|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 276-277
Section Editor, Department of Pharmacology, JPP
|Date of Web Publication||9-Oct-2014|
Government Medical College, Amritsar - 143 001, Punjab, India
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Singh J. Mini Manuscript
. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2014;5:276-7
Access to scientific papers and summaries of biomedical and health research has become easier and more evolved during recent times. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can retrieve the latest research results thanks to initiatives like PubMed and Google Scholar that provide free access to scientific peer-reviewed papers.
Merely having access to the information does not always ensure optimal use of these resources. Even trained academicians and researchers have to spend a considerable amount of time in sifting through published articles before deciding if these are meaningful for their study. In addition, different collaborators often duplicate their efforts in finding the right articles.
Dr. Anna Remington and Jake Fairnie, cognitive neuroscientists, chose to bridge the gap between the easy availability of literature and the lack of time and resources by harnessing the power of the internet by developing a crowdsourced, editable database of research article summaries called MiniManuscript-"The one stop shop for academic literature." The website allows users to upload condensed versions of research papers along with optional media content. The outcome of such an effort allows people to pool resources, increase efficiency and ensures a collaborative approach to accessing papers. In turn, the individual user, by reading these refined summaries, is able to sift quickly through material related to their research.
The website (http://www.minimanuscript.com/) is a simple interface for all the functions of the editable database. The "search for a paper" box is present on all links starting from the home page. In deference to the style of Pubmed, an advanced option is available which uses simple Boolean commands for different parameters: keyword, title, author, year, journal or a combination. Once the paper is located, clicking on it unveils the "dashboard" that has option of adding the all-important "summary." The summary is the backbone of the concept of MiniManuscript and is a mini-abstract that presents a lucid description of the paper and sums up its major findings.
A standard template is available for adding the summary and is accessible by clicking the citation that stems from the search result. An example paper with a video guide is available for suggestions on how to frame a useful summary. There is also a provision for adding the paper manually. The preliminary summary, once written, can then be saved. Different people can edit the summary in order to make it more relevant. This is where the power of "crowdsourcing" comes in. The contribution from various users helps in refining the summary and in making it more pertinent to the spirit of the original paper. This final product is a refined summary that is both easily readable and precise.
The "track" option is designed to send an email alert whenever the summary is edited, a comment added or any media is uploaded. The "contributor" section gives the list and details of people who have collaborated on the summary. This also gives a chronology on the progress of the summary as it evolves. In case of suspected plagiarism or offensive content, the summary can be flagged. The summary also has a link to the original manuscript along with a compilation of related articles.
The collection of summaries of papers can be saved as "reading lists"; these can be shared and can prove to be useful when a collaborative project is in progress. A number of reading lists grouped under various headings can be saved or emailed for sharing.
A unique additional feature is a "media center" that has the ability to add video or audio summaries, images and press clippings. In addition to making it interesting, these additions help in ascribing more value and information to the summary.
The use of MiniManuscript ensures that citations are relevant and unnecessary duplication is avoided. The summaries are robust representations of the original papers and the template ensures that the structure of the original paper is maintained. The provision to add video or audio summaries makes for a new insight into traditional research. The principle of MiniManuscript is grounded in the concept of crowdsourcing and therefore a large participation would be required to ensure quality of the summaries. The general search function includes all of Pubmed databases and could be more focused.
MiniManuscript makes a significant contribution to the access to scientific information by using the internet. The summaries could work as a starting point for researchers and be of immense help to those with limited access to complete articles.