Home > meeting report > My selection of ACR2012 Sjögren’s Syndrome Abstracts (1)

My selection of ACR2012 Sjögren’s Syndrome Abstracts (1)

It is early November, and that is usually the time of the year for the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Indeed the ACR 2012 convention has just ended while adding this blogpost. It took place in Washington, D.C., from November 9-14. I did not physically attend it, but -and that’s new- I would almost say it has been the first scientific meeting I could almost attend virtually (live video- and aaudiostrems from the meeting would provide a strikethrough for the word “almost” in this sentence). Thousands of tweets from all kinds of authors attending the ACR 2012 convention passed in my Twitter timeline. Whilst on a previous occasion one could make a nice survey of topics discussed at the ACR or (european counterpart) EULAR meetings by downloading a transcript of all tweets with the meeting’s hashtag via Symplur, on this occasion one could speak of a twitter tsunami. The tweets containing the hashtag #ACR2012 were so numerous that the previously mentioned transcript downloads via Symplur no longer satisfied my objective to obtain a nice survey of the meeting (this might change when Symplur decides to add more query features then only filtering based on a specified time-interval, i.e. if one could filter all tweets containing the #ACR2012 hashtag including the word “gout” it could still deliver a nice transcript of what came by via Twitter on the topic gout).

An other new phenomenon that biased the value and quality of a Twitter-sourced ACR2012 survey was noticed by several other colleagues I am personally following on Twitter: spam. Twitter does not show any disclosures of the author responsible for sending out tweets, so e.g. pharmaceutical companies can easily join in using the same #ACR2012 hashtag stream on Twitter and could try to influence public opinion in a more or less subtile way.

How to deal with these new phenomenons? Well, that’s easy, one merely has to adapt to the changing nature of social media being used as a news and knowledge sharing source.
Ronan Kavanagh (@RonanTKavanagh), an Irish based rheumatologist of which one can easily state he is one of the pioneers in using social media and the internet as a knowledge (and humor) sharing network as far as rheumatologists concern, came up with two solutions: he prepared a Twitter lists of known fellow rheumatologists in advance (https://twitter.com/RonanTKavanagh/acr-rheumies). By following that one there was no commercial bias, on the other hand you could easily miss some interesting ACR2012 tweets sent out by persons you did not previously “knew” from the web. Actually some new interesting tweeting persons in the field of rheumatology were discovered during this year’ s ACR meeting. So high specificity but moderate sensitivity so to say for this solution.

Ronan also came up with a second solution by creating some surveys of various ACR2012 topics by assembling a number of tweets in which a certain topic was discussed. He used the service Storify for that purpose. And this is were I felt I’ d jump in and write a new post on my blog (which I haven’ t been able to update for several months, mainly because I am/was busy acclimatising in a new working environment after a change of job position in April, 2012). Ronan made a Storify survey on Sjögren’s syndrome based on (not an awful lot of) tweets from myself and one other tweep (Dr Paul Sufka, physically attending the convention and sharing a lot of interesting tweets during ACR2012). The title of this Storify story however is somewhat misleading, because Paul and I were merely discussing some general principles and personal experiences of dealing with Sjögren’s Sydnrome in daily clinical practice. This dialogue was based on always interesting pre-ACR-meeting-courses and so-called Meet the Professor sessions. Whilst we did discuss expert-opinion and our personal opinions, we did not discuss any cutting edge news on Sjögren’s syndrome presented in accepted abstracts at the ACR2012. Therefore the title showing up on this Storify page (“Sjögren’s syndrome from ACR 2012 Review Course (!)“) is really too much honour 😉

Well, the title of this blogpost is also a bit misleading, because this part is just an introduction to what I was trying to do on my blog and providing some background information on why I felt I had to add some words on the topic ACR2012 Sjögren’s syndrome Abstracts Review. I will start with a brandnew blogpost and add “(1)” to the title of this one. In part (2) I will blog about my personal selection of all Abstracts on Sjögren’s Syndrome accepted for presentation during the ACR2012 meeting. My personal selection will be biased by being a rheumatologist dealing with patients with rheumatic diseases in daily clinical practice, so it will be clinically focussed and contain only a very small amount of basic (laboratory) research I considered interesting myself.

Part two here

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