bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2019‒09‒08
four papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. J Biomed Inform. 2019 Aug 29. pii: S1532-0464(19)30194-7. [Epub ahead of print] 103275
    Rosemblat G, Fiszman M, Shin D, Kilicoglu H.
      BACKGROUND: With the substantial growth in the biomedical research literature, a larger number of claims are published daily, some of which seemingly disagree with or contradict prior claims on the same topics. Resolving such contradictions is critical to advancing our understanding of human disease and developing effective treatments. Automated text analysis techniques can facilitate such analysis by extracting claims from the literature, flagging those that are potentially contradictory, and identifying any study characteristics that may explain such contradictions.METHODS: Using SemMedDB, our own PubMed-scale repository of semantic predications (subject-relation-object triples), we identified apparent contradictions in the biomedical research literature and developed a categorization of contextual characteristics that explain such contradictions. Clinically relevant semantic predications relating to 20 diseases and involving opposing predicate pairs (e.g., an intervention treats or causes a disease) were retrieved from SemMedDB. After addressing inference, uncertainty, generic concepts, and NLP errors through automatic and manual filtering steps, a set of apparent contradictions were identified and characterized.
    RESULTS: We retrieved 117,676 predication instances from 62,360 PubMed abstracts (Jan 1980-Dec 2016). From these instances, automatic filtering steps generated 2,236 candidate contradictory pairs. Through manual analysis, we determined that 58 of these pairs (2.6%) were apparent contradictions. We identified five main categories of contextual characteristics that explain these contradictions: a) internal to the patient, b) external to the patient, c) endogenous/exogenous, d) known controversy, and (e) contradictions in literature. Categories (a) and (b) were subcategorized further (e.g., species, dosage) and accounted for the bulk of the contradictory information.
    CONCLUSIONS: Semantic predications, by accounting for lexical variability, and SemMedDB, owing to its literature scale, can support identification and elucidation of potentially contradictory claims across the biomedical domain. Further filtering and classification steps are needed to distinguish among them the true contradictory claims. The ability to detect contradictions automatically can facilitate important biomedical knowledge management tasks, such as tracking and verifying scientific claims, summarizing research on a given topic, identifying knowledge gaps, and assessing evidence for systematic reviews, with potential benefits to the scientific community. Future work will focus on automating these steps for fully automatic recognition of contradictions from the biomedical research literature.
    Keywords:  Contradictions; biomedical research literature; natural language processing; semantic relations
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2019.103275
  2. Med Humanit. 2019 Sep 06. pii: medhum-2019-011700. [Epub ahead of print]
    Lupton D.
      Lay people are now encouraged to be active in seeking health and medical information and acting on it to engage in self-care and preventive health practices. Over the past three decades, digital media offering ready access to health information resources have rapidly expanded. In this article, I discuss findings from my study that sought to investigate health information practices by bringing together the social research method of story completion with more-than-human theory and postqualitative inquiry. Narratives of health, illness and embodiment are powerful ways to portray people's experiences and identify the shared cultural norms and discourses that give meaning and context to these experiences. The research method of story completion is a novel approach to eliciting narratives that involve participants' responses to hypothetical situations. Participants were asked to use an online questionnaire format to complete three stories involving characters faced with a different health problem. This approach sought to identify the human and non-human enabling resources with which the characters engaged as they tried to address and resolve their problem, with a particular interest in how both digital technologies and non-digital resources were used. This analysis highlighted the affective and relational dimensions of humans' enactments of health, illness and embodiment. The stories surfaced the relations of sense-making, embodiment and care and how they are distributed between humans and non-humans. Agential capacities were closed off by elements such as too much information online creating confusion or anxiety, self-consciousness about the appearance of one's body, feelings of embarrassment and shame, or not wanting to appear to be too weak or vulnerable. Capacities for change, wellness and recovery were opened by finding helpful information, making connections with others and finding therapeutic spaces and places.
    Keywords:  arts in health/arts and health; internet; patient narratives; philosophy of medicine/health care; sociology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2019-011700
  3. J Hum Lact. 2019 Sep 06. 890334419869912
    Strong G.
      Peer-review publishing has long been the gold standard for disseminating research. The peer-review process holds researchers accountable for their work and conveys confidence that the article is of value to the reader. Predatory journals and publishing pose a global threat to the quality of scientific literature, accuracy of educational resources, and safety of patient care. Predatory publishing uses an exploitative business model, substandard quality control measures, and deceptive publishing practices. Given the proliferation of these journals and the extreme measures utilized to disguise substandard publishing practices, avoiding them can prove difficult. Understanding the nature of predatory publishing and how to recognize the warning signs provide helpful measures to authors, researchers, students, and readers. Additional resources known to help avoid predatory publishers have been discussed in addition to reviewing the Journal of Human Lactation guidelines for publishing.
    Keywords:  breastfeeding; ethics; lactation; peer-review; predatory journals; research quality
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334419869912
  4. JMIR Form Res. 2019 Jun 15.
    Ashkanani H, Asery R, Bokubar F, Al-Ali N, Mubarak S, Buabbas A, Almajran A.
      BACKGROUND: Background: Due to the revolution in technology, the internet has become an important aspect in the lives of people. Modern technology is enabling people from different educational levels to use the internet for several purposes, one of which is health information seeking. Recently, online health information has become more popular among patients all over the world, as well as the general public.OBJECTIVE: Objectives: This study aims to investigate the use of online health resources among undergraduate students in Kuwait University.
    METHODS: Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional design with students selected from eight faculties of Kuwait University, four of which are Literature and four are Science faculties. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, and analysis was done using chi-square test and binary logistic regression to determine the factors associated with seeking health information online.
    RESULTS: Results: The sample size obtained was 1132 with a response rate of 90.3%. Overall, the prevalence of students seeking online health information was 86.2%. The most significant factors associated with seeking health information online were age, gender, faculty, year of study, primary source of internet, and level of experience with internet use. Ninety percent of students who are more than 21 years old, used online health information compared to 83% of those who are 18 years old. Also, Female students showed a higher prevalence (88.8%) of online health information seeking than males (77.8%). All the differences found in the study were significant (P value < 0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: Conclusion: The study concluded that a large number of people use the internet for seeking health information online. Socio-demographic factors have a significant association to online health information seeking. Therefore, education has to be provided by the doctors to the public about the websites that the people can trust.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/14327