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FAQ for Professionals HELP
Individual Profiles
How is the information in Expertscape organized?

Expertscape organizes its information hierarchically:

  • First, by topic (e.g. asthma, pancreaticoduodenectomy, cyanosis, aspirin, albumins, etc.)
  • Second, by geography (e.g. world, USA, Greece, Ohio, Napoli, Johns Hopkins, etc.)
  • Third, by individual author.
I can't find my profile. Where is it?

Because Expertscape organizes its information hierarchically (see question above), the first step to finding your profile is specifying a topic and a geography.

To get the topic right, you may have to look at the indexing terms that PubMed has applied to your articles, because sometimes they make fine-grained distinctions which are not obvious.

To get the geography right is trickier, because it is based on the geography of the first author of the paper. Thus, if you have never been the first author of a paper, Expertscape will not know your location, and will assign your geography as "unspecified." If you have been the first author of a paper, then you will have an entry under that geography.

My Expertscape profile has gaps -- it lists only some of my published articles. How do I correct this?

Short answer:

  1. Most of the time there is actually no gap. An erroneous topic and/or geography can simulate a gap.
  2. Some very new or very old papers may be omitted. (See "coverage" questions, below.)
  3. If your articles were published under varying names, they may not be recognized as coming from a single person.
  4. When there is a gap, you can ask PubMed to correct errors, or you can await a future Expertscape capability. (Sign up for Expertscape's low-volume notices for professionals.)

Complete answer:

Although this is a common question, it contains a hidden assumption that typically reduces its relevance. We first discuss this situation, and then present the far less common situations where there are indeed gaps.

The hidden assumption is that a person has just one profile. Expertscape constructs a separate and distinct profile for each topic that you write about. For example, if you published 3 articles on asthma and 6 papers on pneumonia, then your asthma profile will correctly show just 3 of your 9 total articles.

We have also seen people misled by looking at the "nephrology" topic in Expertscape and expecting to see all of their publications related to kidney disease. However, PubMed includes in this topic only articles that are written about nephrology as a professional discipline, e.g. discussions of certification requirements, manpower, etc. To forestall this problem you will see a special highlighted note on the overview page for nephrology and similar topics.

The staff of the PubMed database makes the final decisions about the topics under which your articles are indexed. Expertscape has no input into that process and respects their decisions. If you can convince PubMed to make a change in their record, Expertscape will pick it up when they do.

In the future we may offer ways for you to consolidate your profiles across multiple topics. You can sign up to be notified when this capability is ready by signing up for Expertscape's low-volume notices for professionals.

True gaps in a profile may arise when:

  1. One of your publications is outside Expertscape's scope. It is generally correct to say that Expertscape covers all publications from the past 9 years that are indexed by PubMed. There are nuances, however, as discussed elsewhere on this page.
  2. You articles have not been published under a consistent, single name. This is discussed below.

Finally, you will notice that Expertscape is indexed by geographical location, not by name. Thus, if the system cannot correctly determine your geographical location, you will probably not be able to find yourself in the system. In the future we may offer a way to search by expert names. (Sign up for Expertscape's low-volume notices for professionals and consumers.)

My articles have not been published under a consistent name. Is that a problem?

It can be.

When a journal publisher tells PubMed to index your name as an article-author, there are several types of errors the publisher can make. These include reports of:

  • An erroneous name: Robert Smith is published as Robert Smiith.
  • A variant name: Robert Smith is published as Bob Smith.
  • A changed or outdated name, e.g. after a marriage or other event.
  • An ambiguous name: Robert Smith and Roger Smith both publish as R. Smith. (This problem affects common names most severely.)

In all of these cases, the articles are still somewhere in the Expertscape system, but are not assigned to your correct name and may, therefore, be hard to find. In the near future we will provide a mechanism to correct such mis-assignments. You can sign up to be notified when this capability is ready. (Sign up for Expertscape's low-volume notices for professionals.)

For the present, Expertscape will sometimes recognize that two different names refer to the same person and combine them, but it is deliberately very conservative in doing so. When multiple names have been combined, it is so stated on the author's page.

Expertscape Coverage
What publications does Expertscape cover?

For any given topic, Expertscape generally covers all publications that PubMed has indexed for that topic, having a publication date of 2007 to 2017, inclusive.

Given that PubMed covers virtually every established biomedical journal of repute, this is very good coverage.

The questions below address two exceptions to the general rule just stated.

Why are my most recent articles not listed?

PubMed does not index articles immediately, and often their initial indexing lacks information that Expertscape needs to classify the article. These incomplete "in process" PubMed records are, therefore, omitted from Expertscape until they become complete.

Currently, Expertscape updates its database of PubMed records once each month, so you can expect that Expertscape will have your article fully on board the month after PubMed has completely finished its indexing.

Why are some of my older articles not listed?

When a topic has an extraordinarily large number of articles (for example, "autoimmune diseases," which has more than 130,000 in the past 10 years), Expertscape will silently drop some older articles that otherwise would have been included. It does this to keep computational demands tractable.

Currently, there is no good way for anyone to determine whether this has happened, but in practical terms it makes little difference, because (a) all article-authors are being treated equally, and (b) there are still a very large number of articles available to the system.

Conglomerates
What is a conglomerate?

We define a "conglomerate" as an institution that:

  • administratively encompasses more than one sub-institution, in which
  • the cross-fertilization and sharing of ideas & knowledge between staff members of the sub-institutions does not approach that of a single institution.
Why are conglomerates defined?

Some medical institutions have assumed truly gigantic proportions, becoming "health systems." Administrative creations such as these generally do not alter the day-to-day working relationships among the staff members of the constituent sub-institutions and, more importantly, generally do not directly impact medical care of the patient.

The 1990s merger of the healthcare operations at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco is an excellent example of these problems. In theory, uniting the considerable expertise contained within each hospital should have produced a powerhouse of medical care. In actual practice, however, almost nothing changed at either hospital, and it took only a few years to realize that the complexities of managing two separate institutions outweighed the meager benefits of claiming they were one. The UCSF-Stanford merger was quietly undone a short time later.

Thus, in the eyes of consumers, we see no benefit in considering conglomerates as repositories of expertise. We list them on our web site, to acknowledge that they do indeed exist in the real world, but we do not include them in our leader pages.

Some conglomerates are academically based and have a long history.

Yes. Harvard University is an excellent example of this. Many of its sub-institutions, e.g. Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital have been united under the Harvard banner for decades.

However, although staff members at these sub-institutions are all members of the Harvard University faculty, in practice they are primarily staff members at their individual hospitals. This separation is deep. For example, in cardiology, each hospital runs its own fellowship program to train new cardiologists, and the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at Brigham and Women's Hospital does not serve patients from Mass General or from Beth Israel. Brigham has the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, Mass General has Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, and Beth Israel has its CardioVascular Institute.

The situation at Johns Hopkins University is different. At Hopkins, the main healthcare sites are the flagship Johns Hopkins Hospital and the nearby Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and they are integrated to a large degree. Again, using a cardiology example, Bayview faculty attend in the general cardiology clinic at the flagship hospital, there is only one fellowship program covering both hospitals, and Bayview patients with advanced heart failure are referred to the cardiomyopathy service at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

With these differing degrees of cross-fertilization between constituent sub-institutions, we consider Harvard to be a conglomerate, and Hopkins as not.

The definition for "conglomerate" is rather squishy.

Yes. In deciding whether an institution is a conglomerate, we are required to think a lot and know a lot. Some decisions are difficult, e.g. Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, which has four campuses that have been on an increasingly integrated path in recent years. We welcome your insights on particular institutions.

What about pediatric hospitals?

In major medical centers, the pediatrics department of decades ago has expanded into a full-fledged pediatric hospital. In practice, this division does not automatically make the encompassing organization a conglomerate, because even the biggest hospitals generally have only one pediatric organization, and so the cooperation between practitioners in the pediatric and the adult hospital is not impeded.

In other words, if an adult cardiologist has a patient that could benefit from the advice of a pediatric cardiologist, then there is really only one place for the adult cardiologist to turn to get that advice. The limitation on cross-fertilization in this case derives from the overlap (or lack thereof) between adult disease and pediatric disease, not from the separation of the pediatric hospital from the adult hospital.

The same rationale applies to schools of public health, schools of dentistry, etc.