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The Future of Zheln

Summary #suppl on
3 minute read

Zhelnov P. The Future of Zheln. Zheln. 2022 Apr 6;Suppl:s32e1. URI: https://zheln.com/summary/2022/04/06/suppl/.

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Background to Zheln

Please refer to the Previous Summary Post for a Short Intro to Zheln. Also, in that post I mentioned that Zheln was going to explore options for tackling the problem that had pushed me to its development. Namely, we do not have a single, most popular resource that every health practitioner would go to and easily retrieve the most recent and carefully examined health information for their needs. Ideally, also, the same resource should have a general audiences section, recognized as the top information provider for public health media. We have no such single best resource, no one-stop-shop option.

…But probably such a monopoly is simply not possible on the market?

Zheln as Service

The principal method that Zheln was built on was searching PubMed (or, alternatively, another search platform) to continuously retrieve newly added records of systematic reviews (as well as other forms of knowledge synthesis). The records found were to be then categorized into medical specialties (to create updated specialty-specific listings for health care professionals), and their associated studies critically appraised to deliver accurate representation of the evidence within to health information users (both pro and general audiences).

However, both the technical and business implementation of Zheln has turned out to be deficient. I was working alone, used software inefficiently, and did not manage to secure crowd funding. Also, upon closer review I have come to realize that the existing platforms flourished (as compared to Zheln, at least) and were able do deliver very similar content—we are talking about the Trip database, L·OVE by Epistemonikos, and Health Evidence, above all. Incidentally, I have also started to notice other examples of important research duplication (apart from Zheln), and this is the insight that will hopefully have grown into my PhD.

Anyway, Zheln does not appear to work as it is, or as described in its current protocol (DOI 10.31222/osf.io/y2nrb) and as registered in its PROSPERO record (CRD42021224418). But that alone should not mean that the principal method for Zheln was wrong, right?

This is where I introduce the concept of Zheln as Service. An organization has contacted me to create content for their public resource for health evidence users. Well, this is exactly what I am going to do: to continue retrieving records from PubMed using the published Zheln methodology (while likely continuing to report this in the methods GitHub repository for Zheln, in the same way as before, but without publication on Zheln.com), then select and appraise the records that could be of interest to my commissioner, and, finally, sell my summaries to them. I have already said that I do not worry about the brand­—methods use and their impact is my only concern.

This what I think of as Zheln as Service. If, for any reason, you would like to try this too, you are welcome to get in touch using any of my contacts below.

See you then, and take care!

How to Get in Touch

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You can also easily contact me on Twitter or Telegram. The Instagram account for Zheln is not currently being tracked (nor is my personal Facebook account).