Types of Literature Reviews

Overview of a Literature Review

A literature review is a generic term used to describe a synthesis of information to answer a research question. The purpose of a literature review is to present the scholarly information that is available on a topic, provide support to the proposed research, and relate the literature to the proposed research question. There are numerous types of literature reviews. These vary from a narrative review to a systematic review.

Review types differ by:

      • the precision of the research question (broad to specific)
      • the goal of the review
      • the standards of the searching method
      • if the articles are appraised
      • how information from various sources is synthesized
      • the analysis of the results
      • showing the current state of the literature around a particular topic

The IHS Library offers assistance How to Write a Literature Review.

 

Types of Literature Reviews

Literature or Narrative Review

    • Team: May be completed by a single author
    • Definition: Generic term: A synthesis of current literature surrounding a specific topic. The purpose of a narrative review is to provide background information on the topic, support the proposed research and/or answer a research question.
    • Search Methods: Non-specific; Author chooses relevant articles based on research question.
    • Appraisal: Determined by the author
    • Synthesis: Narrative
    • Analysis: Chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc.

 Scoping or Mapping Review

    • Team: Requires a minimum of 2 authors
    • Definition: Preliminary assessment of potential size and scope of available research literature on a broad topic. Aims to identify nature and extent of research evidence. Includes grey literature, preprints and ongoing studies. Scoping reviews are conducted based upon the JBI manual of evidence synthesis.
    • Search Methods: Broad scope of literature available. Search methods must be transparent and reproducible. Search strategies are peer reviewed & documented in full.
    • Appraisal: All evidence is independently screened by 2 reviewers to ensure evidence meets the inclusion criteria. The critical appraisal process is optional but recommended
    • Synthesis: Narrative
    • Analysis: Characterizes quantity and quality of literature based upon the elements of the PCC research question and the inclusion/exclusion criteria

Systematic Review

    • Team: (Requires a minimum of 2 authors)
    • Definition: Seeks to systematically search for, appraise and synthesize all available research evidence on the topic. SRs answer a specific research question and are conducted based upon the JBI manual of evidence synthesis.
    • Search Methods: Exhaustive, comprehensive, & systematic search. Search methods must be transparent & reproducible. Search strategies are peer reviewed & well documented.
    • Appraisal: All evidence is independently screened by 2 reviewers to meet inclusion criteria and critically appraised using the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists
    • Synthesis: Narrative
    • Analysis: Synthesizes what is known within the existing literature. Highlights what is unknown and recommends future research.
  • Umbrella Review
    • Team: (Requires a minimum of 2 authors)
    • Definition: Reviews the results of multiple systematic reviews on a specific topic. All reviews must analyze a shared methodology, facilitating comparison and analysis. Umbrella reviews are conducted based upon the JBI manual of evidence synthesis
    • Search Methods: Exhaustive, comprehensive & systematic search of reviews. Does not include primary studies. Search methods must be transparent, reproducible, and well documented.
    • Appraisal: All evidence is independently screened by 2 reviewers to meet inclusion criteria and critically appraised using the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists
    • Synthesis: Graphical and tabular with narrative commentary
    • Analysis: What is known; Recommendations for practice. What remains unknown; recommendations for future research

Rapid Review

    • Team: Requires a minimum of 2 authors
    • Definition: Assessment of what is already known about a policy or practice issue, by using systematic review methods to search and critically appraise existing research. RRs are conducted according to the JBI manual of evidence synthesis
    • Search Methods: Completeness of searching determined by time constraints. All search strategies must be transparent, reproducible, and documented
    • Appraisal: Time-limited formal quality assessment.
    • All evidence is independently screened by 2 reviewers to meet inclusion criteria
    • Synthesis: Narrative and tabular
    • Analysis: Quantities of literature and overall quality/direction of effect of literature

Meta Analysis

    • Definition: Statistical analysis of quantitative evidence provided within a Systematic Review.
    • Team: Interdisciplinary
    • Meta-analysis are conducted according to the JBI manual of evidence synthesis
    • Search Methods: Exhaustive, comprehensive & systematic search of reviews. Does not include primary studies. Search methods must be transparent, reproducible and documented.
    • Appraisal: All evidence has been critically appraised in the systematic review
    • Synthesis: Graphical representation in a Forest plot.
    • Analysis: Numerical analysis of measures of effect assuming absence of heterogeneity

 

Reproduced from Grant, M. J. and Booth, A. (2009), A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26: 91–108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

Terlecky’s Corner: Sickle Cell & Gene Therapy

Terlecky’s Corner: Installment 12

Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia: Repairing Hemoglobin Subunit Assembly

This month’s announcement[1] from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will approve two therapeutic approaches to address the molecular defects associated with sickle cell anemia is a major step forward not only in terms of treatment of the disease, but also as evidence of how far the science of gene editing has come.

Sickle cellSickle cell anemia is an inherited blood-borne disease affecting some 100,000 individuals in the US, and nearly 8 million worldwide. Persons of sub-Saharan African descent appear to manifest the disease to the greatest extent, with those of Indian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern backgrounds also highly affected. The pathology is devastating – misshapen red blood cells occlude blood vessels, compromising flow and inhibiting oxygen delivery. Pain develops frequently in oxygen-deprived tissues. Other complications include an enhanced susceptibility to infections, various eye problems, organ damage, and increased risks of pulmonary/heart disease and stroke.

At the molecular level – sickle cell anemia (in its most common form) is the result of a faulty hemoglobin protein inside red blood cells. Hemoglobin – the vehicle for oxygen delivery in our bodies – is composed of four subunits, two alpha- and two beta-globin proteins, with each complexing an iron-containing heme prosthetic group. Hemoglobin is a marvel of protein biochemistry – a paradigm for allosteric (in this case, oxygen-binding) cooperativity. That is, when the first oxygen molecule binds to hemoglobin, binding of the second oxygen is “cooperatively” enhanced; and similarly for oxygen additions three and four. The fully loaded hemoglobin then leaves the lungs and travels through the blood to tissues whereupon oxygen is released. This is the normal circumstance.

In sickle cell anemia, amino acid 6 of the beta-globin subunit is altered – from glutamic acid to valine. Any protein biochemist will readily recognize that such a substitution (charged reside to hydrophobic one) could dramatically change the molecules folding and/or functional properties. Such is the case with the beta-globin protein – which now interacts inappropriately with other (beta-globin) subunits by virtue of the newly exposed (hydrophobic) surface. As a result, hemoglobin’s tertiary (that is, folded) structure is altered. Indeed, the misshapen hemoglobin molecule aberrantly polymerizes and forms long fibers with the resultant deformed (~sickle shaped) red blood cells causing the aforementioned vaso-occlusive manifestations.

To best understand the genetic strategies employed in the newly approved therapies, some mention of fetal hemoglobin is warranted. Fetal hemoglobin, like the adult version, is a tetrameric protein – with two alpha-subunits – which are complexed with two gamma-, not beta-globin subunits. Shortly after birth, a switch occurs – gamma-globin synthesis is reduced and beta-globin’s turned on. Beta-globin now replaces gamma-globin in complexing with alpha-globin chains to create the adult hemoglobin molecule.

Interestingly, some patients with sickle cell disease continue to make fetal hemoglobin, and enjoy a milder disease course. In fact, the previously FDA-approved drug hydroxyurea, which helps boost fetal hemoglobin levels, has shown efficacy in treating the disease. (On the down side, concerns about toxicity and uneven effectiveness across patient populations have limited hyroxyurea’s more universal adoption.) Nevertheless, the anti-sickling properties of fetal hemoglobin’s gamma-globin chain have been recognized.

Scientists compared gamma-globin to beta-globin and tested variously altered beta-globin derivatives that would confer gamma-globin’s anti-sickling property. One such alteration is a threonine to glutamine change at position 76. It is lentivirus-mediated expression of beta-globin(T76Q) into hematopoietic stems cells that constitutes the basis of Bluebird Bio’s Lyfgenia® (lovotibeglogene autotemcel) therapy – approved by the FDA on December 8th. The idea is that the non-sickling beta-globin(T76Q) subunits will complex with alpha-subunits (and heme prosthetic groups) and result in a fully functional hemoglobin molecule.

Casgevy® (exagamglogene autotemcel) from Vertex Pharmaceuticals takes a different approach. It employs the CRISPR/Cas9 (gene editing) system to eliminate production of a protein called B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 11A (BCL11A). BCL11A is an enzyme which induces the switch in humans – shifting expression from gamma-globin to beta-globin. As described above, this occurs during human development – specifically at birth. As the strategy will result in (non-sickling) gamma-globin production – once again functional hemoglobin will be produced.

To varying degrees, both strategies appear to work – hence the FDA’s approval. There is risk – as the intricate therapeutic approaches require: i. removal of hematopoietic stem cells; ii. the genetic alterations as outlined; iii. conditioning of the patient for receipt of the genetically engineered replacement cells; and iv. the cells’ reintroduction. Also, as might be expected from the complex nature of the steps involved, even as one-time therapies, they are both extremely expensive. That said, how can a price be placed on enjoying even modest relief from the pain and suffering associated with sickle-cell disease?

SRT – December 2023

[1] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-gene-therapies-treat-patients-sickle-cell-disease

 

The most “cited” articles, published in 2023, by Hackensack School of Medicine affiliated authors

 

Arastehfar, A., Daneshnia, F., Cabrera, N., Penalva-Lopez, S., Sarathy, J., Zimmerman, M., Shor, E., & Perlin, D. S. (2023). Macrophage internalization creates a multidrug-tolerant fungal persister reservoir and facilitates the emergence of drug resistance. Nature communications, 14(1), 1183. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-36882-6  doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36882-6

PMID: 36864040

Chung, M. K., Patton, K. K., Lau, C. P., Dal Forno, A. R. J., Al-Khatib, S. M., Arora, V., Birgersdotter-Green, U. M., Cha, Y. M., Chung, E. H., Cronin, E. M., Curtis, A. B., Cygankiewicz, I., Dandamudi, G., Dubin, A. M., Ensch, D. P., Glotzer, T. V., Gold, M. R., Goldberger, Z. D., Gopinathannair, R., Gorodeski, E. Z., … Zeitler, E. P. (2023). 2023 HRS/APHRS/LAHRS guideline on cardiac physiologic pacing for the avoidance and mitigation of heart failure. Heart rhythm, 20(9), e17–e91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2023.0. doi:10.1016/j.hrthm.2023.03.1538

PMID: 37283271

Daneshnia, F., de Almeida Júnior, J. N., Ilkit, M., Lombardi, L., Perry, A. M., Gao, M., Nobile, C. J., Egger, M., Perlin, D. S., Zhai, B., Hohl, T. M., Gabaldón, T., Colombo, A. L., Hoenigl, M., & Arastehfar, A. (2023). Worldwide emergence of fluconazole-resistant Candida parapsilosis: current framework and future research roadmap. The Lancet. Microbe, 4(6), e470–e480. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(23)00067-8. doi:10.1016/S2666-5247(23)00067-8

PMID: 37121240

Harrison, R., Ahmed, M., Billah, M., Sheckley, F., Lulla, T., Caviasco, C., Sanders, A., Lovallo, G., & Stifelman, M. (2023). Single-port versus multiport partial nephrectomy: a propensity-score-matched comparison of perioperative and short-term outcomes. Journal of robotic surgery, 17(1), 223–231. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11701-022-01415-8. doi:10.1007/s11701-022-01415-8

PMID: 35648289

Knapp, E. A., Kress, A. M., Parker, C. B., Page, G. P., McArthur, K., Gachigi, K. K., Alshawabkeh, A. N., Aschner, J. L., Bastain, T. M., Breton, C. V., Bendixsen, C. G., Brennan, P. A., Bush, N. R., Buss, C., Camargo, C. A., Jr, Catellier, D., Cordero, J. F., Croen, L., Dabelea, D., Deoni, S., … Influences On Child Health Outcomes, O. B. O. P. C. F. E. (2023). The Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)-Wide Cohort. American journal of epidemiology, 192(8), 1249–1263. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwad071

PMID: 36963379

Paul, R. W., Sonnier, J. H., Johnson, E. E., Hall, A. T., Osman, A., Connors, G. M., Freedman, K. B., & Bishop, M. E. (2023). Inequalities in the Evaluation of Male Versus Female Athletes in Sports Medicine Research: A Systematic Review. The American journal of sports medicine, 51(12), 3335–3342.doi:10.1177/03635465221131281

PMID: 36453705

Ragon, B. K., Shah, M. V., D’Souza, A., Estrada-Merly, N., Gowda, L., George, G., de Lima, M., Hashmi, S., Kharfan-Dabaja, M. A., Majhail, N. S., Banerjee, R., Saad, A., Hildebrandt, G. C., Mian, H., Abid, M. B., Battiwalla, M., Lekakis, L. J., Patel, S. S., Murthy, H. S., Nieto, Y., Vesole, DH… Usmani, S. Z. (2023). Impact of second primary malignancy post-autologous transplantation on outcomes of multiple myeloma: a CIBMTR analysis. Blood advances, 7(12), 2746–2757. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2022009138 doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2022009138

PMID: 36827681

Reyes, J., Komarow, L., Chen, L., Ge, L., Hanson, B. M., Cober, E., Herc, E., Alenazi, T., Kaye, K. S., Garcia-Diaz, J., Li, L., Kanj, S. S., Liu, Z., Oñate, J. M., Salata, R. A., Marimuthu, K., Gao, H., Zong, Z., Valderrama-Beltrán, S. L., Yu, Y., Kreiswirth, BN.,Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group and Multi-Drug Resistant Organism Network Investigators (2023). Global epidemiology and clinical outcomes of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and associated carbapenemases (POP): a prospective cohort study. The Lancet. Microbe, 4(3), e159–e170. doi:10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00329-9

PMID: 36774938

Siddiqi, T., Maloney, D. G., Kenderian, S. S., Brander, D. M., Dorritie, K., Soumerai, J., Riedell, P. A., Shah, N. N., Nath, R., Fakhri, B., Stephens, D. M., Ma, S., Feldman, T., Solomon, S. R., Schuster, S. J., Perna, S. K., Tuazon, S. A., Ou, S. S., Papp, E., Peiser, L., … Wierda, W. G. (2023). Lisocabtagene maraleucel in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma (TRANSCEND CLL 004): a multicentre, open-label, single-arm, phase 1-2 study. Lancet (London, England), 402(10402), 641–654. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01052-8

PMID: 37295445

Zhang, H., Qureshi, M. A., Wahid, M., Charifa, A., Ehsan, A., Ip, A., De Dios, I., Ma, W., Sharma, I., McCloskey, J., Donato, M., Siegel, D., Gutierrez, M., Pecora, A., Goy, A., & Albitar, M. (2023). Differential Diagnosis of Hematologic and Solid Tumors Using Targeted Transcriptome and Artificial Intelligence. The American journal of pathology, 193(1), 51–59.. doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2022.09.006

PMID: 36243045

 

The “Most Read” JAMA Articles of 2023

The Most Read JAMA articles from 2023

Original Investigation

Naggie S, Boulware DR, Lindsell CJ, et al. Effect of Higher-Dose Ivermectin for 6 Days vs Placebo on Time to Sustained Recovery in Outpatients With COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2023;329(11):888-897. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.1650

PMID: 36807465

Original Investigation

Sims JR, Zimmer JA, Evans CD, et al. Donanemab in Early Symptomatic Alzheimer Disease: The TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2023;330(6):512-527. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.13239

PMID: 37459141

Original Investigation

Thaweethai T, Jolley SE, Karlson EW, et al. Development of a Definition of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA. 2023;329(22):1934-1946. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.8823

PMID: 37278994

Original Investigation

Raison CL, Sanacora G, Woolley J, et al. Single-Dose Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2023;330(9):843-853. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.14530

PMID: 37651119

Original Investigation

Cohen PA, Avula B, Wang YH, Katragunta K, Khan I. Quantity of Melatonin and CBD in Melatonin Gummies Sold in the US. JAMA. 2023;329(16):1401-1402. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.2296

PMID: 37097362

Viewpoint

Berwick DM. Salve Lucrum: The Existential Threat of Greed in US Health Care. JAMA. 2023;329(8):629-630. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.0846

PMID: 36716043

Original Investigation

Sodhi M, Rezaeianzadeh R, Kezouh A, Etminan M. Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss. JAMA. 2023;330(18):1795-1797. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.19574

PMID: 37796527

Original Investigation

Qian ET, Casey JD, Wright A, et al. Cefepime vs Piperacillin-Tazobactam in Adults Hospitalized With Acute Infection: The ACORN Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2023;330(16):1557-1567. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.20583

PMID: 37837651

Original Investigation

Xie Y, Choi T, Al-Aly Z. Risk of Death in Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19 vs Seasonal Influenza in Fall-Winter 2022-2023. JAMA. 2023;329(19):1697-1699. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.5348

PMID: 37022720

A Piece of My Mind

Stillman M. Death by Patient Portal. JAMA. 2023;330(3):223-224. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.11629

PMID: 37389857

New NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

In October of 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its new Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy. Beginning in January 2023, this policy will require that all NIH researchers prospectively plan for how their scientific data and accompanying metadata will be preserved and shared by submitting a Data Management and Sharing Plan in their grant applications. This new plan goes into effect on January 25, 2023 replacing the current Data Management and Sharing Policy from 2003. The new policy continues NIH’s commitment to making sure that the results and outputs of NIH funded research are available to the public.

What do you need to know about the new NIH DMS policy?

  • The new policy applies to any researcher funded in whole or in part by NIH whose research generates scientific data, whereas the current policy only applies to grants requesting more than $500,000 of direct costs in a single year.
  • The policy requires investigators to submit an official Data Management and Sharing Plan as part of their request for funding. It does not require researchers to share data per se but expects them to maximize their data sharing. NIH strongly encourages the use of established repositories to the extent possible for preserving and sharing scientific data.
  • It allows investigators to request funding for personnel costs or other fees related to data management and sharing activities; however, the money must be spent during the grant’s award period.
  • Grant reviewers will see the data management plan and can comment on the budget, but plans are not used to determine the grant’s scientific merit.
  • Researchers will need to think ahead when planning research projects to take data sharing into consideration. For example, those planning clinical studies will need to clearly communicate with prospective subjects via informed consent documentation about how their scientific data are expected to be used and shared.
  • The approved plan becomes a part of the terms and conditions of the grant. Compliance will be monitored at regular reporting intervals and may factor into future funding decisions.

Additional Sources of Information

Locating Clinical Guidelines

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines clinical practice guidelines as “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options”.

Access to such concise, evidence-based information stands to improve patient outcomes while decreasing time spent researching. There are a lot of guidelines out there. Make sure you are using the most current guideline and that the guideline you use is a systematic review of the evidence developed by a panel of experts. Currently, there isn’t one place to find all guidelines but read on for several resources available to you that make guidelines available.

Recommended Resources:

ClinicalKey

Select “Guidelines” in the “Browse” menu. In the search box type known topic or guideline. Also, search for specialty guidelines using the “Filter By” option.

DynaMed Plus

Search for your topic. If applicable, “Guidelines and Resources” will be listed in the left menu. Guidelines are pulled from national and international organizations.

PubMed

Search for your topic. On the left-hand side of the page, click “Additional filters”, under “Article type” select “Guideline” and “Practice Guideline” and click “Show”. Now, choose “Guideline” and “Practice Guideline” to limit your search.

Some other helpful resources:

Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) – https://guidelines.ebmportal.com/
A global network that supports evidence-based health care and improved health outcomes by reducing inappropriate variation throughout the world.

Guideline Central Library – https://www.guidelinecentral.com/guidelines/
Free web and mobile database of guideline summaries, calculators, drugs, and other resources.

ERCI Guidelines Trust – https://guidelines.ecri.org/
A publicly available web-based repository of objective, evidence-based clinical practice guideline content developed by nationally and internationally recognized medical organizations and medical specialty societies. [register for a free account to access]

AiCPG – https://aicpg.org/ngc-summaries/
The primary goal of The Alliance for the Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines (“AiCPG” or “The Alliance”) is to meet the needs of Guideline Developers and Guideline Users to improve the safety and quality of patient care in the U.S. Healthcare system.

GRADE – https://www.gradeworkinggroup.org/
A working group has developed a common, sensible, and transparent approach to grading quality (or certainty) of evidence and strength of recommendations.

AGREE – https://www.agreetrust.org/
AGREE II is the international tool to assess the quality and reporting of practice guidelines.

CPG Infobase – https://joulecma.ca/cpg/homepage
Database of evidence-based Canadian clinical practice guidelines (CPGs)

NICE Guidelines – https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance
Guidance, advice, and information services for health care professionals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK)

Update to PubMed Central

Update to PubMed Central

On March 13, 2022, the National Library of Medicine will be launching an updated PubMed Central (PMC) website https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ with a modern design.

PubMed Central (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

In keeping with NLM’s legislative mandate to collect and preserve the biomedical literature, PMC is part of the NLM collection, which also includes NLM’s extensive print and licensed electronic journal holdings and supports contemporary biomedical and health care research and practice as well as future scholarship. Available to the public online since 2000, PMC was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at NLM.

March 13, 2022, is the expected change over date to the web interface. You can review the new website at: https://ncbiinsights.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2021/06/02/pmc-labs/ until it goes live.

This update represents the first phase of an overall PMC modernization that will help us update PMC in a quicker and more responsive fashion. New features and functionality will be deployed on an ongoing basis.

In advance of the official update, we wanted to remind you of a few details about what’s changing:

    • A redesigned and reorganized homepage
    • More accessible help documentation, reformatted to address key groups using PMC in different ways and to highlight the most important information first
    • A more modern article view
    • A similar look and feel between features in PMC and PubMed.

As part of this first phase of modernization, the search results page will remain unchanged. And for a limited time, the classic version of the article view will still be accessible to help with this transition.

Preprints

What exactly is “Preprint”?
As you read several news publications you may come across the term “Preprint”.  What exactly does that mean and what does a preprint article entail?

A preprint article is a version of a manuscript that is published on an open-access preprint server.  This kind of manuscript is published before any peer-review process.  They are generally published electronically and can be located on publicly available databases or preprint servers.

One reason a group of researchers may choose to do a preprint submission is because of the length of submitting an article through the traditional publication process can take a while.  Preprint allows for the dissemination of information at a faster pace.  Generally, the authors will still seek to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date.

Skipping over the peer-review process may seem unconventional but there are some benefits to preprint.  Preprint allows you showcase to your colleagues where your interests lie, as well as establish early claims to your research findings.  Preprints are the fastest way that a researcher can disseminate their knowledge and research and start scholarly conversations.  Since most are located on an open access platform anyone can read them without paying which increases their accessibility and outreach.

It is important to keep in mind that while preprints may be scholarly, they have yet to be formally peer reviewed.  While some preprint servers may have a simple peer review process to determine that the content is legitimate, they don’t necessarily check on the reliability or accuracy of the information.  It is still best to be cautious when reading a preprint paper and to use your best judgement.

Did you know that we have our own Seton Hall Google Custom search for preprints?! A custom search will search multiple preprint servers simultaneously, including researchsquare.com, medrxiv.org, Preprints with The Lancet, semanticscholar.org, biorxiv.org, and outbreaksci.prereview.org.

Preprint Servers Custom Search

If you have any further questions regarding preprint documents reach out to your librarian!

— Kyle Downey kyle.downey@shu.edu

PMIDs, DOIs, and PMCIDs Oh My!

Let’s take a moment to demystify these commonly used acronyms. They are all unique identifiers for an article (like a barcode), which can be used to easily link to or find an article online. The following article has 3 different identifiers assigned to it.

Adeli, Seyed-Hasan et al. “Spirituality in medical education and COVID-19.” The clinical teacher vol. 18,4 (2021): 372-373.

A PMID (such as PMID:33465823) is a unique numerical identifier for an article in PubMed. You will notice every article included in PubMed has a PMID under the citation/abstract. You can search this number in PubMed or in the search box on the IHS Library Homepage to go straight to that particular article.

The International DOI Foundation assigns a unique alphanumeric string to content online known as a Digital Object Identifier or DOI. Most publishers give their articles DOIs because it is the best way to provide links to articles that are persistent or permalinks.

When available, you will also see DOIs included with the citation data in PubMed. In order to “resolve” these DOIs, or make them usable links, simply add http://dx.doi.org/ before the DOIs. Thus, an article with a DOI of 10.1111/tct.13331 can be linked by using http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tct.13331

Finally, PMCIDs are simply unique identifiers for articles that are included in PubMed Central (PMC). PMC8013884. These numbers will be preceded by PMC first.

Keep up with new research using Evidence Alerts

Feel like you’re drowning in a never-ending stream of new studies and articles? What if we told you that there is a free service that can notify you about newly published studies in self-selected key research areas, and that these articles are rated by practicing physicians for relevancy.

EvidenceAlerts, a product of McMaster University and DynaMed, is a continuously updated repository of current best evidence, drawing from 121 core clinical journals. It is pre-rated by trained research staff and then rated for clinical relevance by practicing physicians. Use this free service to set up email search alerts, review the most often read articles in all disciplines from the last 30 days, and run searches across the EvidenceAlerts database.

Sign up for a free account with EvidenceAlerts today! https://www.evidencealerts.com/