Listen to Andrew Duckworth and Emma Vodden, Director of Publishing at The Bone & Joint Journal, discuss the new platform, OrthoSearch.
Check it out here
'We've tried to make undiscoverable content discoverable.'
[00:00:00] Welcome everyone. I'm Andrew Duckworth. And I'd like to thank you for joining us for one of our special edition podcasts for the month of September. We hope that you're enjoying our podcasts so far this year, which has included papers published each month here at the BJJ, as well as some of our special edition podcast series.
The first of these was an insights from the US series of which the first podcast was a great discussion with the amazing Professor Heather Vallier. And this month we'll be talking to Dr. Matt Abdul from the Mayo Clinic. So do look out for that later this month.
The other special edition series is with our invaluable specialty editors, which we hope is giving you a valuable insight into the vital work they do here at the journal, as well as providing an overview of the literature in their area.
But today we are doing something very different and are welcoming a very special guest to our podcast platform. I have the pleasure to welcome an absolute stalwart of the society and for the very first time, the amazing Emma Vodden who is the Director of Publishing at the British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Welcome Emma. It's great to have you join us today.
Thanks for having me, Andrew. So today Emma and I are going to discuss the exciting new [00:01:00] platform the Society is launching called OrthoSearch, but before we sort of move on to the main focus, Emma, I thought it might be useful to our listeners if we can add some maybe background on the role and aims of the society, particularly with regards to the difference between what many of us generically call the journal or the BJJ and how this relates to the publisher society itself.
Sure. So what's really interesting about us is we're not, we're not a big publisher. We have one audience - orthopaedic surgeons, and so we've been able to be completely focused on that community. And that goes right back to the start in 1948 when in collaboration with the JBJS, we launched The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, British Volume.
And in 1953 the surgeons who were involved with the journal at the time basically launched a charity - The British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery with the central aim always being educating of orthopaedic surgeons. And they did that, not through fundraising events, but they did that through the JBJS BR and by selling [00:02:00] subscriptions.
And do you know what for 60 odd years that it all we did. Not all we did, but all we did. We just did the journal. And in 2012 we launched Bone & Joint Research to fulfill that kind of niche that we saw in the research community who were particularly underserved in terms of journal choices. And we've launched Bone & Joint 360, again, with that educational mission, trying to give an overview of the literature.
Both have been phenomenally successful and again expanded that charitable mission that has always remained that the core. We also do lots of other charitable activities, such as sponsoring the ABC traveling fellows, the Mark Patterson traveling fellowship, and we've supported other sort of third world charitable initiatives.
We further expanded the kind of publishing portfolio last year with the launch of Bone & Joint Open again, to offer our community another way to publish [00:03:00] in open access, and also with a kind of slightly wider focus in the BJJ. And that's where we've been really, we've been, you know, we're a publisher and within doing the traditional publishing thing, publishing journals until recently.
Emma, I think that's a, that's a lovely oversight of how it sort of it's evolved over time and particularly over the past decade or slightly less, how it has gone from being a, you know, a one journal sort of publisher and an amazing journal at that, but how it's then expanded to serve more of the community and cover more of the orthopaedic community, not just here in the UK but across the globe as well. I think that's really interesting.
And that sort of moves us on quite nicely to what we're going to talk about today. And so, you know, the main topic today is about OrthoSearch And so can you give a little insight into this and how the idea maybe came about.
So we decided that we needed to again, expand what we're doing, move more into perhaps the digital educational product side of things. And not [00:04:00] necessarily remaining in that firm publisher space and through much discussion with the community we identified that search was a problem.
So obviously PubMed's been going for a really long time. It's often the first port of call. The other, obviously major search engine is Google. And with PubMed we all know that it covers everything. It's got hundreds and hundreds of thousands, probably millions of records. And unless you are an expert in search terms, you often struggle to find the right results and you would have often hundreds of pages of results. They use a tagging system called MeSH, which we're all familiar with. But that doesn't particularly serve our community. It goes down to the anatomical joint. Well, pretty much orthopaedic starts there. So we decided that that was something that we could address and the way we started to address this was by creating [00:05:00] the world's first orthopaedic taxonomy. So we've got now over 19,000 terms in our orthopaedic taxonomy, which we are using to tag content. And so by tagging content correctly with orthopaedic terms, you are able then to create a search engine that responds to very specific terms, concepts and can understand them.
So we started by kind of deciding what we were going to index and the first step was just kind of trying to get as many orthopaedic titles into the search engine as possible. So that's bringing in an awful lot of content, but we also recognize that there's a, there's a significant portion of orthopaedics appearing in those larger medical journals where, you know, perhaps the authors have had to go for a very high impact factor. And so we've developed a relevancy tool, which is allowing us to skim the other literature to bring in only the results that are relevant to orthopaedics. So that's a really powerful [00:06:00] piece of tech that we've developed with our technical partners, Mollecular Connections. This was all in response to, you know, many, many conversations with the community, because what we wanted to do is develop something that, you know, the average orthopaedic surgeon can just use. So that's that's, that was the first step - just an article search.
Yeah. That's amazing. I mean, what a huge task to sort of undertake. I mean, it's sort of, like you said, it's trying to create a Google for orthopaedics, isn't it? That specific to orthopaedics, which is fantastic. And that was sort of the starting point. How has that evolved over time and how has it developed into what it is today? And obviously we'll talk about later about how it will go on from there.
So again, through these really amazing conversations that we've had, and we've done lots of, sort of contextual interviews to try and really dig deep into what content people are using, what challenges there are with that content and what people would find useful.[00:07:00]
So in terms of content obviously one of the things that's used regularly are standards and guidelines like the NICE guidelines or the AOS guidelines or whatever, with NICE guidelines coming out pretty poorly in terms of how you can search them because often these documents are 600 pages long. The search behind them isn't particularly powerful or useful. So we've included standards and guidelines. They're all being brought into the platform. They're being tagged again so when you search, you can see that standards and guidelines are coming up as one of the tabs you can can look at. So if that's something you're searching for, you can find it hopefully.
We're also indexing... we have brought in the orthopaedic proceedings platform that we publish the meeting abstracts from many, many different meetings. And this is phenomenally well used by the community actually. So you can immediately see kind of, what's just come out. We've also gone into preference because, I mean at The Bone & Joint [00:08:00] Journal and other big general orthopaedic journals, you know, if your article has appeared on a pre-print server, it is not going to be published.
However we recognize with OrthoSearch that that's actually an important element of the literature because if you're looking at perhaps looking for a research idea. You want to be able to see at a glance what's been published, what's just out because you don't want to repeat it, or maybe you want to repeat it with more patients, whatever. Preprints is also one of those places that you're probably going to be looking. Preprints are being index and that's actually no small feed because there are so many documents on these preprint servers that we're using that relevancy tool again, just to bring in what's relevant to you as an orthopaedic surgeon.
We're also indexing podcasts. So we've brought in loads of orthopaedic podcasts from around the globe that we are tagging again, because podcast searches are not particularly useful. Often people will find, you know, a channel that they liked, like the BJJ Podcast and [00:09:00] they'll that subscribe to it, or they'll regularly look out for the episodes. But if you were looking for a podcast specifically on shoulder or I dunno, a particular paper it's impossible to find it. So we've tried to make undiscoverable content discoverable.
That's amazing. I mean, the number of unique features it has, having evolved from a search engine and sort of improving on what you can do for the orthopaedics community, from PubMed, to all these platforms and various outputs that they can cover. It really is remarkable the unique features it has. I suppose the one question and I know you've been asked as we've evolved this, what do you feel it's going to provide? Or how is it going to advance on what's already out there for the orthopaedic surgeons across the globe. You've touched on that already, but I think that's something else to point out and I know you'd want to point out yourself. This isn't just for the BJJ. This is for everything. And it won't preferentially give you BJJ articles over something else. This is just for the the orthopaedic literature and everything else out there. That's right, isnt it?
Yes, absolutely. It is independent of all of our [00:10:00] publications. So our publications are in there because they're in orthopaedics, but they are not in any way weighted to appear higher in the search engine. And you know, if you use it, you can see that. Cause actually often you might not even see a BJJ article. You might, you might not, but you know, it's not going to be guaranteed that you see it.
I think the other thing that we've tried to address here to bring something new to the stage is there's so much literature out there. How do we know what's good? Or how can we at least give the user some guidance as to what might be a more trustworthy source. By selecting, you know, the journals that we've put in there already, by the way, this is open for much debate feedback. We are desperate for feedback. So if there's something that's missing, we want to know about it because we can easily include it. But we have been able to cut out some of that junk science that [00:11:00] you would find in other engines. If you type it into Google, it's just going to come up anyway. And you won't necessarily get that paper is from a publisher that is perhaps a bit shady.
So we've put right on the article on the search engine results on the article listings, we've included the impact factor of the journals if they've got them, the cite score of the journal and the altmetric score of the paper. It just gives you a bit of an idea of, you know, the level of quality from where that paper's come from.
Altmetric scores obviously are becoming more and more important. And actually, if you're interested in looking at what's been popular with your peers, then seeing high altmetric score shows you that that's got some attention, particularly on Twitter or in the news. So it might be something that you want to look at.
We're not trying to, we are not trying to replace PubMed or Google. We understand that if you're doing a systematic search of the literature, then you are going to be looking at multiple search engines anyway. What we want to be is the first place you go, [00:12:00] because what you're going to find is on the first page to the last page of results they are relevant. You are not going to get the random papers you can often get in the other search engines. You know, there's lots of, you know, unique features. You can bookmark your search. So if you've, if you're using OrthoSearch and you put in lots of filters and you know, you suddenly have to leave, if you bookmark the page you can go straight back to that page. Those same filters will still be there. So, you know, you can, you can, you can make it fit around your, your work schedule. It's been developed for orthopaedic surgeons with a lot of input from orthopaedic surgeons and we hope that that comes across.
No, actually, I think it definitely does. I have used it myself and it also has an update feature doesn't it? So it will actually update you regularly. If you type in a certain topic like hip fractures lets say, it will then update you about all those relevant publications in there in the recent period of time. That's a very nice feature I think.
So that's another unique feature because obviously, you know, we all sign up to eTOC alerts from the individual [00:13:00] journals and you'll get the listing showing the 20 odd papers published across the literature. I mean, it might be a couple of hip papers you were interested in, but often you might not be interested in the rest. What we have created at OrthoSearch is a unique alerting system, so that you can put in a keyword and be alerted when literature has been published, or it might be a new podcast or standards relating to that keyword across the literature. So you're going to see on that alert new content from that JBJS, Clin Orth, BJJ, Injury or whatever it is they'll be on there and it's, that is actually something that doesn't exist at the moment. And now does in OrthoSearch. So very simple to create an account and very simple to add alerts and, and receive those.
I think what I found found as an author as well when you go in there, you know, if you're say you're writing a review article, like you say about a certain topic and you want to, you want to cover that area and make sure you're not missing [00:14:00] any of the key papers it not only highlights that to you, but the other thing is if you do that in PubMed or anything else, it's almost looking for the needle in the haystack because you get such a overwhelming response, you know, number of results that you can miss things. But OrthoSearch is sort of filtering that pool down for you. So actually the chances of you missing a really important or key paper or guideline, whatever is a lot smaller and that, to me, is one of the beautiful things about it is it works so well that the sort of doing all the, that some of that really hard work for you of trawling through all of this, this iterature cause like we all know the, the number of papers now is just exponentially growing out there. And actually, I think that's why I think it's such a good time for it because trying to filter down the qualities is much more difficult.
And you know, it's, it's free to use. It's out there. It's it's for orthopaedic surgeons. And as I say, we really would love any feedback, you know, features you'd like to see, content when you find the index, all of that stuff is, is really helpful because you're going to help us develop it and make it better for you.
Yeah, absolutely. And this sort of flows to finish off, where [00:15:00] do you think it will evolve to? What's your sort of hopes for it and dreams in the next five to 10 years for it?
That's a good question. I think probably at this point, five years is too far away to see where it's going to be. I think we want to get people using it, and that's why we're doing the podcast to raise awareness that it's there. And we will be looking to expand the content types that we're indexing and uncovering. There's also videos being indexed in there from various sources. You know, that's, that's something else that we'll be expanding and yeah basically, what we want to do is listen to the community and develop from there rather than, you know, I could say, I think we should do this, but actually a practicing orthopaedic surgeon who has all of the pressures on their time that you will do he would find something maybe quite simple, but actually really useful. That's, that's where we'll will take it where the community directs us.
Yeah, no, absolutely Emma. I think having been [00:16:00] one of the many surgeons sort of giving you feedback, I think I would encourage all our listeners and readers and whoever uses the platform do give feedback because the guys at the society do listen and it has evolved over time hasn't it? And it's got better and better.
So that's been great and I think it was lovely to have you join us today and a really interesting overview of such an exciting new platform OrthoSearch. I really, having used it myself, I cannot recommend highly enough. And it was really, really great to see you and speak to you today.
Thanks for having me.
And thanks everyone for listening and take care.