PIER on PDA: Just another acronymic phrase?

Acronyms are an essential, though sometimes baffling, part of the medical lexicon. In a world in which speed and brevity are crucial to communication, they provide us with short forms for complicated concepts that convey a message but don’t take up too much space. PIER on PDA might be thought of as the electronic embodiment of this idea: succinct clinical knowledge available with a minimum of fuss.

You probably have a good idea of what a PDA is, but what about PIER? The American College of Physicians produces an online evidence-based decision support tool, Physicians’ Information and Education Resource (PIER), to aid practitioners with up-to-date information on the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of frequently encountered disorders. The College Library provides BC physicians with access to this resource through its online subscription to STAT!Ref. In the summer of 2007, the Library purchased access to a PDA downloadable version of the same reference tool. For information on system requirements and procedures for downloading, just go to the College’s web site, www.cpsbc.ca, click on “Library,” “Electronic Journals and Books,” scroll down to “Download STAT!Ref’s PIER on PDA,” and follow the instructions.

If you would like an e-mail reminder to download the text when each new monthly updated version becomes available, just ask the Library to add your name to the list. 

Questions? Phone Karen MacDonell or Ida Bradd at the Library (604 733-6671). 

And if you have trouble with those pesky acronyms, STAT!Ref has an online version of Stedman’s Medical Dictionary to help out.

Linda Clendenning, Karen MacDonell, Judy Neill

Linda Clendenning, Karen MacDonell, PhD, MLIS, Judy Neill. PIER on PDA: Just another acronymic phrase?. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 7, September, 2007, Page(s) 352 - College Library.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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