Guest Author: Jackie Gonzales, JMG Clinical Communications, Inc Jackie is a Texas Tech alumni with nearly two decades of experience as a medical writer. She lives outside of San Antonio, TX, with her husband, two teen daughters, and four Nigerian dwarf goats. Jackie may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sure you can draft that clinical protocol, investigator’s drug brochure, or promotional slide deck, but you will often need to seek sources of information to supplement what is (hopefully) provided by the sponsor/project team. And of course, everybody wants everything done yesterday, so time is of the essence. In the ‘old days’ (as I tell my 16 year old daughter), you would have to go to the local library or, if you were lucky and lived close to a university with a medical library, you could physically make a trek there and photocopy pertinent information. Thankfully, we now live in the age of the Internet and have a plethora of information available—literally—at our fingertips. The medical landscape in constantly in flux with new drugs being approved, front-line treatment modalities being challenged and/or changed, and regulatory agencies instituting updated guidelines. It is important that our enduring materials are built around the latest and greatest clinical information available and one of the easiest ways to access cutting edge medical findings that have been reported and vetted through peer-reviews is via PubMed .
PubMed is a free search engine maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. Per WikiPedia, “as of 5 January 2017, PubMed has more than 26.8 million records going back to 1966, selectively to the year 1865, and very selectively to 1809; about 500,000 new records are added each year. As of the same date, 13.1 million of PubMed’s records are listed with their abstracts, and 14.2 million articles have links to full-text (of which 3.8 million articles are available, full-text for free for any user)”. There are also a host of other subcategories in PubMed in which you can narrow your searches, ie, bioassays, chemical compounds, genomes, etc. But what if you only see the abstract available for an article that you need full-text access to? You can do one of two things: (1) Set up an account with Loansome Doc, a service that permits you to order biomedical literature from a library of your choosing; or (2) Purchase the PDF of the article through the Full Text link provided. While Loansome Doc can often provide access at a discounted rate, this may come at the cost of speed of delivery, particularly when your chosen library does not have the requested journal in house. But, if you are under the gun and ‘aint got time for dat’, you can purchase and download the PDF (and hopefully, pass that cost on to your client or employer) for about $35 USD.
*Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my review.* I simply ‘heart’ PubMed. I use it almost every day. And while there is the occasional article I will need from a journal that is not indexed, much like Spanx under a cocktail dress, PubMed rarely lets me down.