Questions from Readers: Please Help?

Got a couple questions from readers recently that I’m not sure how to answer- so I’m hoping that some of you (especially those of you in academic health sciences libraries) might. Please email me or leave a comment here if you can help with either of these?

Question 1: (Cited References)
It is rare that I need this sort of information, so I’m not really sure how to answer this question.

If i had had access to the “cited by” function of scopus when i was doing my undergrad degree, it certainly would have saved me some freaking time. i know that pubmed has instituted this feature in the sidebar for papers in biomed central, but im freaking impatient, and it just seems wrong that that kind of information is locked up behind a paywall. how do we get this going on a cloud or whatever the newfangled web 3.4 alpha architecture or whatever is? is metadata like this copyrighted?

My understanding is that the ‘cited by’ information available in SCOPUS is *created* by SCOPUS…and that this is part of SCOPUS’ value. Some journals offer ‘cited by’ information at no costs on their sites. ISI Web of Science is another good source for this info, EBSCO lets you search for cited references, and Google Scholar catches some…but that none of these is perfect. Do y’all have any favorite tools/techniques/practices for finding cited references in biomedical literature?

Question 2:
Please note: I’ve changed some of the wording in this question to conceal the writer’s identity and to clarify because the writer is not a native speaker of English. This question is a three-parter that, if Eugene Barsky was still a physiotherapy librarian, I’d forward to him for his thoughts. Offhand, I don’t believe I know any other geeky librarians who specialize in this.

I’m working on a thesis in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that analyzes the sources and quality of information for PM&R specialists.

1. How best does one measure (quantify) the category of publications (ISI of knowledge, impact factor, etc) in the speciality
2. What databases exist that serve this speciality?
3. What are the best “non conventional” sources or resources of knowledge (internet, blogs, social communities, etc.)?

Any ideas? Again, please email me or leave a comment here with any thoughts! Thanks in advance!

8 thoughts on “Questions from Readers: Please Help?

  1. In answer to the first question, some article references in Google Scholar list cited references, but I don’t think it is as reliable as Web of Science.

  2. Bob emails:

    The reason you can see "Cited By" in PMC is because of the NIH Open Access policy. Anything that gets NIH money must be deposited into PMC within 12 months of publication, and one of the rules is that authors must provide PMCIDs for anything they cite that also falls under the mandate (so you'll see lots of "cited by" in PMC after 2008, less before). Because we don't have access to SCOPUS, I refer people to ISI but caution them that of course, they're only looking at a list of citations indexed by that database (same thing for CINAHL), so they shouldn't take that as an exhaustive list. For PT, ISI (again, I have access to this, so I use it) uses a few categories that might be useful (rehabilitation, sports medicine, orthopedics). You can also use the Eigenfactor, and for that title I’d suggest using orthopedics.

    PEDro is a good, free database that reviews articles individually, but not journals as a whole.

    I’m not sure what your patron means by “non conventional,” so maybe the APTA?

  3. To mine GS cited references, I prefer Harzing’s Publish or Perish software.

  4. I agree with the suggestion to use Google Scholar for finding citations. For more on this, see my evidence summary of research that suggests the 3 top databases can and should all be used for comprehensive citation searching: – so basically, my answer to question 1 is: use all 3 if possible. For question 2, my only suggestion is that for part 1, perhaps bibliometrics (a method for studying publications) is potentially of use? This recent report on Excellence in Research from Australia is also interesting: and it categorizes journals by discipline.