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Deepak Balak and Enes Hajdarbegovic: Towards harmonisation of referencing styles

29 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

Deepak Balak“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton’s famous quote accurately captures that what is pivotal in science: moving forward by building on work done previously. In terms of scientific writing, proper citing of other works is important in any research article.

During our PhD programme we have encountered a practical problem with referencing that many young scientists worldwide may recognise: managing the vast diversity of referencing styles across different journals. Besides the typical division into Vancouver or Harvard referencing, there are variations in citation and ordering of the reference list, in format and layout of the references, and so on. Those who have ever submitted a manuscript will know that formatting of the references according to the specific requirements of the journal is laborious. Even with the help of Reference Manager software, the task of editing references can be quite challenging, be it for a first submission or for a sequential submission to a different journal.Enes Hajdarbegovic

The variation in reference styles does not seem functional at all. In the era of initiatives of reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, PRISMA, and STROBE, it leaves us  to wonder why no one has tackled the issue of the variety in referencing styles. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has recommendations for the style and format of references, but most journals still adhere to their own reference styles.
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The BMJ Today: Handwashing, Medicare, and radiology shortages

29 Jul, 15 | by BMJ Group

A severe lack of specialist radiology training is failing children in the UK, an audit by the Royal College of Radiologists has found. The audit, undertaken in July this year, discovered that 35% of children’s radiographs and scans were performed by radiographers who had not received specific training in imaging children and that a similar percentage of scans were interpreted by radiologists with less than six months’ training in a specialist paediatric centre.

The president of the RCR, Giles Maskell, has said that “these findings are deeply concerning” and that “if missed or mistaken diagnoses are to be avoided, it is essential that all hospitals taking x rays and scans of children can access a specialist’s opinion as and when they need it.” more…

Kiran Thapa: Blossoming health services research in Nepal—what are the challenges?

29 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

kiran_thapaI recently did a PubMed search for Nepal, and I found thousands of articles that had been published in different journals across the world. This was a happy moment for me. I carried on searching and found that thousands of articles had been published over recent decades. I pondered for a while, thinking about how health services research has been burgeoning over time in developing countries like Nepal. I feel that it is a matter of international prestige and recognition. I asked myself “Why is health services research growing more than ever? Does more research mean more development? What challenges is Nepal facing to extend health services research?
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Martin Kaminski: A word of advice to future house officers

28 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

martin_Kaminski

Once again the NHS approaches the first week of August, specifically changeover Wednesday—when freshly tempered medical school graduates throughout the UK auspiciously start their first days working as bona fide junior doctors. But we often forget that changeover day also marks the no less important occasion when many doctors in training become ever so slightly more senior doctors. The importance of that other transition doesn’t get nearly the celebration it deserves.
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Toby Shipway: Zebras in the NT – quiz time

28 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

toby_shipwayQuestions – differential diagnoses please

1. The first patient was a young child who presented with fever, seizures, and decreased consciousness, developing over a 1–2 week period, to a community clinic 150 km south of Katherine. After transfer and evaluation, magentic resonance imaging of the brain showed bilateral thalamic necrosis.
2. The second patient was a woman in her late 20s from Groote Eylandt, who presented with suicidal ideation. On examination she showed signs of ataxia, nystagmus, and clumsiness of hands and feet. There was a family history of similar symptoms.

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The BMJ Today: Staffing levels, Alzheimer’s disease, blood pressure variability, and otitis media

28 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

• “If staffing were a drug, doctors would be asked to prescribe it,” Margaret McCartney says in her latest column. So she thinks it is a pity that NHS England has told NICE to stop work on discovering what constitutes safe staffing levels. Simon Stevens has decided to bring the operation “in house” and is asking Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings to look at the question. It would be nice to think that the results would be just as evidence based and transparent as if NICE was doing it. But when inquiries are carried out in the depths of the Department of Health, they do not always see the light of day.
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Samir Dawlatly: Will general practice survive?

28 Jul, 15 | by BMJ Group

Just before I completed my training as a GP the 2012 Health and Social Care Act was passed. I had a sinking feeling that general practice wasn’t quite going to be what I thought it was. Up until that time I had been concentrating on passing my exams and assessments and not really taken much of an interest in medico-politics. At times I felt like there was little hope of stability and security in primary care.

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Stephanie Rimmer: Foundation training fears

27 Jul, 15 | by BMJ Group

Having recently graduated from medical school, in a few days’ time I will start my first ever job as a doctor. That title alone, which I worked so hard for, now completely terrifies me and feels totally unjustified. How can I have spent the last five years studying, to lead me up to this point, and yet feel so unprepared? more…

Anant Bhan: Leadership gap in India’s publicly funded health research

27 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

AnantBhan_BMJblogs_Jul2015The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), India’s apex body for funding health research, advertised this month for directors of nine of its constituent institutes/centres. Applications are due by 4 September, and it’s probable that the positions will not be filled until the end of this year. ICMR’s top position—the director general’s post—has also been lying vacant since March 2015 after the retirement of Dr VM Katoch. The ICMR’s director general also usually serves as the secretary of the Department of Health Research (DHR), created as an umbrella body in 2007 to promote health research in the country. more…

Tamsin Lillie: Strengthening human resources in Malawi, the world’s poorest country

27 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

tamsin lillieMalawi, a country in Southern Africa, was recently acknowledged by the World Bank as the poorest country in the world, with the average gross national income being just $250. Its health system is in desperate need of human resources; there are just two doctors for every 100,000 people. Most doctors work in the tertiary referral hospitals in Blantyre and Lilongwe, meaning that the vast majority of Malawi’s population, 85% of whom live in rural areas, never see a doctor. more…

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