Friday, March 30, 2007

RSNA Visiting Editors Program

I had the opportunity to hear a talk given by Anthony Proto and William Olmsted, editors of Radiology and RadioGraphics, respectively, this afternoon. The presentation by both participants was excellent, and the question and answer session at the end also proved to be time well-spent.

I'm not going to regurgitate the presentation, but I will touch on some of the parts I found particularly interesting, as a librarian.

I was very interested in Radiology's review process. They use a double-blind process, which means that the authors don't know who is reviewing their paper, and the reviewers don't know whose paper they are reviewing. This serves to remove some bias from the review process. An interesting point was made that sometimes authors unblind themselves unintentionally by referring to previous research they have published, referring to themselves in 1st person (i.e. "In a previous study, we discovered..." and then citing their paper as a reference) and also by including their institution's name in the paper. This can introduce a bias into the review process.

Another way to introduce bias is by neglecting to reformat the paper when submitting to a journal after the article has been rejected by a different journal. As I often am asked to help format the bibliographies for papers being submitted, this was a very important point!

I was also interested to learn that while the regular publication process takes, at a minimum, 5 months, Radiology does have a fast-track publishing method used to get critical information published very quickly (within a month) - examples of papers that have been published this way have been papers on SARS and anthrax (after 9/11). Also, fast-track papers are open access, as this information is vital for distribution.

While Dr. Olmsted's presentation was a little less verbose than Dr. Proto's, I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about his journal, RadioGraphics. Both Radiology and RadioGraphics are published by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), but they serve different purposes. Radiology is more centered on original research, where RadioGraphics is more centered on education. They select presentations for the annual RSNA meeting to be expounded upon in article format and offer CME credit for radiologists. There appears to be a more technological lean in RadioGraphics; RadioGraphics Online includes web-only articles, movies, supplemental images, etc. Dr. Olmsted demonstrated the RSNA Education Portal, which allows members to take CME tests, view refresher courses, and view digital exhibits from the annual meeting. Very cool!

I was thrilled to hear Dr. Olmsted mention plans for blogs, wikis, and other social networking tools in the plans for RadioGraphics Online.

As I mentioned, the question and answer session was excellent, as well. Particular interest was the discussion of whether the audience members (mostly radiologists) prefer to read articles in print or online. There was a clear preference for reading the articles in print. There also was the feeling that those articles published online only were somehow "less" than those published in print. Dr. Proto's prediction is that print will evolve into a format for publishing summaries and abstracts, but that the full content will move to an online format. I think this is quite possible, and it is actually what I plan to do to help ease the move from housing print journals to going fully to online access.

During the question and answer session I also got a nice plug from our deputy division head. One of the questions was if it is so important to make sure you are publishing original research, how can you be sure of that? What search techniques can you use, and how can you look through it all? Our deputy division head raised his hand and said something along the lines of, "We, as a division, have a resource for that, and she's sitting right over there! We have a full-time librarian on staff and she makes her living by helping you do this research." Can't beat that publicity!

All in all this was an afternoon well-spent.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MRI for breast cancer detection

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article today supporting the use of MRI in detecting breast cancer in some women.

Lehman CD, Gatsonis C, Kuhl CK et al. MRI Evaluation of the Contralateral Breast in Women with Recently Diagnosed Breast Cancer. Published at on March 28, 2007.

The Launch

Welcome to the launch of my new blog! I've been playing with the idea of creating a blog devoted to my job for quite a while, and over the past couple of days I've had several things happen that I thought were blog-worthy. So here we go! I hope you find something useful here. Sit back and enjoy the ride!