1. Pemmaraju, Naveen MD

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In my previous column, I introduced several key online resources I use throughout my week as an academic hematologist/oncologist. These handy tools, which include knowing your own h-index, engaging in the advanced functions of PubMed, working with Google Scholar, starting a professional Twitter account, and downloading important apps to your smartphone, are all technological techniques I personally have found to add value to my research career and help facilitate parts of my working day.


Building on this theme of digital organization, and back by popular demand, I wanted to highlight a few other helpful tips as you find yourself navigating the vast new information world out there. The message here is, among an infinite selection of online resources, are there a few that can assist you in your work as a hematologist/oncologist or as an academic physician-scientist? Here are some ideas for you.


Create & Curate an Online Curriculum Vitae

I believe this is a critical, but often overlooked, item for the busy academic researcher or swamped private practice hematologist in our field: creating and maintaining a real-time CV. Who has time for this? Nobody! And not looking for a job now, so no need do this, right? Often mistakenly thought to be more for a member of the business world or tech-sector who is currently looking to change jobs, our field has overlooked this modern day essential technique. It is critical to keep an updated CV at all times, as it forces you to stay on top of knowing your accomplishments and skills, allows anyone in the world who may be interested in your particular set of skills to easily find you, and sites that help you prominently display your work accomplishments and profile can work for you while you are sleeping, with minimal time investment from you.


One example is LinkedIn ( Here, you can post your CV, complete with schools attended and prior jobs, and there is space for a heady personal statement (tip: keep this quick, to the point, highlights only). In addition to the overt function of helping people find new jobs in their field, I think two other aspects are quite engaging and worth your time: 1) Use this application for posting key updates from your work (e.g., job change, job title change, promotions, new role at work, new skills); and 2) Use this space to make original contributions (I recommend, for example, posting your group's new scientific publication, with link to the article).


So, in essence, you can use this site as a living, breathing CV with the additional features of getting updates on job changes/promotions from colleagues and associates whom you link with, as well as their content links. It is a great way to let the world know what your research is on, what new papers your have out, and to keep up with others in your field. As with any social media venture, the amount of time it takes is always up to you; even with short bursts of time, you can quickly update, post, or add to your CV here.


Closely Follow the Research of Your Team & Colleagues

So, there are many ways to do this. I discussed some of these previously. One new approach that I find to be very helpful is with This site helps you by automatically adding your publications under your name, and then it lets you receive updates (via email) anytime someone has viewed one of your articles, when one of your publications is located, or when one of your previous co-authors has published a new paper.


Furthermore, authors from around the world can communicate with you, request manuscripts, or follow you on the site. It's a fantastic way to keep you connected to anyone you have published with previously by being updated on what your former co-authors are now publishing. Based on your profile and publications, the site selects a posting of jobs you might be interested in, usually on the right hand side of the main site. One really cool feature is the "Projects" tab in which you can list a current research area of interest, add it to your profile, and the site will help you to locate people in the field with whom you might want to connect. Finally, another innovative feature of this site is the "Questions" tab, which is a forum for inquires by researchers. Labeled as "Questions we think you can answer," it is a fascinating concept that indeed generates a personalized question/answer venue just for you, to both post questions and answers.


Beware of "Fake News" in Academics

That's right. "Fake News" has now infiltrated into the hallowed halls of academics. With all of the upsides of engagement in online, social media, and other interactive/internet-based platforms, it should be noted there is always a component of risk. One of these risks is with the possibility for fake, or sham scientific conferences, suspect journals, and the difficulty in telling the difference between legitimate and non-legitimate sources.


In an illuminating article published recently in the New York Times (Kevin Carey, "A Peek Inside the Strange World of Fake Academia," Dec. 29, 2016), the author nicely highlights this alarming trend in our field, which has become prominent and disturbing in the hematology/oncology research world. I recommend all academic scientists and physicians who write, present at meetings, and publish to read this important article. The first step is for all of us to be aware of this highly pervasive phenomenon-that it exists, that there are entities who profit from this, and that it is sometimes not easily discernable from a legitimate source. Second, as a field we must educate our peers, identify these entities, and stand against these practices.


Yes, explore and engage online, be active and contribute on social media, find reliable information on the Internet; while doing this, be aware, be vigilant when fielding email invitations, cross-check sources with known watchdogs and other helpful websites if something doesn't look right in a conference email invitation.


NAVEEN PEMMARAJU, MD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

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