Saturday, 2 April 2016

NewsSpeak: how do we keep up with MS-related research?

Some advice on keeping up with MS news. #NewsSpeak #MSBlog

"Some commentators have asked how do we keep-up with MS-related research? I think some of you are frustrated about the things we post on and the things we don't post on. The latter is usually choice and is not necessarily to do with us not being aware of a particular piece of news and we have time constraints."



"We use several source of information to keep ourselves updated. Firstly, we use several web bots, or web agents. The best one for peer-reviewed articles is PubCrawler, short for publication crawler. This essentially sends us a daily email on all the new articles on PubMed that cover MS that have gone live in the PubMed database in the last 24 hours. PubCrawler is not the most newsworthy bot as most of the articles have already been presented at meetings (old news). The best web bot is Google Alerts this sends us several different emails each day on MS-related articles and posts on the web. Google alerts is simply the best way to keep up with MS-related news. For scientific feeds the best is Google Scholar Alerts; this is much better than PubCrawler as it covers patents and congress abstracts and it also gives you links to the PDF (less work for us). Interestingly, as Google Scholar is now so extensive and good (Google are really the masters of search) I use it as my search engine of choice. I rarely use PubMed anymore, except when I am writing and referencing articles and need to find a specific article to add to PaperPile my reference manager. PaperPile's Chrome add-on works very well with PubMed. We also use TwitterGoogle+  and YouTube feeds as well; this helps us pick-up what is trending on social media. I have stopped engaging with Facebook; I am anti-Facebook in that it doesn't allow Google search to find information within its walls and its philosophy of being a gated web community sucks. I also detest, and get very irritated with, the kind of adverts I get fed whenever I log into Facebook. Facebook clearly have not idea about who I am as a person. I also use a personal web-hashing service, FeedSpot, that summarises important changes to several websites I follow. Some of these are MS-related. We as a group attend many MS meetings; both closed and open where we learn about new research etc. Finally, we have a large network of MSers, colleagues and acquaintances who alert us to what is happening in the MS space. Failing that you the readers usually post a question or highlight something that we have missed. I hope this answers your question."

4 comments:

  1. Thank you - I got some ideas I can try in my own literature searches (in a different field). Quite likely, the next breakthroughs in MS will come from other areas - perhaps related, perhaps not at the first glance; it would be great to branch out occasionally, and inform us about most exciting development in neuroscience, immunology, imaging, tissue regeneration, etc.

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  2. I am grateful that you comb through these sites and summarize for us what you think we might find interesting and/or useful. Just the thought of attempting that culling process is enough to send this MSer back to bed. Thanks also for summarizing your process and sources. You provide an incredible service.

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  3. A big 'thank you' from me also. Maybe not all MS patients find 'relief' in all the information you provide, but for me it is the best source and guidance for the difficult choices I have to take along the course of my disease. I tend to look into the abyss in my attempt to avoid it. Maybe this is as I am medically trained and can understand the articles. And true, it would simply take too much of my energy to find all these data myself!

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  4. Just adding my voice to the chorus of thank yous and making sure you know your team's work is very highly valued. Thanks , Bouncy

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