This is the third part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviewing. The data base of the total project was built from statistics of 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books appearing in all 1970 issues of fifty-four reviewing journals. This part of the study explores the duplication patterns in book reviewing among these media. It is found that 35.17% (727 books) of the 2,067 titles were reviewed more than once in 1970, these titles accounting for 2,007 of the total of 3,347 reviews. For the most part, reviews of the most frequently reviewed titles appeared in such journals as British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, and New England Journal of Medicine. These five journals covered 93.53% of the 727 books reviewed more than once in 1970.
This is the fourth part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviews. The data base of the total project was built from statistics of 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books taken from all 1970 issues of fifty-four reviewing journals. This part of the study identifies the major American and British biomedical book publishers in terms of their quantitative production of book titles reviewed, and determines the relationships among these publishers. It is found that Williams & Wilkins, Charles C Thomas, Academic Press, and Springer Verlag are the most productive biomedical book publishers in terms of books reviewed in 1970. These four publishers accounted for 32% of the 1,674 books available in the United States and reviewed in the reviewing media in 1970. Williams & Wilkins is especially significant by virtue of reprint activity. The present study also explores the price trend of biomedical books. It is found that the mean price for 1,077 books studied was $16.20 per volume, with a standard deviation of $9.42.
This part of the study explores the effectiveness of the review media in terms of speed of reviewing, comprehensiveness of review treatment, and authority. The time lags for the fifty-four journals varied widely, the mean ranging from 5.8 months to forty-two months. The time lags for all 3,347 reviews varied even more widely, ranging from less than a month to 108 months after a book was off the press. The 3,347 reviews had a mean time lag of 10.43 months and a standard deviation of 6.63 months.
This final part in a series of five articles on biomedical book reviewing consists of a list of 145 biomedical monographs which were reviewed four or more times in the year 1970.
In a study of book reviews published in four general medical journals over a six-month period, 480 reviews were analyzed. Twenty-five features that reviewers address when evaluating a text were identified, and the frequency of commentary for each feature was determined. The mean number of features addressed per review was 9.0. Reviews averaged 389 words, but review length did not correlate with the length or scope of the book, with the number of features addressed, nor with the reviewer's assessment of the text. Extraneous commentary by the reviewer occurred in 16% of the reviews. This editorializing appeared in lengthier reviews that addressed fewer features. Favorable reviews were far more common than unfavorable ones (88.5% vs. 11.5%). Consequently, for the fifty-five books reviewed in more than one journal, agreement regarding rating of the text was high (86%). Results of this study may provide useful guidelines for reviewers of medical texts.
To describe and discuss the processes used to write scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals and to provide a recommended strategy and book appraisal worksheet to use when conducting book reviews.
A literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Index to Chiropractic Literature was conducted in June 2009 using a combination of controlled vocabulary and truncated text words to capture articles relevant to writing scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
The initial search identified 839 citations. Following the removal of duplicates and the application of selection criteria, a total of 78 articles were included in this review including narrative commentaries (n = 26), editorials or journal announcements (n = 25), original research (n = 18), and journal correspondence pieces (n = 9).
Recommendations for planning and writing an objective and quality book review are presented based on the evidence gleaned from the articles reviewed and from the authors' experiences. A worksheet for conducting a book review is provided.
The scholarly book review serves many purposes and has the potential to be an influential literary form. The process of publishing a successful scholarly book review requires the reviewer to appreciate the book review publication process and to be aware of the skills and strategies involved in writing a successful review.
Authorship; Book Reviews; Book Reviews as Topic; Manuscripts as Topic; Publishing; Writing
The large number of medical books published complicates selection by medical librarians. Book reviews are a potentially useful aid to selection. How available medical book reviews are to medical librarians, as well as how timely and accessible they are, were studied. Book reviews appearing in 1981 in a select group of medical journals were studied, and questionnaires sent to book publishers and the book review editors of the journals in the study.
This is the first part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviewing. The data base of the total project was built from statistics taken from all 1970 issues of biomedical journals held in the Science Library of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of 285 so-called “life sciences” journals held by that library, fifty-four English journals (excluding Science and Nature) were found to contain bona fide book reviews (as contrasted with mere author-title lists) and were therefore selected for close study. The statistical results reveal that there were 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books in these fifty-four selected journals in 1970. Part I of the study identifies key biomedical reviewing journals of quantitative significance. The top ten journals, British Medical Journal, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Archives of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Quarterly Review of Biology, Bioscience, Canadian Medical Association Journal,* and American Journal of the Medical Sciences, accounted for 63.03% of the total number of reviews in 1970.
The pain and disability of hip and knee osteoarthritis can be improved by exercise, but the best method of encouraging this is not known.
To develop an evidence-based booklet for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis, offering information and advice on maintaining activity.
Design of study
Systematic review of reviews and guidelines, then focus groups.
Four general practices in North East Wales.
Evidence-based messages were developed from a systematic review, synthesised into patient-centred messages, and then incorporated into a narrative. A draft booklet was examined by three focus groups to improve the phrasing of its messages and discuss its usefulness. The final draft was examined in a fourth focus group.
Six evidence-based guidelines and 54 systematic reviews were identified. The focus groups found the draft booklet to be informative and easy to read. They reported a lack of clarity about the cause of osteoarthritis and were surprised that the pain could improve. The value of exercise and weight loss beliefs was accepted and reinforced, but there was a perceived contradiction about heavy physical work being causative, while moderate exercise was beneficial. There was a fear of dependency on analgesia and misinterpretation of the message on hyaluranon injections. The information on joint replacement empowered patients to discuss referral with their GP. The text was revised to accommodate these issues.
The booklet was readable, credible, and useful to end-users. A randomised controlled trial is planned, to test whether the booklet influences beliefs about osteoarthritis and exercise.
focus groups; osteoarthritis, hip; osteoarthritis, knee; patient education handout; primary health care; systematic review
Diet books dominate the New York Times Advice Best Seller list and consumers cite such books as an important source of nutrition information. However, the scientific support for nutrition claims presented as fact (nutrition facts) in diet books is not known.
We assessed the quality of nutrition facts in the best-selling South Beach Diet using support in peer-reviewed literature as a measure of quality. We performed structured literature searches on nutrition facts located in the books' text, and then assigned each fact to 1 of 4 categories (1) fact supported, (2) fact not supported, (3) fact both supported and not supported, and (4) no related papers. A panel of expert reviewers adjudicated the findings.
Forty-two nutrition facts were included. Fourteen (33%) facts were supported, 7 (17%) were not supported, 18 (43%) were both supported and not supported, and 3 (7%) had no related papers, including the fact that the diet had been “scientifically studied and proven effective.”
Consumers obtain nutrition information from diet books. We found that over 67% of nutrition facts in a best-seller diet book may not be supported in the peer-reviewed literature. These findings have important implications for educating consumers about nutrition information sources.
health information; nutrition; weight loss
Textbooks are a cornerstone in the training of medical staff and students, and they are an important source of references and reviews for these professionals. The objective of this study was to determine both the quantity and quality of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) information included in medical texts. After reviewing 119 medical textbooks from various medical specialties, we found that 48 (40.3%) of the medical textbooks included information on CFS. However, among the 129,527 total pages within these medical textbooks, the CFS content was presented on only 116.3 (.090%) pages. Other illnesses that are less prevalent, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Lyme disease, were more frequently represented in medical textbooks. These findings suggest that the topic of CFS is under-reported in published medical textbooks.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; medical textbooks; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
A basic list of 133 book and journal titles in dentistry is presented. The list is intended as a bibliographic selection tool for those libraries and health institutions that support clinical dentistry programs and services in the nondental school environment in the United States and Canada. The book and journal titles were selected by the membership of the Dental Section of the Medical Library Association (MLA). The Dental Section membership represents dental and other health sciences libraries and dental research institutions from the United States and Canada, as well as from other countries. The list was compiled and edited by the Ad Hoc Publications Committee of the Dental Section of MLA. The final list was reviewed and subsequently was approved for publication and distribution by the Dental Section of MLA during the section's 1996 annual meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.
The experimental production of an index to book reviews of medical publications is described. Details of compilation and preparation of data for processing by an IBM 1440 computer are outlined. Results of a survey testing the response to the index in its present form by medical libraries are presented.
The impact that the hospital librarian's use of management techniques and comprehension of the highly competitive health care environment can have on collection development and resulting information services in his or her library is reviewed in the introduction to this revised list of 600 books and 139 journals. The list is intended as a selection guide for the small or medium-size library in a hospital or comparable medical facility, or a core collection for a consortium of small hospital libraries. Books and journals are categorized by subject; the book list is followed by an author/editor index and the subject list of journals by an alphabetical title listing. Items suggested for initial purchase by smaller libraries are indicated by asterisks. To purchase the entire collection of books and to pay for 1987 subscriptions to all journals would require about $52,600. The cost of only the asterisked items totals approximately $21,000.
Depression is a common and important public health problem most often treated by GPs. A self-help approach is popular with patients, yet little is known about its effectiveness.
Our primary aim was to review and update the evidence for the clinical effectiveness of bibliotherapy in the treatment of depression. Our secondary aim was to identify which of these self-help materials are generally available to buy and to examine the evidence specific to these publications.
Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CCTR, PsiTri and the National Research Register were searched for randomised trials that evaluated self-help books for depression which included participants aged over 16 years with a diagnosis or symptoms of depression. Clinical symptoms, quality of life, costs or acceptability to users were the required outcome measures. Papers were obtained and data extracted independently by two researchers. A meta-analysis using a random effects model was carried out using the mean score and standard deviation of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression at the endpoint of the trial.
Eleven randomised controlled trials were identified. None fulfilled CONSORT guidelines and all were small, with the largest trial having 40 patients per group. Nine of these evaluated two current publications, Managing Anxiety and Depression (UK) and Feeling Good (US). A meta-analysis of 6 trials evaluating Feeling Good found a large treatment effect compared to delayed treatment (standardised mean difference = −1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −1.76 to −0.96). Five self-help books were identified as being available and commonly bought by members of the public in addition to the two books that had been evaluated in trials.
There are a number of self-help books for the treatment of depression readily available. For the majority, there is little direct evidence for their effectiveness. There is weak evidence that suggests that bibliotherapy, based on a cognitive behavioural therapy approach is useful for some people when they are given some additional guidance. More work is required in primary care to investigate the cost-effectiveness of self-help and the most suitable format and presentation of materials.
bibliotherapy; cognitive behaviour therapy; cost-effectiveness; depression; randomised controlled trials; self care
It is more than forty years since Peter Mitchell published his first ‘little grey book’ laying out his chemiosmotic hypothesis. Although ideas about the molecular mechanisms of the proton pumps have evolved considerably since then, his concept of ‘coupling through proton circuits’ remains remarkably prescient, and has provided the inspiration for the research careers of this author and many others. This review is a personal account of how the proton circuit has been followed from the little grey book, via brown fat and calcium transport to investigations into the life and death of neurons, Hercule Poirot’s ‘little grey cells’.
mitochondria; protons; calcium; brown fat; membrane potential; uncoupling
"Hypertext" applications have become an important educational resource for medical teaching. ToolBook version 1.5 allows the import of SVGA 256 color, 640 x 480 pixel images. We developed a program for the review of Gastroenterology by Subspecialty Board applicants which included digitized pathology, endoscopy, dermatology, and radiology images interfaced with textual description. 5 cases were presented with 6 questions per case to test the user's comprehension of the material. A scoring function was included to give feedback to the users. An evaluation questionnaire was also completed to survey user satisfaction with the program. A similar "shell" could be applied to other teaching programs.
Tobacco control efforts in Japan have lagged other high income countries, possibly because the Japanese government partially owns Japan Tobacco, Inc. In Japan, tobacco use is still often regarded as an issue of manners rather than an issue of health. Information about tobacco is available, but may not always be accurate. We explored what information Japanese consumers might access by reading popular Japanese books about tobacco.
We searched Amazon.com Japan using the term "Tobacco", identifying the top 12 books by "relevance" and "bestselling." We eliminated duplicates and books not concerned with tobacco use and classified the remaining books as pro-smoking, anti-smoking, or neutral. We reviewed the pro-smoking books, published 2004-2009, and analyzed examples of misinformation by theme.
Pro-smoking popular books conveyed five types of misinformation: doubt about science; suggestions that smoking increased health, longevity, virility, etc.; trivializing tobacco's effects; attacking public health advocates/authorities; and linking tobacco use with authenticity, history, or civil rights. At least one book was authored by a former Japan Tobacco employee; another used a popular Japan Tobacco advertising phrase.
Creating doubt and confusion about tobacco serves tobacco industry interests and re-creates a strategy developed by US tobacco interests more than 40 years ago. Japanese readers may be misled by texts such as those reviewed. Tobacco control and public health advocates in Japan and globally should expose and counter such misinformation. "Naming and shaming" may be effective.
This article is a review of the book: 'Applied Medical Image Processing: A Basic Course', by Wolfgang Birkfellner, which is published by CRC Press. Basic information that should be helpful in deciding whether to read the book and whether to use it as a course textbook is presented. This includes an introduction, the suitability of the book for use in coursework, its coverage of medical imaging and image processing, discussion and conclusions, and an appendix with a relevant computer program for extracting medical images.
Michael Emerman reviews science writer Carl Zimmer's latest book.
This article is a review of the book: Clinical aspects of electroporation, by Stephen T. Kee, Julie Gehl, Edward W Lee, which is published by Springer Press. Basic information that should be helpful in deciding whether to read the book and whether to use it as a reference book is presented. This includes an introduction, a description of all the sections of the book, and a comparison with recently published books on the topic.
electroporation; electrochemotherapy; irreversible electroporation
WormBook () is an open-access, online collection of original, peer-reviewed chapters on the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes. Since WormBook was launched in June 2005 with 12 chapters, it has grown to over 100 chapters, covering nearly every aspect of C.elegans research, from Cell Biology and Neurobiology to Evolution and Ecology. WormBook also serves as the text companion to WormBase, the C.elegans model organism database. Objects such as genes, proteins and cells are linked to the relevant pages in WormBase, providing easily accessible background information. Additionally, WormBook chapters contain links to other relevant topics in WormBook, and the in-text citations are linked to their abstracts in PubMed and full-text references, if available. Since WormBook is online, its chapters are able to contain movies and complex images that would not be possible in a print version. WormBook is designed to keep up with the rapid pace of discovery in the field of C.elegans research and continues to grow. WormBook represents a generic publishing infrastructure that is easily adaptable to other research communities to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in the field.
The review presents the newly published book "Electrophysiological Recording Techniques" by Humana Press. This is an important collection of articles devoted to an issue that has gained increasing attention in modern neuroscience research - electrophysiological recording techniques. The present book is a timely update of methods spanning from single cell recordings to local field potentials, cortical, and scalp EEG recordings. The book presents the progressive development of electrophysiological recording methods by including both existing and new advanced technologies. Theoretical considerations on important issues like current source density analysis, local field potential and signal generation are also in focus. In most of the chapters, methods are illustrated with specific experimental results and are discussed towards future developments and applications. Chapters can be read independently because each chapter appears with its own theoretical background, literature survey and specific methodology. The book can be of interest to a broader audience willing to look at the contemporary state of development of electrophysiological methods. Also, it can be of special interest to scientists with high expertise working in the field of neuroscience and behavior.
The conservative movement and especially its think tanks play a critical role in denying the
reality and significance of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), especially by manufacturing
uncertainty over climate science. Books denying AGW are a crucial means of attacking climate science
and scientists, and we examine the links between conservative think tanks (CTTs) and 108 climate
change denial books published through 2010. We find a strong link, albeit noticeably weaker for the
growing number of self-published denial books. We also examine the national origins of the books and
the academic backgrounds of their authors or editors, finding that with the help of American CTTs
climate change denial has spread to several other nations and that an increasing portion of denial
books are produced by individuals with no scientific training. It appears that at least 90% of
denial books do not undergo peer review, allowing authors or editors to recycle scientifically
unfounded claims that are then amplified by the conservative movement, media, and political
climate change denial; conservative movement; conservative think tanks; denial books
Here, a review of "The Molecular Biology of Cancer" (Stella Pelengaris and Michael Khan [Editors]) is given. The detailed description of the book is provided here: Pelengaris S, Khan M (Eds): The Molecular Biology of Cancer; Blackwell Publishing, Oxford (U.K.); 2006. 531 pages, 214 illustrations, ISBN 9-78140-511-814-9, £31.99.