Tag Archives: pubmed

Do you have all the evidence on a drug that you’re reporting about?

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Esther Dyson via Flickr

The registration and reporting requirements of Clinicaltrials.gov are vital to informing the evidence base – but only if study sponsors actually use it and keep entries updated. A recent research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests this is not happening often enough. That’s helpful for journalists to know if they are attempting to find all the recent evidence on a particular drug or intervention.

“Missing or incomplete reporting of clinical trial results and its scientific and ethical consequences are well documented,” wrote Kevin M. Fain, J.D., M.P.H., Dr.PH, and his team at the National Institutes of Health.

Continue reading

Have you earned your PubMed black belt?

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Spirit-Fire via Flickr

Photo: Spirit-Fire via Flickr

It’s just about impossible to report on medical research without becoming intimately familiar with PubMed. But just because a reporter uses the database site doesn’t mean they’re getting the most out of it.

How often have you used a service, such as an email client or a social media site, for years when someone suddenly points out to you a shortcut or a feature you’ve never used and didn’t know existed? Chances are  that there’s at least one new skill you can pick up in Hilda Bastian’s tip sheet on using PubMed. Continue reading

Third-party PubMed video tutorials in plain English

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

PubMed‘s fantastic, but it can also be mighty frustrating. Maintained by the National Library of Medicine, it’s the interface through which folks can search or browse their way through NIH’s vast repository of health-related research articles.

Unfortunately, it’s also not quite like the user-friendly search engines most of us have come to know and love. That’s where third-party tutorials come in.

If you’re looking for a strong distillation of the basics, head straight for AHCJ’s tip sheet. If you prefer more technical info and less hands-on guidance, see Wikipedia. But if you’re looking for an in-depth, easy-to-follow introduction broken into easily digestible chunks, head for this nine-part video tutorial created by an Indiana University medical librarian.

She uses accessible language, analogies and well-paced demonstrations to peel back the layers of the labyrinth and help viewers understand the purpose and relevant applications of the interface’s features. Here’s the first installment:

full-screen-modeNote that on Screenjelly webcasts, such as this one, you can click on the “full-screen” icon in the bottom-right corner of the player. Screenjelly looks much better in the full-screen mode than most players.

  • PubMed Tutorial #1: Main PubMed page layout, differences from old PubMed layout
  • PubMed Tutorial #2: From a citation to the full text: Single Citation Matcher and PubMed search box
  • PubMed Tutorial #3: Parts of a PubMed record–order of retrieval, citation information, journal abbreviations, and non-English citations
  • PubMed Tutorial #4: Controlled Vocabulary Part 1: general explanation. Controlled v. natural language, Hierarchical tree structure
  • PubMed Tutorial #5: Controlled Vocab Part 2: Mesh Part 1, medical examples of entry terms and tree structure, how to get from PubMed to MeSH
  • PubMed Tutorial #6: Mesh Part 2: searching for MeSH terms to then search PubMed
  • PubMed Tutorial #7: MeSH terms to search in PubMed, PubMed Display and Send To features
  • PubMed Tutorial #8: Advanced search: Search History, Details, Limits, Additional Fields
  • PubMed Tutorial #9: Topic-Specific Queries–How to Find them, the specific ones for Public Health, demonstrates Health Services Research Queries and Health Disparities
  • (Hat tip to Eagle Dawg)

    Open access to research recognized this week

    Andrew Van Dam

    About Andrew Van Dam

    Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    It’s Open Access week! Time to honor the principle that scientific research should be made available for free online immediately upon publication, a principle that’s served health journalists pretty well over the past few years. Universities, government organizations and other groups around the world will celebrate by opening up more information and drawing attention to the principles that drive the open access movement.

    Open Access flagship reaches milestone

    On Oct. 19, PLoS Medicine, openaccessa prominent and pioneering open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science, turned five. The Public Library of Science is a nonprofit funded by charging authors publication fees, and by private donors. In addition to PLoS Medicine, it publishes six other journals covering biology and medical science.

    PubMed goes Canadian

    One of the greatest triumphs of open access has been PubMed Central, in which all NIH-funded research is made available for free, usually within 12 months of publication. Both the U.S. and U.K. have their own PubMed systems, and now Canada’s getting one too. PubMed Central Canada, created by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Research Council’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, will take its first steps, launching its manuscript submission system as part of the week’s festivities.