From a recent email by Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Greater Midwest Region
NCBI has released PubMed** Commons, currently in pilot phase, which is a new system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications indexed in the PubMed database. This is intended to be a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues.
A new NCBI Insights Blog post provides more information and explains how researchers can join in!
For more information, please see:
PubMed Commons Homepage – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedcommons
NCBI Insights Blog post: “PubMed Commons – a new forum for scientific discourse”-http://ncbiinsights.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2013/10/22/pubmed-commons-a-new-forum-for-scientific-discourse/
Here’s a mock-up
**PubMed (a US government funded database) is the largest database of biomedical journals in the world. It comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
- Enter PubMed Commons (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- PubMed now allows comments on abstracts – but only by a select few (retractionwatch.wordpress.com)
- PubMed now allows comments on abstracts — but only by a select few (thestackscat.wordpress.com)
- New Online: NCBI Launches Pilot Version of PubMed Commons (infodocket.com)
- PubMed Commons: Post Peer Review System from NCBI (hslnews.wordpress.com)
- PubMed Commons: Post publication peer review goes mainstream (michaeleisen.org)
- Research Tools: PubMed Now Offers Relevance Sort Option (infodocket.com)
- Post-Publication Peer Review: PubPeer (hslnews.wordpress.com)
- How the NLM Justifies Linking to PubMed Central Versions Directly from PubMed Search Results Lists (scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org)
Looking for historical biomedical information? Try the redesigned IndexCat, a product of the US National Library of Medicine
In my last position as a medical librarian, IndexCat was the first place to go for finding historical biomedical articles and related information. Searches on IndexCat can find in minutes what took up to an hour or more in the print version, providing access to over 3.7 million items as information about books, journal articlesd,issertations, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, case studies, obituary notices, letters, portraits, as well as rare books and manuscripts.
IndexCat has recently been redesigned for even easier access to the records of historical biomedical information.
IndexCat is “the [free!]online version of The Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office (Index-Catalogue) [, the]..multi-part printed bibliography or list of items in the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, U.S. Army. It contains material dated from the 1400s through 1950 and is an important resource for researchers in the history of medicine, history of science, and for clinical research.”[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/indexcat/abouticatalogue.html]
While IndexCat does not contain the full text of items, it provides enough information on them so they can be located at libraries.
If you need the full text of the items, the best place to start is your local public or academic library. Ask for a reference librarian.
He or she can help you find the item or assist you in getting a copy through interlibrary loan. And remember, most academic libraries will be happy to help those who are not affiliated with their institution. Just call ahead and ask how they assist the public.
Related blog post
How to obtain free/low cost medical and scientific articles (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
The chart shows the proportion of papers indexed on the (largely biomedical) PubMed repository each year that are now freely accessible: in 2009, it’s above 28%. (Some of this literature is not immediately available at the time that it is published, because of journal policies that impose embargo periods on when material can become free). Those numbers are even more impressive than a study last year which found that around 20% of research papers published in 2008 were freely available on the internet.
The growth is due to various public access mandates by federal government and by funding agencies – as well as the success of open access publishers like the Public Library of Science. “What’s interesting is the relatively stable linear slope here for more than 10 years,” says David Lipman, director of the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health, which houses PubMed. “Would we expect that to continue at the same rate with around 50% of the literature published in 2021 freely available?”
- Should scientific articles be available free online? (slate.com)
- How to obtain free/low cost medical articles in medical and scientific journals (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
Impact of free access to the scientific literature (Science Intelligence and InfoPros)
An excellent review in the latest JMLA:
The paper reviews recent studies that evaluate the impact of free access (open access) on the behavior of scientists as authors, readers, and citers in developed and developing nations. (…)
- Researchers report that their access to the scientific literature is generally good and improving (76% of researchers think that it is better now than 5 years ago)
- Publishers (Elsevier and Oxford UP) reveal an increase in the number of journals available at a typical university and an even larger increase in the article downloads
- For authors, the access status of a journal is not an important consideration when deciding where to publish (journal reputation is stronger)
- The high cost of Western scientific journals poses a major barrier to researchers in developing nations
- There is clear evidence that free access increases the number of article downloads, although its impact on article citations is not clear
- Recent studies provide little evidence to support the idea that there is a crisis in access to the scholarly literature
- Author’s resistance to publication fees is a major barrier to greater participation in open access initiatives
- The empowerment of health care consumers through universal access to original research has ben cited as a key benefit of free access to the scientific literature
- overall, the published evidence does not indicate how (or whether) free access to the scientific literature influences consumers’ reading or behavior
- current research reveals no evidence of unmet demand for the primary medical or health sciences literature among the general public
- most research on access to the scientific literature assumes a traditional and hierarchical flow of information from the publisher to the eader, with the library often serving ans an intermediary betwwen the two. Very little has been done to investigate alternative routes of access to the scientific literature
Davis, Philip M. & Walters, William H. The impact of free access to the scientific literature: a review of recent research. J Med Libr Assoc 99(3):208-17 (2011).
- How to obtain free/low cost medical articles in medical and scientific journals
- “Summaries for Patients” and other plain language summaries help patients and others understand medical studies and guidelines
- Challenging the Access Crisis (scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org)
- Peter Suber, Open Access Overview (definition, introduction) (earlham.edu)
- Do we need an alternative to peer-reviewed journals? (arstechnica.com)
- Science Longevity Paper Retracted (news.sciencemag.org)
- How the quality of the scientific literature impacts the evidence (kevinmd.com)
- Should scientific articles be available free online? (slate.com)