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UK Experts criticise a leading journal’s backtrack regarding policies on conflict of interest - 02 Jun 2015

A group of former senior editors, writing in The BMJ, have criticised a 'seriously flawed and inflammatory attack' by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on what that journal believes have become overly stringent policies on conflicts of interest.

The NEJM was the first major medical journal to introduce conflict of interest policies in 1984. It required all authors to disclose any financial ties to health industries and made conflict of interests more transparent. But recently the NEJM published a series of commentaries and an editorial that attempt to justify and rationalise financial conflicts of interests in medicine, and assert that there are negative consequences of such policies.

The articles by national correspondent, Lisa Rosenbaum, and supported by editor in chief, Jeffrey Drazen, 'reinterpret and downplay the importance of conflicts of interest in medicine' and do not provide evidence to back claims, argue former senior editors from the NEJM.

They explain that the key concerns for medical journals are not about doctors and researchers being bought by drug companies, or being motivated by a desire for financial gain.

Rather the essential issue is that the objectivity of authors with financial conflicts of interest 'might be compromised, either consciously or unconsciously and there would be no easy way to know whether it had been.'

They explain that judges and journalists, for example, are expected to stay away from cases or stories in which they have a financial conflict of interest.

The authors acknowledge that doctors and researchers sometimes have financial ties with industry for research and consulting specifically related to research, but argue that physicians who develop products and hold patents or receive royalties should not evaluate the products they develop.

Financial conflicts of interest have eroded the credibility of the medical profession, and doctors and the public expect journals to be trustworthy, they explain.

In addition, they commend The BMJ's introduction of a 'zero tolerance' policy on educational articles by authors with any industry ties.

In an accompanying editorial, a group of senior editors at The BMJ also respond to NEJM's articles, saying that they are 'deeply troubled by a possible retreat from policies that prevent experts with relevant commercial ties from authoring commentary or review articles.'

Such policies were not motivated by a few events, as Drazen suggests, but by recognition of extensive, systemic problems, they add, and argue for a separation between doctors working with industry to develop treatments and those who can assess medical evidence without any conflict of interest.

While they agree that experts with industry funding may be able to express independent views, journal readers and editors do not have a reliable way to see which thoughts might be influenced.

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Medical publishing

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US ProQuest completes acquisition of Coutts Information Services and MyiLibrary - 02 Jun 2015

ProQuest has completed the acquisition of Coutts Information Services and MyiLibrary from Ingram Content Group. ProQuest is beginning to integrate assets such as Coutts' expertise in collection development, broad catalogue of print and digital titles, and platforms that include not only MyiLibrary but OASIS as well. These are being added to ProQuest's Books unit, which encompasses the widest selection of ebooks supporting research and a rapidly evolving technology framework for discovery, access and management of book content. ProQuest's vision is to combine these collective strengths, creating an integrated workflow for print and digital content that will save librarians time and provide a superior book experience for end users.

Customers and partners can expect a seamless transition as ProQuest welcomes Coutts; both should continue to work with their usual contacts and representatives. Further, the company is committed to keeping the Coutts and ProQuest networks open, collaborating with the many platforms and partners that give librarians choices in how they acquire and manage content. ProQuest is continuing to support EBSCO content just as ProQuest Ebooks remain on YBP's GOBI. ProQuest's ebook initiatives remain on track as well, with the debut of ProQuest's powerful new Ebook Central just a few months away.

Coutts staff members in the US, UK, the Netherlands, Canada as well as sales and collections associates located remotely are joining the ProQuest team, led by Kevin Sayar, ProQuest senior vice-president and general manager, Books. Ingram remains a strategic partner, providing print fulfillment in North America, with its extensive print inventory, fast, on-demand print capabilities and delivery network.

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Library information/solutions provider

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US EBSCO Health introduces DynaMed Plus, a cross-platform evidence-based clinical decision support tool for physicians and other medical professionals - 02 Jun 2015

Clinical decision support solutions provider EBSCO Health has introduced DynaMed Plus™, a cross-platform evidence-based clinical decision support tool for physicians and other medical professionals. It provides clinicians with the ideal blend of evidence and expertise to help them determine optimal patient care paths.

DynaMed Plus is a significant enhancement over other tools currently on the market and includes the most frequently updated evidence-based content. DynaMed Plus content is supplemented with full colour images, is optimised for the way a physician works and provides the quickest time-to-answer. Additionally, DynaMed Plus is the only clinical decision support tool to give users thorough and transparent insights into the strength of the evidence-based data for how recommendations are made.

The volume and frequency of clinical information updates is staggering, making it challenging for providers to keep current while also treating an expanding patient roster. DynaMed Plus helps medical professionals quickly find evidence-based answers to make the best treatment decisions in any location—in the hospital, at their practice or taking a call at home. With DynaMed Plus, clinicians (and their patients) will benefit from quickest time-to-answer; concise, accurate overviews and recommendations; comprehensive image library; rigorous editorial process; access to specialty content; and anywhere, anytime access.

DynaMed Plus is accessible on all major platforms – the Web, desktops, laptops and mobile devices running Apple iOS or Google Android, including smartphones and tablets. It can be accessed when Wi-Fi is available and also in off-line mode, so clinicians are never without the content they need.

Additionally, DynaMed Plus offers electronic health record (EHR) integration for seamless clinical decision support. It supports all access options offered by most leading EHR systems, including the ability to search DynaMed Plus with one click right from the patient record, and a HL7 Infobutton, which enables quick access to relevant DynaMed Plus content for a specific disease, condition, medication or lab results, and ensures compliance with Meaningful Use Objectives.

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Decision Support Tools
Medical Information - Clinical

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Switzerland Euro payment option now available for Karger customers in the entire eurozone - 02 Jun 2015

Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers has announced that it is offering its customers in the entire euro monetary zone the option to purchase its publications in euro from July 1, 2015. The Swiss-based and globally active family-run publishing company, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, made this decision after the suspension of the fixed euro exchange rate of the Swiss franc in mid-January.

Until now, the digital and printed publications of Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers in Basel, Switzerland, could only be paid for in euro by customers based in Germany. As of July 1, customers in the entire euro monetary zone have the option to purchase Karger publications in euro.

On the occasion of its anniversary in 2015, Karger has made all its book titles since its foundation in 1890 available online and presents Highlights and Special Publications spanning 125 years on the Karger site.

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Scientific publishing

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US Design Science and *instinctools partner to provide MathML support in DITAworks CMS - 02 Jun 2015

Enterprise software vendor Design Science, Inc., US, has announced a partnership with *instinctools to provide MathML support in DITAworks CMS (Content Management System) using Design Science's MathFlow™ product. This partnership opens a new avenue for organisations that not only want to have a state-of-the-art DITA CMS but also need to work with mathematical formulas in their content.

MathFlow is a set of tools that enable math editing, formatting and accessibility for publishing systems. The technology at the heart of MathFlow is MathML, the XML standard for representing mathematical notation that is an integral part of many documentation and accessibility standards, including HTML5, EPUB 3, DAISY, DITA, DocBook, NLM, etc. MathFlow is widely used in publishing, aerospace, defence, education, government, science and engineering, e-learning, assessment, as well as enterprise solutions and commercial products.

DITAworks is a ready-to-use DITA CMS with enterprise-grade component content management functionality. It comes in two versions - DITAworks Webtop for onsite installation and DITAworks Cloud, a cloud service that provides an affordable way for users to benefit from the productivity of a modern, topic-oriented documentation using the state-of-the-art CMS infrastructure. The DITAworks product line also includes other product variants and additional modules that can be deployed as per customer requirements. These DITA CMS products provide sound solutions in structured documentation, structured content and single-source publishing areas for small to big enterprises.

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Authors/Scientists/Researchers research tools

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German Sixth annual meeting of the Rosetta Advisory Group opens in Leuven, Belgium - 02 Jun 2015

Users of the Ex Libris Rosetta digital asset management and preservation solution are gathering this week at KU Leuven in Belgium for the sixth annual meeting of the Rosetta Advisory Group from June 1-6, 2015 at Leuven, Belgium.

This year the meeting examines the ways in which Rosetta users manage and preserve complex collections as research data, archive records, and 3D architectural data. Contributions from Rosetta customers include presentations on the Rosetta format knowledge base and the path for certifying a digital preservation solution.

Sharing her deep experience in the field of preserving rare physical and digital assets, the keynote speaker Professor Lieve Watteeuw, from the Center for the Study of Medieval Art, KU Leuven, will present her insights on Medieval Manuscripts and Interactive 2D Imaging.

A highlight of the meeting will be a panel discussion on the future of digital preservation, and its challenges and opportunities. Moderated by Steve Knight, programme director for preservation research and consultancy at the National Library of New Zealand, and also chair of the Rosetta User Group, panel members include Michelle Lindlar, Technical Analyst at the German National Library of Science and Technology and Board Member of the Open Preservation Foundation; Edward M. Corrado, Associate Dean of Library Technology Planning and Policy at the University of Alabama; Dvir Hoffman, VP Product Management and Marketing at Ex Libris; and Josh Weisman, Rosetta Development Director at Ex Libris.

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Digital Asset Management Platform
General information - Preservation / Archiving

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