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Limitations HELP

Expertscape does most, but not all, of the work needed to find an expert for your problem in your area. To get the most out of Expertscape, keep the following points in mind.

There may be no experts in a given area

As an extreme example, Nome, Alaska is unlikely to have an expert in any of the conditions in Expertscape's database. But even larger cities may not have experts (as we define the term) in common disorders.

You may, therefore, need to expand the geographic area in which you are searching for experts.

Some experts can't help you

All experts that we identify have published articles on your medical condition. Some of these experts care for patients, others do not. See the Picking Clinical Experts page.

There is no way to tell if an expert has retired (or worse), except by noticing they have not published in recent years.

Expertscape may not find the best specialist for your particular condition or for your desired treatments. This is particularly true for the more general or more common medical conditions. For example, if you search on breast cancer, you will find experts in reading mammograms along with expert surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation therapists. You should be careful to look at the results to identify the type of expert that you are seeking.

Some experts won't help you

The physicians that Expertscape identifies may not accept new patients, or may not accept new patients who have your health insurance. You will have to contact the physicians to confirm their policies and practices.

Experts may be listed under multiple names

Due to limitations of Medline, Expertscape may occasionally list the same person under different variations of his or her name.

For example, if John Quincy Adams publishes articles as JQ Adams and as J Adams, Expertscape may treat them as different people.

Mis-spellings of an expert's name will also mislead Expertscape.

Multiple experts may share a name

For example, John Adams and Joseph Adams may both publish articles as "J Adams," in which case Expertscape cannot tell them apart.

The most noticeable cases of name-sharing apply to Asian names, where literally dozens of different experts may share a name. If you enter the topic "Genetics," for example, you will see that each of the top expert names published well over 100 articles in the most recent year and that the "address" fields of these articles are wildly different from each other. These are signs that multiple persons are using the same name.

Locations of experts may be outdated

Because experts move, the address listed for an expert may no longer be valid, or the address listed may be that of a coauthor.

Expertscape will often provide several estimates of an expert's location, listing the best estimates first. We recommend verifying each expert's location with the links provided to Google and to on-line hospital directories.

Locations of experts may be misidentified or unknown

Expertscape does not know every city and institution in the world. For that reason, you will see locations such as "unknown city in Florida" or "unknown institution in Sacramento."

Expertscape is sensitive to spelling errors. For example, it will not recognize "Jon Hopkin" as "Johns Hopkins."

Expertscape occasionally mis-reads a location. For example, the abbreviation for both the state of Virginia and the Veterans Administration is VA, so Expertscape sometimes confuses Virginia with VA Hospitals. If you see an error like this, please let us know.

Retractions are sometimes scored incorrectly

A retracted publication counts heavily against its authors and affiliated institutions. Sometimes, however, this is unfair, as in cases where the medical journal is at fault (e.g. Pubmed #12801955) or when an author is writing about a retracted paper, and that writing is classified as a retraction.

There may be bugs in the software

We fix them as we find them.