bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒05‒23
eighteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Prosthet Orthot Int. 2021 May 18.
      BACKGROUND: Researchers and clinicians may find it challenging to identify relevant articles about limb prostheses in online databases. Searches may be improved by using standardized strategies, also known as filters or hedges.OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate a highly sensitive MEDLINE (EBSCOHost) search strategy for limb prostheses.
    STUDY DESIGN: Search strategy development/validation.
    METHODS: A gold standard (GS) list of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of limb prostheses was created using a relative recall method. This involved identifying and including relevant systematic reviews/meta-analyses and then adding articles that were included in the analysis section of these reviews. Possible terms for the search strategy were identified through brainstorming and exploration of medical subject headings in MEDLINE (MeSH) and standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Concepts were grouped using relevant Boolean operators (e.g. AND and OR) and database record search fields (i.e. MeSH terms, title, and abstract). Part of the GS was used to refine the search strategy and reduce the number of records retrieved in total. The remaining GS set was used to validate and calculate sensitivity of the search strategy. Performance of the search strategy was compared against searches using only relevant MeSH terms.
    RESULTS: After screening, the final GS totaled 853 records. The developed search strategy was highly sensitive (99.80%) and performed with higher relative recall than searches with relevant MeSH terms.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a highly sensitive search strategy that can be used by clinicians and researchers when searching for relevant literature on limb prostheses in MEDLINE (EBSCOHost).
  2. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 295-307
      Students entering graduate degree programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields or professional degree programs in the health sciences are expected to have adequate academic preparation in science process skills like the ability to read primary literature effectively. This column scrutinizes this assumption by examining how science is taught to undergraduates, finding that undergraduate STEM curricula rarely prepare students with the mastery of science process skills needed to succeed in graduate school. The column discusses some possible causes of this skill gap and suggests that academic and medical librarians are well-equipped to help students develop primary literature literacy skills. The column closes with a list of practical active reading strategies that librarians can share and model for students.
    Keywords:  Critical thinking; information literacy; primary literature; science education; science process skills
  3. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 238-253
      The Health Sciences Library (HSL) at Stony Brook University along with the School of Medicine were motivated to make improvements in seating and hours based on survey results from an LCME self-study. Preparation for the site visit from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education helped to garner resources and support for this initiative. To meet the evolving needs of the HSL patrons, librarians completed an overdue collection assessment project which allowed for 142 new seats, including newly designed spaces and furnishings. Ongoing assessment of the redesigned space will be conducted to evaluate success and areas for continued improvement.
    Keywords:  Collaboration; LCME; deselection; extended hours; health sciences libraries; renovation; security
  4. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 220-237
      This guide to scholarly activities provides early- and mid-career health sciences librarians with a path to immersing in scholarly activities. The four levels walk librarians through increasing stages of scholarship. Early-career librarians will begin at the first level, navigating from discovering mentors and areas of research interest to level two, publishing a resource or book review and finding their first public speaking opportunity. More experienced librarians will find where they are on the path and continue to build their scholarship all the way to conducting and publishing original research and becoming leaders in their field.
    Keywords:  Health sciences librarian; medical librarian; publishing; scholarly activity
  5. Transfus Med Rev. 2021 Apr 20. pii: S0887-7963(21)00010-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hundreds of articles containing heterogeneous data describe D variants or add to the knowledge of known alleles. Data can be difficult to find despite existing online blood group resources and genetic and literature databases. We have developed a modern, elaborate database for D variants, thanks to an extensive literature search with meticulous curation of 387 peer-reviewed articles and 80 abstracts from major conferences and other sources. RHeference contains entries for 710 RHD alleles, 11 RHCE alleles, 30 phenotype descriptions (preventing data loss from historical sources), 35 partly characterized alleles, 3 haplotypes, and 16 miscellaneous entries. The entries include molecular, phenotypic, serological, alloimmunization, haplotype, geographical, and other data, detailed for each source. The main characteristics are summarized for each entry. The sources for all information are included and easily accessible through doi and PMID links. Overall, the database contains more than 10,000 individual pieces of data. We have set up the database architecture based on our previous expertise on database setup and biocuration for other topics, using modern technologies such as the Django framework, BioPython, Bootstrap, and Jquery. This architecture allows an easy access to data and enables simple and complex queries: combining multiple mutations, keywords, or any of the characteristics included in the database. RHeference provides a complement to existing resources and will continue to grow as our knowledge expands and new articles are published. The database url is
    Keywords:  Database; Immunogenetics; RH blood group; RHD gene
  6. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 280-285
      LGBTQ+ Source is a multidisciplinary database from EBSCO. This column will describe the coverage, search features, and potential use for health sciences libraries. Search examples with keywords and controlled vocabulary are provided to show how health topics related to the LGBTQ + community can be explored through this database.
    Keywords:  LGBTQ+; LGBTQ+ Source; online databases; review
  7. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 269-279
      The Kaiser Permanente health sciences librarians created inter-regional policies to standardize and guide the work of all librarians across regions. In response to the larger organization's emphasis on promoting diversity and equity in healthcare and the workplace, the library policies have evolved over time to include aspects of critical librarianship in the information services that the Kaiser Permanente librarians provide to their organization. The article describes how the inter-regional group of hospital librarians provide information services through a critical librarianship lens and provides examples of how other health sciences librarians can incorporate these principles to expand their services.
    Keywords:  Community of practice; critical librarianship; critlib; health sciences; health sciences librarians; hospital libraries
  8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jun 08. pii: e2100766118. [Epub ahead of print]118(23):
      The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused a surge in research exploring all aspects of the virus and its effects on human health. The overwhelming publication rate means that researchers are unable to keep abreast of the literature. To ameliorate this, we present the CoronaCentral resource that uses machine learning to process the research literature on SARS-CoV-2 together with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. We categorize the literature into useful topics and article types and enable analysis of the contents, pace, and emphasis of research during the crisis with integration of Altmetric data. These topics include therapeutics, disease forecasting, as well as growing areas such as "long COVID" and studies of inequality. This resource, available at, is updated daily.
    Keywords:  coronavirus; literature analysis; literature categorization; machine learning
  9. Front Public Health. 2021 ;9 639192
      In implementation science (IS), conducting well-targeted and reproducible literature searches is challenging due to non-specific and varying terminology that is fragmented over multiple disciplines. A list of journals that publish IS-relevant content for use in search strings can support this process. We conducted a cross-sectional online survey of 56 Australian, European, and North American IS experts to identify and prioritize relevant journals that publish IS articles. Journals' relevance was assessed by providing each with a list of 12 journals, to which they were encouraged to add additional journal names and comments as free text. We also assessed which journals had published special IS-focused issues-identified via PubMed and Google searches-over the last 20 years. Data were analyzed descriptively. Between February 28 and March 15, 2020, a purposive sample of 34/56 experts participated in the survey (response rate: 60.7%). Implementation Science and BMC Health Services Research were perceived as relevant by 97.1% of participants; other journals' relevance varied internationally. Experts proposed 50 additional journals from various clinical fields and health science disciplines. We identified 12 calls and 53 special issues on IS published within various journals and research fields. Experts' comments confirmed the described challenges in identifying IS literature. This report presents experts' ratings of IS journals, which can be included in strategies supporting searches of IS evidence. However, challenges in identifying IS evidence remain geographically and interdisciplinary. Further investment is needed to develop reproducible search strings to capture IS evidence as an important step in improving IS research quality.
    Keywords:  dissemination; implementation science; implementation science journals; literature review; survey; translational research
  10. Semin Ophthalmol. 2021 May 16. 1-4
      Purpose: To assess content, readability, and accountability of online information for patients regarding epiretinal membranes (ERMs).Methods: Cross-sectional study evaluating nine major medical websites on ERMs. Fifteen questions assessed patient-relevant content. Four indices estimated U.S. grade literacy level of the text. JAMA benchmarks (authorship, attribution, disclosure, currency) evaluated website accountability.Results: Average content score was 36.78 (SD 13.91, 95% CI ±0.64) from a possible maximum of 60, with significant variability between websites (H = 22.68, p=0.004). Mean reading grade level was 12.29 (SD 2.30, 95% CI ±1.50). No website achieved all JAMA benchmarks; only one website fulfilled three of the four. Content score did not correlate with Google rank (order of listed websites, r = -0.23, p=0.55) or JAMA benchmarks (r = 0.19, p=0.62) but significantly correlated with mean reading grade (r = 0.67, p=0.05).Conclusion: Online information regarding ERMs varies significantly, may not adequately answer common patient questions, and is written at too complex a literacy level for the average patient.
    Keywords:  Consumer health informatics; epiretinal membrane; internet; patient education
  11. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jul-Sep;39(3):39(3): 254-268
      This article reviews genetic and rare disease resources from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health that assist patients and their families to decipher the complexity of rare and genetically related diseases. Librarians can use these resources to guide those seeking genetic information that encompasses the medical, social, psychological, and financial aspects of living with a rare disease. Physicians and healthcare professionals will find these resources helpful when assisting patients and engaging in genetic research.
    Keywords:  Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center; Genetic databases; Genetics Home Reference; National Center for Biotechnology Information; National Organization for Rare Disorders; genetics; rare diseases; rare disorders; review
  12. Foot (Edinb). 2021 Feb 24. pii: S0958-2592(21)00020-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101794
      AIM: To evaluate the reliability and quality of only resources available online on Calcaneal fractures.METHODS: 70 websites were identified using the search term 'Calcaneus fractures'. Google, Yahoo! and Bing were the three major search engines used for the study. Websites were classified by type and assessed for reliability and readability by means of DISCERN score, Journal of the Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria and the presence or absence of HON-Code certification. In addition, a Calcaneus Fracture Specific Content Score (CFSCS) was designed in conjunction with two speciality trained foot & ankle surgeons in order to gauge content quality itself.
    RESULTS: Academic websites made up the majority of URLs that were identified followed by Physician and Commercial. Overall mean DISCERN and JAMA scores were 49.8 (range 16-64) and 2.1 (range 0-4) respectively. Mean CFSCS was 18.3 (range 0-25). 30 of the total websites were HON-code certified. There was a statistically significant correlation identified between presence of HON-code certificate and DISCERN, JAMA and novel CFSCS (p<0.001).
    CONCLUSION: There is an increasing tendency for patients to peruse online resources to understand their injuries and management options. This is particularly true for the younger cohort of patients in whom Calcaneus fractures occur more commonly. One must understand the varying quality of information available online in order to appropriately direct patients to areas of higher quality and reliability.
    Keywords:  Ankle; Foot; Online; Quality; Resources; Trauma
  13. Andrologia. 2021 May 19. e14118
      The aim of this study was to assess the content, reliability and quality of information regarding testicular cancer in YouTube videos. The search was performed by using term 'testicular cancer' on YouTube, and the first 168 videos were listed according to relevancy. Video features and source of upload were recorded. The quality, reliability and accuracy of the information were evaluated by two independent urologists using the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) score, the 5-point modified DISCERN tool and the Global Quality Score (GQS). A total number of 152 videos were analysed. The most common source of upload was talk show programmes/TV programmes (25.7%), and majority of the content was about (24.3%) symptoms and diagnosis options. The mean JAMA score, modified DISCERN score and GQS were 1.59, 2.13 and 2.61 respectively. These scores were significantly higher in videos that were uploaded by physicians/nonprofit physicians/professional organisations/universities (p < 0.001). There is a positive correlation between the video length, DISCERN, JAMA scores and GQS. YouTube is a widely used source of information and advice about testicular cancer, but much of the content is of poor quality.
    Keywords:  DISCERN; GQS; JAMA; YouTube; testicular cancer
  14. Clin Imaging. 2021 May 06. pii: S0899-7071(21)00210-2. [Epub ahead of print]77 219-223
      BACKGROUND: The radiology trainee on-call experience has undergone many changes in the past decade. The development of numerous online information sources has changed the landscape of opportunities for trainees seeking information while on-call. In this study, we sought to understand the current on-call information seeking behaviors of radiology trainees.METHODS: We surveyed radiology fellows and residents at three major metropolitan area academic institutions. Survey topics included demographic information, on-call volumes, on-call resource seeking behaviors, preferred first and second line on-call resources and rationale for particular resource usage.
    RESULTS: A total of 78 responses from trainees were recorded, 30.5% of the entire surveyed population. 70.5% of trainees preferred Radiopaedia as their first line resource. 26.9% of trainees preferred StatDx as their second line resource. 75.6% of respondents preferred their first line resource because it was easiest and fastest to access. 70.3% of respondents assigned a rating of 4 out of 5 when asked how often information they look for is found while on-call. There was a statistically significant difference according to gender (p = 0.002) with a higher percentage of males listing Radiopaedia as their first line resource compared to females.
    DISCUSSION: The radiology trainee on-call experience is influenced by various factors. Over the past decade, online resources, particularly the open access resource Radiopaedia and the paid service StatDx, have overwhelmingly become the preferred first and second line options, as demonstrated by our study results.
    Keywords:  Emergency radiology; On-call radiology; Resident education
  15. Int J Impot Res. 2021 May 20.
      Patients are becoming increasingly active consumers of health information on the internet with urologic concerns being no exception. Our objective was to explore online search trends for topics related to men's health and identify information-seeking patterns related to news and media coverage of these topics. We used Google Trends ( ) to explore search trends for various search terms related to men's health in the United States over a 5-year period. Search queries provided graphs depicting search volume as a function of time, geographical data, and related topics and queries. Isolated spikes in search volume were further explored to identify a related event. Erectile dysfunction was the most-searched topic over the last 5 years in the United States. Prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia were the second and third most-searched topics, respectively. Other popular topics involved symptoms or pathologies of the testicles and penis. Most topics had relatively stable search volumes, with the exceptions of premature ejaculation and Peyronie's disease. Several observed spikes in search volume were attributable to singular events, mostly in the form of online article publications or social media posts. We believe it may be helpful for providers to stay informed of cultural events relating to medical conditions to anticipate patient concerns.
  16. Inform Health Soc Care. 2021 May 20. 1-9
      One of the most commonly searched topics on the internet in the United States is cancer. Our study aims to provide a general overview of the predictors of trust for two health information sources, doctors and the internet, when seeking cancer-related information. The data were obtained from the 2018 HINTS 5 Cycle 2 survey, which was administered from January through May to a total of 3,504 respondents. We carried out next a series of ordinal logistic regression models to identify predictors of high trust in doctors and the internet separately for cancer-seeking information. Demographic predictor variables varied as predictors of high trust for cancer knowledge across both sources. Respondents who reported less confidence in their ability to seek cancer information had significantly higher odds of high trust in both doctors (OR = 8.43, CI: 5.58-12.73) and the internet (OR = 2.93, CI: 1.97-4.35) as compared to those who reported being "completely confident" in their ability to obtain cancer information. Understanding the key predictors of trust in doctors and the internet is crucial to the enhancement of health. The role of confidence as a predictor of trust in seeking cancer information has been shown to consistently influence the levels of trust attributed to each topic.
    Keywords:  Trust; cancer information; confidence levels; doctor trust; hints survey; internet trust; sociodemographic predictors
  17. Neural Comput Appl. 2021 May 11. 1-14
      The special nature, volume and broadness of biomedical literature pose barriers for automated classification methods. On the other hand, manually indexing is time-consuming, costly and error prone. We argue that current word embedding algorithms can be efficiently used to support the task of biomedical text classification even in a multilabel setting, with many distinct labels. The ontology representation of Medical Subject Headings provides machine-readable labels and specifies the dimensionality of the problem space. Both deep- and shallow network approaches are implemented. Predictions are determined by the similarity between extracted features from contextualized representations of abstracts and headings. The addition of a separate classifier for transfer learning is also proposed and evaluated. Large datasets of biomedical citations are harvested for their metadata and used for training and testing. These automated approaches are still far from entirely substituting human experts, yet they can be useful as a mechanism for validation and recommendation. Dataset balancing, distributed processing and training parallelization in GPUs, all play an important part regarding the effectiveness and performance of proposed methods.
    Keywords:  BERT; Classification; Deep learning; Doc2Vec; ELMo; Indexing; MeSH; Ontologies; Thesauri; Word embeddings