).
Erg goed dat OVID zijn gebruikers serieus neemt. Ze doen tenminste wat met de feedback! De aanpassingen zijn echt een stap vooruit. Bedankt, OVID!

De officiele aankondiging van OVID staat hierboven. U kunt ook deze link volgen.

Belangrijkste punten:

  • Je kunt naar wens de zoekgeschiedenis boven of onder de zoekbalk plaatsen en de searches in opklimmende of dalende volgorde plaatsen. Deze flexibiliteit lost mijn probleem dus al grotendeels op!
  • Je kunt de “Search Aid” in- of uitklappen.
  • De “Results Manager” staat nu zowel boven als onder de zoekresultaten en kunnen ook weer ingeklapt worden. Hierdoor hoef je ook weer minder te scrollen als je iets met de resultaten wilt doen.

Tussen 2 haakjes: De nieuwe OvidSP version 2.0 staat VANDAAG op de planning, niet 31 juli

Wil je vertrouwd raken met de laatste versie van OvidSP dan kun je je opgeven voor 1 van de 20 (!) online (webex) trainingen via deze link.





OVID-SP gives me RSI

20 05 2008

O.k. I don’t type well, have no ergonomic keyboard, mouse, chair or whatsoever, no software to urge a break, and I’m a little bit stressed these days, but the main reason that my shoulder, arm, elbow and wrist ache when typing (or even at rest) is introduction of OVID-SP.

OVID has changed it’s layout. It looks nice, and some tools are easier to find, but what is really bad for a heavy user and bad typist like me is the new interface.

The search history is below the search bar. The history shows the first search first and the last search last. As I said I’m a heavy user. A systematic search takes at least a few hours, and sometimes even a few days. It is a long road optimizing a search. Now in OVID every time I perform a search I have to scroll down looking for the last search, I have to think which new term I would like to add, which set(s) I want to combine or which set(s) I want to subtract. I scroll up to find the search numbers, I have to remember them: 62 not (46 or 36 or 63 or 66), scroll up again, fill in the search bar………… scroll down to look at the results….. Oh, that’s wrong, no hits….. Should have done (scroll up) 72 not (46 or 36 or 63 or 66). O.k. up again. oh I forgot, scroll down again….. No, that’s too far: I’m in the results section, scroll up, take another look, write it down so I wont’ forget, scroll up again, perform the search, scroll down, etcetera.

So it would have been far better if the search bar was under the last set in the search history (the history can be contracted if preferred, see TIP) or if the last search was shown first (like in PubMed).

In addition “the OVIDSP TIP” is in the way all the time, taking 1/3 of the active window and 1/2 of the print, making the search even look twice as long as it is. Why can’t I just click the TIP away. I have seen this a 1000 times. I know it by now. Please give me a simple pop-up.

Don’t think I hate OVID, I love it. But this is a development that is not very user friendly for the frequent user. I can’t help thinking that developers of databases like OVID, PubMed, Cochrane Library and TRIP just have the inexperienced quick searcher in mind when they try to improve the interface.

Do you experience the new interface the same way?

Scroll, scroll, scroll….. Up and down, up and down

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NL flag NL vlag

O.k. ik ben geen beste typer, ik heb geen ergonomisch keybord, muis, stoel of weet ik veel wat en geen computerprogramma dat me dwingt te pauzeren en ja ik ben de laatste tijd een beetje gestresst. Maar dat is niet de (enige) reden dat ik nu zo’n last heb van mijn schouder, arm, elleboog en pols, ook in rust. Dat komt namelijk vooral door de introductie van OVID-SP.

Sinds begin dit jaar draait OVID als OVID-SP. Het ziet er prachtig uit, frisse kleurtjes, sommige zaken zijn veel makkelijker te vinden. Maar er is niet heel goed nagedacht over de positie van de zoekregel en de zoekgeschiedenis. En dat is erg vervelend voor een intensieve gebruiker. Als ik voor een systematisch review zoek kan ik wel 1 tot enkele dagen bezig zijn.

Wat is nu het geval? De zoekgeschiedenis zit onder de zoekregel, maar de laatste zoekactie staat helemaal onderaan. Dus telkens als je een zoekactie hebt uitgevoerd, moet je weer naar beneden om te kijken hoe je verder moet. Eerst kijk je of de term iets nieuws oplevert, je gaat zoekacties combineren etcetera. Dan moet je weer naar boven scrollen om elke zoekactie uit te voeren, je vergeet het weer, moet weer naar beneden scrollen, scrollt tever door en komt in de resulaatsectie etcetera.

Als je maar een kleine zoekactie hebt heb je daar niet echt last van maar bij een opbouw van een lastige actie, waarvan de eerste 30-60 regels wel vaststaan, maar de rest niet, moet je echt nodeloos scrollen. Als je dat uren doet heb je echt een lamme arm. En stoppen durf ik ook niet echt, want het is me meermalen overkomen dat ik er dan uitgegooid werd.

Dus het zou beter geweest zijn als de zoekregel onder de laatste zoekactie van de (inklapbare) zoekgeschiedenis zou staan of als de laatste zoekactie het eerst getoond werd (zoals in PubMed).

Daar komt nog eens bij dat de “OVIDSP TIP” hinderlijk in de weg staat: het neemt bijna 1/3 van het beeld en 1/2 van de print in beslag en biedt na tig keer nou niet geweldig schokkende informatie. Waarom kun je het niet gewoon wegklikken?

Begrijp me goed, ik heb niets tegen OVID, integendeel. Het biedt zoveel meer, dat ik het graag gebruik. Maar deze verandering vind ik niet erg gebruikersvriendelijk. Ik heb echt het idee dat mensen die databases als OVID, PubMed, Cochrane Library en TRIP ontwikkelen veel meer aan de beginnende zoeker denken dan aan de ervaren rot in het vak.








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