Magazine article Online

ContentScan's CancerDome

Magazine article Online

ContentScan's CancerDome

Article excerpt

The Big C-cancer-is the focus of ContentScar's newest Dome product.

Adding to its discipline-specific Dome database products in neurology (NeuroDome) and communication disorders (ComDisDome), privately held ContentScan, Inc. has brought its model of expert editorial input to the field of clinical and research oncology.

CancerDome content includes books, dissertations, journal articles, grants, research and academic institution profiles, author profiles, and expert selected Web sites. It lays claim to the largest collection of active authors publishing on cancer-related topics, providing a new pathway to this content. Continuously updated and accessible either from a library's OpenURL linking, site licensing, and direct links to content providers, CancerDome attempts to "ensure that resources are relevant to the study of cancer" and to "provide a focused, productive search experience for both expert and beginning users."


Visitors to CancerDome are immediately reminded that they are not aimlessly searching the Internet. Content descriptions are linked for oncology educators, clinicians, researchers, and students. Within sub-headings of "The Challenge" and "The Solution," the proliferation of medical information is laid out and the frustrations of general Web searching are stated. To make this point further, the FAQ even includes a chart comparing CancerDome to Google, Amazon, PubMed, and ERIC.

CancerDome places its emphasis upon the expert selection of sources-and an environment of professionalism is immediately established with the introduction of Dr. Asad Bashey as editor-in-chief. The introductory material provides an effective mix of anticipating user needs and explaining what exists within the site, setting the expectation that proper medical terminology is being used.


Three initial options appear-Search, Browse, or Save & Share. Search brings up a simple search box, while Browse lets you choose between Cancer Corner, which contains links to associations, societies, foundations, patient support groups, manufacturers, funding sources, treatment and research centers, and conferences, and Topic Guide, which includes a hierarchical list of 25,000 topics allowing a drill-down, guided search to resources on cancer topics. Save & Share is a search management feature that can annotate results using My Shared Folders.

To demonstrate the importance of terminology, I entered the term lymphoma in the search box. This returned 36,025 articles, 100 books, 8,838 Web resources, and 127 selected authors. An Institutions tab showed zero, and at the time of this review, the Grants tab was linked to "coming soon" page. A Topic Guide appeared with a list of 10 links categorized by types of lymphoma. I was given the option to sort by keyword, date, and first author, or click on a bar to see results in PubMed.

With too many results to sift through, I entered the term Hodgkin's lymphoma. This returned 11,897 articles, 47 books, 3,291 Web resources, and 139 selected authors. Ten selections appear in the Topic Guide spedfying types of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

To narrow this further I entered pediatrie Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the search box, which returned 349 articles, 8 books, 770 Web resources, and 196 selected authors. Four selections appeared in the Topic Guide, one for each stage of the disease.

"Sort by date" produced several pages with 10 articles apiece, showing those published within just the past few months. "Sort by keyword" did not accomplish much; its value in this situation is unclear because it turned up many articles about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a term for a set of separate diseases) and I was already under the assumption that I was looking at articles about my topic. It would be useful to have a NOT feature at this point, or some way to eliminate unwanted results. "Sort by first author" presented the same 349 articles by alphabetical listing of authors. …

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