The online version of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) provides valuable aids for handling the challenges presented by the growing problem of information overload, according to Jeffrey D. Bernhard, M.D., editor.
At the 26th Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference, Dr. Bernhard gave a tour through some online articles, and demonstrated how various "click pearls" and other innovations in the electronic version are helping dermatologists acquire information.
One new element in the online journal is an Internet-based poll that aims to obtain reader feedback on various features in JAAD.
The JAAD Web site also allows users to click to see the 25 most accessed JAAD articles on Science Direct. Once into the list, the user can click on the name of the article to access the full text as either an HTML version or in a PDF file. Information is also available on how often each of the 25 most accessed articles has been cited elsewhere.
The PDF version is preferable for readers who want to print a hard copy of the article, but the HTML version is easier to navigate through, and offers links that facilitate building a knowledge base on a subject.
These latter options include a "Cited By" box that identifies other published literature that has cited the present article, and a "Citation Alert" box, which sets up an e-mail notification system for future articles that include the paper as a reference.
"This is an amazing tool. I used to spend half a day a week in the library pulling journals and copying articles. Now I can retrieve the literature I want from home in an hour or less," Dr. Bernhard tells Dermatology Times.
An article by Dirk Elston, M.D., incoming deputy editor of JAAD, on community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) further illustrates the ease of information acquisition using the online version of the journal.
Dr. Bernhard notes he was prompted to research this topic based on the recent cases of CA-MRSA in schools. Anticipating queries, he searched for relevant articles published in JAAD. The paper by Dr. Elston was published in the January 2007 issue and turned out to be the sixth-most-commonly downloaded JAAD article in Science Direct.
From links in the "article outline," Dr. Bernhard shows how readers can quickly navigate to "key points" about each of the topics covered or use the reference list to retrieve related articles to research the topic more thoroughly, but with great efficiency.