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BOOK REVIEW
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 132-133

Biomedical research: From ideation to publication


J-708, Rosewood City, Wembley Estate, Sector 50, Gurgaon 122 001, India

Date of Web Publication29-Jul-2011

Correspondence Address:
Sita Naik
J-708, Rosewood City, Wembley Estate, Sector 50, Gurgaon 122 001
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Naik S. Biomedical research: From ideation to publication. Indian J Med Res 2011;134:132-3

How to cite this URL:
Naik S. Biomedical research: From ideation to publication. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Apr 2];134:132-3. Available from: http://www.ijmr.org.in/text.asp?2011/134/1/132/83344

Biomedical research: From ideation to publication, G. Jagdeesh, S. Murthy, Y.K. Gupta & A. Prakash, editors [Wolters Kluwer (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi] 2009. 594 pages. Price: ` 695.00

ISBN 978-81-8473-200-9

The field of biomedical research has not had recognition as a distinct discipline in our science or medical curricula and maybe, because of that the available books are only a few. There is an urgent need to expose young scientists and doctors to the discipline of research and hence books on biomedical research are much needed.

The present book is almost 600 pages long and divided into 10 sections, which deal with all aspects of research, from the ideation and planning to the details of design of experiments, statistical analysis and finally communication of the results either as a thesis, paper or report. It has additional sections on literature search, seeking research support and ethics.

The first section discusses the process of starting research. The first chapter describes the theories of creativity and methods to quantitate creativity. These are complex issues which are difficult to assimilate in a brief chapter. The second chapter titled "A burning passion to discover", which is a misnomer, discusses the various steps involved in initiating research. The third chapter tries to give definitions for a variety of terms related to research and it is difficult to appreciate the point of this exercise. The fourth chapter discusses the research process; there is considerable overlap with the second chapter.

The second section deals with planning for non-clinical research. However, the scope of non-clinical research is restricted to pharmaceutical research, with chapters on writing protocols for pharmacology and toxicology, pre-clinical drug disposition studies, nanotechnologies, drug delivery, etc. Some of these chapters actually go into the details of the individual methodologies. This in itself may prove to be a handicap as methodologies tend to get outdated quickly. Also, the details of individual protocols for specific experiments limit the target audience to those with a pharmacology/pharmacy background. The third section discusses the planning for clinical research. This section is informative and covers the issues of study design and protocol writing in some detail. The chapters on characterization of a drug product and bioavailability are again pharmacology specific. In the fourth section, study design and statistical analysis for pharmacology, toxicology bioequivalence are given. Statistical approaches for research questions are universal and could have been addressed more generally. Also, the chapters are formulae heavy and not easy for a beginner to the subject.

The section on exploring the literature is more pertinent for the general reader with a general discussion on the methodology and a detailed chapter on how to use the various internet databases for literature search. The next section deals with the communication of research results. These chapters are informative and clearly written. The chapters on "How to write a good scientific paper" and "Structure of a scientific paper in biomedical science" have some overlap, which is often unavoidable in a multi-author book. However, the chapters "How to structure an abstract, title and introduction', 'Writing the results' and 'Writing a discussion section in a medical article' are mostly repetition of what has been said in the earlier two chapters.

The chapters on writing a thesis and reference style give some useful tips. In the section on 'Tools for scholarly research', guidance is provided for dealing with the journal during the process of publishing an article. Some background is provided on writing health research guidelines. These are useful and not so often addressed areas. The section on "Seeking research support", again has much repetition in the chapters 'How to write a successful research proposal' and 'Writing a grant proposal'. The chapter on funding opportunities has tried to give exhaustive details of opportunities in India, US and Europe. However, major funding organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Welcome Trust, Dorabji Trust and other major 'not for profit' organizations have been omitted. The last two sections on innovations in career and integrity and ethics are well written and comprehensive.

Overall, the target audience for this book is not clear. Is it for the novice, who wants to venture into research? Is it for the already inducted career scientist to widen his or her expertise? Or is it a reference book for those teaching the subject? It tries to be all things and probably is not appropriate for any.

Finally, the production itself lacks consistency. The cover is attractive and the paper quality and printing are good. However, while a few chapters have text boxes most others do not have. The format for references varies. The number of references varies form nil to 69 and some chapters have at their end sections such as "Appendix", "Useful readings", "Books on correct usage of English language" and "Clear writing" and "Manual on style writing' in place of references. The "Things to keep by your side while you write" at the end of chapter 32 could have been highlighted in a text box.

The book is long and not an easy read. The style varies substantially from chapter to chapter. It may be useful on library shelves as another book to refer to. If renamed "Biomedical Research for the Pharmacy Sector", it may attract students in this field. Otherwise, it has little to offer to the general biomedical scientists.




 

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