Under the hood with EndNote X2

We finally took a good solid look at EndNote X2 and there are a couple interesting new features and a “gotcha” that we weren’t expecting.

Smart Groups: EndNote introduced groups with the previous version to let you organize a large library into subgroups.  In X2 they have introduced so-called “smart” groups which let you set up automatic rules for putting new items into groups – set up a smart group for author Smith and all new items you get with that author will be put into that group. You don’t need to do anything once you’ve set it up. Slick!

Get Full Text: EndNote has let you store PDFs as attachments in your library for a few years. Now, you can use EndNote as a tool to go fetch PDFs for you.  It won’t usually find all of them, but it can save you a lot of time hunting.  For this to work, you need to set up EndNote to use the UC’s “OpenURL” system – information on how to do it is now on our EndNote web page.

Online search behavior: has changed in X2.  Previously, if you used the Online Search (a.k.a. Connect) feature within EndNote to directly search, say, PubMed, you would get a list of matches which you selected from to add to your library.  Now, anything you bring back from a direct online search is automatically added to your library, and you then delete the ones you don’t want.   Because not everyone liked this, EndNote has issued a “patch” that lets you decide if you want to keep this behavior or go back to the previous mode where online search results were held in a temporary location first.

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New VPN EasyConnect Web Interface

The Administrative Computing and Telecommunications Department (ACT) recently launched an enhanced VPN service. This service allows authorized UCSD users to access campus resources, including the electronic resources the Libraries pay for, from off campus.

This new service is web-based and uses the Active Directory authentication system which requires the user to have a valid UCSD Active Directory (“AD”) login and password.  Our experience at the Library is students with problems or questions with their Active Directory login and password should contact ACT directly. Faculty and staff should work with their departmental IT contact.

The advantages of using this enhanced VPN service via the EasyConnect web interface are:

1. Users working behind firewalls are more likely to be successful using UCSD resources from off campus.

2. Users do not need to change any of the setting on their browser as is the case with the proxy server.

3. Users do not need to be authorized to download and install an application on to the computer they’re using.

To use the EasyConnect web interface, go to https://vpn.ucsd.edu

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Medicine 2.0 blog carnival

Medicine 2.0 is a weekly “blog carnival” that features a roundup of blog coverage of Web 2.0 applications for medicine and healthcare. Each week, a different medical blogger takes a turn compiling and hosting the roundup – this week’s edition, “summertime” is hosted at ScienceRoll. Topics range from electronic health records to specialized search tools, communication and geeky fun. The “home” for this weekly feature is at http://medicine20.wordpress.com/

Categories: Biomedical News, Tech Tools Comments: 0

Cell Phones in Health Care

Several ongoing projects are evaluating the usefulness of cell phones as a tool in health care delivery. Those ubiquitous cell phones that can be so annoying at times, might just be the latest tool to help advance medical care.

One project from MIT is focusing on the cell phone’s video capability that would allow emergency responders send video images while en route to the hospital so that a physician could assess the patient before arriving at the hospital.

Another project is a pilot program from Blue Cross that would allow physicians to access electronic health records via their cell phone. Other programs are providing a web site for patients to set up regularly scheduled reminders, delivered via a text message, about taking medications.

A key issue with these applications is security and patient privacy, including those times when a cell phone is lost.

For more details see the iHealthBeat blog.

Categories: Biomedical News, Tech Tools Comments: 2

Organizing your PDFs

Remember the days of overflowing file cabinets filled with reprints and photocopied articles? Today many computers are now crammed with article PDFs. Based on what we have heard, many of you are looking for ways to organize your PDF collections so that you can easily find the articles you need. There are a number of software solutions for managing PDFs on your computer, or creating stable links to online articles. Since it is not possible to describe every program or approach, this article gives you a few ideas help you solve this problem. Currently, there are more Macintosh (MAC) than PC applications for this purpose. The web-based tools will, of course, work with either a PC, or a MAC.

Desktop PDF Management Applications

iPapers – (MAC only) iPapers lets you download PDFs from PubMed, and captures the author, journal, abstract and other citation information at the same time. It also lets you add non-PubMed and supplemental items. You can drag and drop existing PDFs into iPapers. Free.

Papers – (MAC only) “Papers” allows you to import, download, organize, and read your PDFs on your computer. PDFs already on your computer may be dragged and dropped into Papers. PubMed and other article search engines can be searched from within Papers, and PDFs can be easily downloaded. Metadata for articles (authors, journal name, etc.) can be obtained from PubMed, Google Scholar, and other sources, and matched with imported PDFs. PDFs can also be organized by subjects (called collections) and additional notes added. Desktop license costs $42.00.

Yep – (MAC only) Think “iTunes for PDFs.” Yep scans your hard drive for PDFs, tagging the ones it finds, or allowing you to create your own tags. Desktop license costs $34.00. (Tip: You can also use iTunes to manage small to medium PDF collections.)

QUOSA – (MAC/PC) You can search PubMed and Google Scholar from within QUOSA and then download the PDFs you want and save them on your computer. You can also export article metadata and links to PDFs to EndNote and other bibliographic management software. For pricing, contact sales@quosa.com.

EndNote – (MAC/PC) Users of the desktop version of EndNote can link to PDFs on their computer, or embed PDFs within the EndNote library. Then you can employ the power of EndNote to search for the references you want, and open the associated PDFs. UCSD Bookstore price is $110 for students, $200 for faculty and staff.

Free Web Tools That Link to Online Content

RefWorks – RefWorks is a web-based tool that is similar to EndNote. Refworks allows you to store documents including PDFs, up to 100 MB per account (EndNote Web does not permit the storing of PDFs and other files). Free for UCSD faculty, staff and students.

CiteULike – CiteULike helps you organize and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can automatically add the reference to your personal library, with the link to the online article retained. You can also upload the PDF, if you have it. It all works from within your web browser and your references and PDFs are stored on the CiteULike server, so there is no need to install any software. CiteULike references also include the orange UCeLinks icons that allow you to link to the online article if UCSD subscribes, check to see if the article is in one of the UCSD Libraries, or order it on interlibrary loan.

Connotea – Connotea allows you to save links to any page on the web. On certain sites, including PubMed and many journals, Connotea recognizes the citation details and saves them for you. Even if Connotea does not automatically import bibliographic information for all the websites you use, you can still save and share links to those pages. You can also assign tags to your entries, see what others have added to Connotea, search part or all of Connotea, and see related articles. References include UC-eLinks links.

Zotero – Zotero is a Firefox extension that helps you gather, store, and organize citations, PDFs, web pages, images, etc. It automatically stores author, title, and publication information and lets you export that information as formatted references. It also allows you to easily save PDFs to your computer. Zotero runs on your personal computer and works with Microsoft Word. It can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi). In 2008, Zotero users will be able to share their collections through an exchange server, and receive recommendations and feeds of new resources that might be of interest to them. People considering EndNote or RefWorks might want to consider Zotero, a robust tool with many features.

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EndNote update for PubMed users needing PMC numbers

If you’re using EndNote to track references for NIH-funded research and want to be able to cite articles found in PubMed Central, you can now download updated connectivity files from EndNote’s website. There is also an easy instruction on how to modify the EndNote display so that the PubMed Central (PMC) ID numbers for articles show up in your EndNote records. See http://www.endnote.com/support/faqs/import/faq15.asp for more.

Categories: Scholarly Communication, Tech Tools Comments: 0

Medicare promoting PHR

A pilot program was launched this week in South Carolina for Medicare beneficiaries providing online access to claims information for either their hospital, their doctor or both.

Patients will be able to use the PHR to enter prescription information as well as any over-the-counter meds. Links to informational web sites related to their own health condition will also be available, and they can designate friends or relatives that can access their records.

Read more about this in Government HealthIT.

Hat tip to iHealthBeat blog.

Categories: Biomedical News, Tech Tools Comments: 1

TranStat: Tracking Infections Diseases

TranState is a new analytic tool (a software program) developed to help communities prepare for and track infections diseases including SARS, smallpox, or pandemic flu. Anonymous details are entered about an individual — i.e., age, sex, onset of symptoms, people with whom they have been in contact — but no patient identifying information.

The information entered into the program allows for a probability determination that one person contracted one of the infections diseases from another person. By estimating the infection rates, community officials can make decisions about possible school closures or how best to distribute medicines to areas where people are most likekly to become ill.

The software is freely available from the National Institutes of Health as a result of a sponsored research program called MIDAS (Models of Infections Disease Agent Study).

More details and related stories can be found at the
Government Health IT web site.

Categories: Biomedical News, Resource News, Tech Tools Comments: 0

X-Box 360 – a medical education tool?

The University of Washington (UW) is experimenting with using an X-Box 360 to teach rural students surgical techniques. Wireless audio and video components expand the X-Box capabilities and connect the distant students to the main campus. The idea is to demonstrate a procedure or technique and then observe the student practicing the technique.

Brian Ross, professor at UW’s Institute for Surgical and Interventional Simulation hopes that the success of the experiment, defined as showing that learning can be accomplished this way, will positively impact health care outcomes. If successful, the X-Box 360 offers this learning technology at a tenth of the cost of current devices and requires much less infrastructure such as broadband connections and servers.

Hat tip to iHealthBeat Blog.

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Online Network for Med Students & Doctors

TiroMed is a professional social networking site for pre-med students, medical students, residents, and physicians to network and communicate. The site has borrowed from the MySpace idea to create a cyber environment only for those in “medical instruction or in practice.”

Registering for a user name is a fairly simple process. Sections of the site are set up much like a collection of blogs with member spotlights and a recurring learning section with the “Medical Adventures of How+e & M+nn.” Audience-specific pages provide information regarding a variety of topics and links for more information. The site also offers the opportunity to pair with a physician mentor.

Check it out – join more than 2,300 doctors & medical students across the country. www.tiromed.com/

Want more details? See the newstory from the Business Journal of Phoenix.

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