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Concept: Reference management software


Physicians frequently search PubMed for information to guide patient care. More recently, Google Scholar has gained popularity as another freely accessible bibliographic database.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Bibliographic databases, Reference management software


BACKGROUND: In searches for clinical trials and systematic reviews, it is said that Google Scholar (GS) should never be used in isolation, but in addition to PubMed, Cochrane, and other trusted sources of information. We therefore performed a study to assess the coverage of GS specifically for the studies included in systematic reviews and evaluate if GS was sensitive enough to be used alone for systematic reviews. METHODS: All the original studies included in 29 systematic reviews published in the Cochrane Database Syst Rev or in the JAMA in 2009 were gathered in a gold standard database. GS was searched for all these studies one by one to assess the percentage of studies which could have been identified by searching only GS. RESULTS: All the 738 original studies included in the gold standard database were retrieved in GS (100%). CONCLUSION: The coverage of GS for the studies included in the systematic reviews is 100%. If the authors of the 29 systematic reviews had used only GS, no reference would have been missed. With some improvement in the research options, to increase its precision, GS could become the leading bibliographic database in medicine and could be used alone for systematic reviews.

Concepts: Medicine, Evidence-based medicine, Cochrane Collaboration, MEDLINE, Review, Search engine optimization, Bibliographic databases, Reference management software


The usefulness of Google Scholar (GS) as a bibliographic database for biomedical systematic review (SR) searching is a subject of current interest and debate in research circles. Recent research has suggested GS might even be used alone in SR searching. This assertion is challenged here by testing whether GS can locate all studies included in 21 previously published SRs. Second, it examines the recall of GS, taking into account the maximum number of items that can be viewed, and tests whether more complete searches created by an information specialist will improve recall compared to the searches used in the 21 published SRs.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Medical research, Review, Bibliographic databases, Bibliographic database, Bibliography, Searching, Reference management software


We undertook a systematic review to evaluate the health benefits of environmental enhancement and conservation activities. We were concerned that a conventional process of study identification, focusing on exhaustive searches of bibliographic databases as the primary search method would be ineffective, offering limited value. The focus of this study is comparing study identification methods. We compare: (i) an approach led by searches of bibliographic databases to (ii) an approach led by supplementary search methods. We retrospectively assessed the effectiveness and value of both approaches.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Search engine optimization, Bibliographic database, Bibliography, Searching, Reference management software, Library and information science


A major problem arising from searching across bibliographic databases is the retrieval of duplicate citations. Removing such duplicates is an essential task to ensure systematic reviewers do not waste time screening the same citation multiple times. Although reference management software use algorithms to remove duplicate records, this is only partially successful and necessitates removing the remaining duplicates manually. This time-consuming task leads to wasted resources. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a newly developed deduplication program against EndNote.

Concepts: Programming language, Bibliographic database, Bibliography, Reference, Citation, Reference management software, Citation creator, Comparison of reference management software


In science peer-reviewed publications serve as an important indicator of scientific excellence and productivity. Therefore, every scientist and institution must carefully maintain and update records of their scientific publications. However, in most institutions and universities articles are often managed in a redundant file-based and non-central way. Whereas excellent reference management software packages such as Zotero, Endnote or Mendeley exist to manage bibliographies and references when writing scientific articles, we are not aware of any open source database solution keeping track of publication records from large scientific groups, entire institutions and/or universities.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Science, Reference, Open access, Scientific literature, Reference management software, Comparison of reference management software


Specialist bibliographic databases offer essential online tools for researchers and authors who work on specific subjects and perform comprehensive and systematic syntheses of evidence. This article presents examples of the established specialist databases, which may be of interest to those engaged in multidisciplinary science communication. Access to most specialist databases is through subscription schemes and membership in professional associations. Several aggregators of information and database vendors, such as EBSCOhost and ProQuest, facilitate advanced searches supported by specialist keyword thesauri. Searches of items through specialist databases are complementary to those through multidisciplinary research platforms, such as PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Familiarizing with the functional characteristics of biomedical and nonbiomedical bibliographic search tools is mandatory for researchers, authors, editors, and publishers. The database users are offered updates of the indexed journal lists, abstracts, author profiles, and links to other metadata. Editors and publishers may find particularly useful source selection criteria and apply for coverage of their peer-reviewed journals and grey literature sources. These criteria are aimed at accepting relevant sources with established editorial policies and quality controls.

Concepts: Google Scholar, Academic publishing, Peer review, Literature, Bibliographic databases, Academic journal, Reference management software, Library and information science


We recently designed and deployed a metasearch engine, Metta, that sends queries and retrieves search results from five leading biomedical databases: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Because many articles are indexed in more than one of these databases, it is desirable to deduplicate the retrieved article records. This is not a trivial problem because data fields contain a lot of missing and erroneous entries, and because certain types of information are recorded differently (and inconsistently) in the different databases. The present report describes our rule-based method for deduplicating article records across databases and includes an open-source script module that can be deployed freely. Metta was designed to satisfy the particular needs of people who are writing systematic reviews in evidence-based medicine. These users want the highest possible recall in retrieval, so it is important to err on the side of not deduplicating any records that refer to distinct articles, and it is important to perform deduplication online in real time. Our deduplication module is designed with these constraints in mind. Articles that share the same publication year are compared sequentially on parameters including PubMed ID number, digital object identifier, journal name, article title and author list, using text approximation techniques. In a review of Metta searches carried out by public users, we found that the deduplication module was more effective at identifying duplicates than EndNote without making any erroneous assignments.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Academic publishing, Bibliographic databases, Bibliography, Reference management software, Digital object identifier


Physicians are constantly navigating the overwhelming body of medical literature available on the Internet. Although early citation managers were capable of limited searching of index databases and tedious bibliography production, modern versions of citation managers such as EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley are powerful web-based tools for searching, organizing, and sharing medical literature. Effortless point-and-click functions provide physicians with the ability to develop robust digital libraries filled with literature relevant to their fields of interest. In addition to easily creating manuscript bibliographies, various citation managers allow physicians to readily access medical literature, share references for teaching purposes, collaborate with colleagues, and even participate in social networking. If physicians are willing to invest the time to familiarize themselves with modern citation managers, they will reap great benefits in the future.

Concepts: Medicine, Internet, Bibliography, Reference, Citation, Reference management software, Library, Metadata


BACKGROUND: Common Travel Medicine sources generally do not provide information on the risk of methanol poisoning among travellers who visit Indonesia. The aim of this analysis was to increase knowledge on this topic through reports from bibliographic databases and Internet sources. METHODS: Case reports and studies on methanol poisoning in Indonesia were retrieved through PubMed, Embase and Google Scholar database searching. The Google search was used to retrieve the Web Media articles reporting fatal and non-fatal methanol poisoning in Indonesia, in a timeframe from 01.01.2009 to 03.03.2013. RESULTS: Three case reports of methanol poisoning involving four travellers to Indonesia were found in bibliographic databases. The media sources searching identified 14 articles published online, reporting 22 cases of methanol poisoning among travellers after consumption of local alcohol beverages. The total number of death cases was 18. Some sources report also a large number of cases among the local population. CONCLUSIONS: Methanol poisoning is likely to be an emerging public health problem in Indonesia, with an associated morbidity and mortality among travellers and local people. Some strategies can be implemented to prevent or reduce harm among travellers.

Concepts: Alcohol, Report, Bibliographic databases, Alcoholic beverage, Methanol, Mass media, Reference management software, Esperanto