Accessing content from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and its nine specialty journals (including JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery) has now become a bit easier, thanks to an app designed for viewing JAMA articles on mobile devices. The JAMA Network Reader connects readers to recent additions to the JAMA collection (January 2012 – present only) using a web-based reader that can be accessed on virtually any computer, tablet or smartphone.
The app can be downloaded from http://mobile.jamanetwork.com. Further instructions are provided on the website and a simple registration process is required. At press-time, the app and all related content was free for all users. A paid model has not yet been announced but is planned for the future. I downloaded the app on my iPhone and iPad.
The JAMA Network Reader is not feature-heavy, though it delivers on speed, design, simplicity and ease of navigation. Pressing the ‘home’ icon brings up a list of current and past issues available for browsing (including ‘online first’ content that has not yet been published). Weekly featured articles are also displayed under each discipline. Users have the option to personalise the home screen by choosing which specialty journals are displayed. All of the articles can be viewed, bookmarked, shared and saved for offline viewing. The ‘search’ icon can also be used for searching all or selected JAMA journals by keyword. Saved and bookmarked articles can then be accessed on any device.
The developers of the JAMA Network Reader have tried their best to optimise the experience across mobile devices, with mostly positive results. Even the most easily exasperated clinicians will be pleased by the intuitive way they can browse journal contents and search results. Users can view a list of article titles and associated authors by scrolling. A simple tap on the screen (iPad) will bring up the article abstract, which can be dismissed just as readily. Users can also use the swipe feature to navigate between articles. Moreover, tables and graphs can be enlarged for improved viewing. There is also an option to provide user feedback within the app for those who are looking to make suggestions and / or air grievances.
The in-app pop-up ads are discrete enough to be tolerable, though I would perhaps not be as forgiving if the ads were to remain in the paid version of the app. Users hoping to use the reader to convert or export articles are out of luck.
Overall, I would recommend the JAMA Network Reader as a worthwhile download for otolaryngologists (and audiologists) who want to stay informed on some of the latest medical literature.
Thieme are well-established publishers of medical literature with a characteristic silver and blue appearance to their publications and a host of reputable authors. This review looks at their contribution to the growing field of e-learning for ENT, eOtolaryngology.
One reservation of any web based medical information resource is the validity of its content, presumably the reason for developing e-lefENT (free for ENT UK members). For eOtolaryngology Thieme have adhered to their recognisable colour format for instant familiarity and reassurance that the information within is well sourced and referenced.
A subscription is required to make use of a multitude of Thieme publications but alternatively Thieme do offer a free two-week trial to give users the opportunity to peruse the site. It is rather challenging to determine the subscription fees for this resource once the trial period is over but with over 21,500 pages of Thieme e-book content, 34,000 images and access to Thieme e-journals, one would imagine the costs aren’t cheap.
The navigation panel is simple to use and offers the user a number of options to search for the desired contents on desktop, laptop and tablet. With the volume of contents the process is a little laborious for quick reference on a smartphone.
E-books can be viewed in either HTML format, which nicely organises images and videos or image viewer for the more familiar book layout. The image viewer is a little slow to load pages of text depending upon connection speed. A similar issue was found with the video player in the HTML format.
There is certainly plenty of content due to the wide range of material that is sourced to produce eOtolaryngology. Most of us are able to recall at least one Thieme publication we have read, most notably PJ Wormald’s Endoscopic Sinus Surgery or Steiner and Ambrosch’s Endoscopic LASER surgery of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract. Interestingly the latter publication, being out of print, has been omitted from the e-books section which is a great shame given its popularity and expense, even for a second hand copy.
Thieme does tend to be very specific with its book titles and for good reason given the expertise of the authorship, however, bringing together all their publications in one place shows some deficiencies in topics they have yet to cover on a standard otolaryngology syllabus. Perhaps eOtolaryngology is better suited to the senior trainee / sub-specialist for quick reference rather than the junior trainee revising for the exit exams hoping to grasp a broad understanding of a generic higher training syllabus.
The e-journals section again demonstrates the sub-speciality aspect of Thieme publications with only three journals to browse content. These are: Cranio-maxillofacial Trauma and Reconstruction, Facial Plastic Surgery and the Journal of Neurological Surgery Part B: Skull Base. Perfect if these are your areas of interest, but again, not quite for the trainee. In summary, this is an enjoyable resource that is essentially a collection of all Thieme publications in one place. However with subscription costs unknown and very specialised content, the advice for a trainee would be to make the most of the two-week free trial and print off the best pages.
Reviewed by Mr Ajith George FRCS (ORL-HNS), Locum Consultant ENT Surgeon, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.