Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

BioMedLib offers a free"search engine that takes your query and finds the best responses among millions of biomedical articles in the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE® database." I tested it with the query, "forensic 'low template'" and obtained a list of 11 articles -- every one of which was relevant. That's a hit rate (true positives) of 100%. I know the search missed some relevant articles, but I do not know how many.

This 100% specificity was stunning because of the inane email that BioMedLib sent me advertising "Who is Publishing in My Domain?", a service that "keeps you updated on research published on the very same topic as your own article, so that you can stay afresh and ahead in your field. This literature-monitoring service takes your article, and periodically sends you articles in the same domain as your article."

It's free, and the generous folks at BioMedLib tried to impress me with the results they obtained for an article of mine entitled "The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America." They came up with the following "top 10 articles published on the same topic since you published yours.":
Chuva de Sousa Lopes SM, Roelen BA: On the formation of germ cells: The good, the bad and the ugly. Differentiation; 2010 Mar;79(3):131-40

Regan SL, Maggs JL, Hammond TG, Lambert C, Williams DP, Park BK: Acyl glucuronides: the good, the bad and the ugly. Biopharm Drug Dispos; 2010 Oct;31(7):367-95

Miao V, Davies J: Actinobacteria: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek; 2010 Aug;98(2):143-50

Berwick M: The good, the bad, and the ugly of sunscreens. Clin Pharmacol Ther; 2011 Jan;89(1):31-3

Baudouin C, Labbé A, Liang H, Pauly A, Brignole-Baudouin F: Preservatives in eyedrops: the good, the bad and the ugly. Prog Retin Eye Res; 2010 Jul;29(4):312-34

Wilson K: Evidence-based medicine. The good the bad and the ugly. A clinician's perspective. J Eval Clin Pract; 2010 Apr;16(2):398-400

Clint SA, Eastwood DM, Chasseaud M, Calder PR, Marsh DR: The "Good, Bad and Ugly" pin site grading system: A reliable and memorable method for documenting and monitoring ring fixator pin sites. Injury; 2010 Feb;41(2):147-50

van der Gun BT, Melchers LJ, Ruiters MH, de Leij LF, McLaughlin PM, Rots MG: EpCAM in carcinogenesis: the good, the bad or the ugly. Carcinogenesis; 2010 Nov;31(11):1913-21

Thomas MG, Loschi M, Desbats MA, Boccaccio GL: RNA granules: the good, the bad and the ugly. Cell Signal; 2011 Feb;23(2):324-34

Kaye DH: The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America. Sci Justice; 2010 Mar;50(1):8-11

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