“The Knowledge Hub for Pathology”—the USCAP’s “Pathology Commons”—wide open—fully stocked and free to all who wish to visit the Website!

| November 28, 2007

The Knowledge Hub for Pathology may be viewed at www.uscap.org .  Excerpted editorial by Dr. David Hardwick, Professor of Pathology, University of British Columbia below.  Full editorial available in November’s

In this [month’s] issue of Human Pathology, Drs Fortna and Wertheim review “The Knowledge Hub for Pathology”, a compendium of the most current academic considerations of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) members and contributors worldwide. Presenters at the USCAP annual meetings have created a vast cornucopia of studies, clinical presentations, and courses that focus on the most current matters of interest to pathologists. To ensure the integrity of “this compilation of poster abstracts, presentations, case reports, and short courses,” they are reviewed, validated, and authenticated by knowledgeable reviewers before being presented first at an Annual Meeting, then later posted on the USCAP website.

The Knowledge Hub for Pathology has tapped the resources of leading academic pathologist practitioners, as sophisticated analysts of the diagnostic aspects of anatomic/surgical pathology, whose cutting edge studies provide knowledgeable advice to clinicians and. As Fortna and Wertheim note, the short courses “are by experts in their given fields and are undoubtedly the most useful components of the Hub.” This is accomplished through integration of the very latest techniques including proteomic and genomic microarray studies as well as appropriate personal microscopic assessments.

Fortna and Wertheim also state “the Knowledge Hub’s main strengths include its global accessibility and breadth of information.” The importance of information from all sources emphasized in previous Human Pathology editorials and underscores the need to expand information and data management to enhance diagnostic acumen.

The Knowledge Hub for Pathology also provides additional insights into the progression from Data → Information → Knowledge with extensive testing, retesting, and, finally, attributed trust and wisdom. Of course, given another major pathology mission—research, the length of time before existing knowledge is reviewed and iterated, to emerge as more current knowledge, is typically very short nowadays. Thus the title “The Knowledge Hub” was chosen to reflect the primacy of knowledge in diagnostic medicine and to underscore the need for pathologists to use all the tools at their disposal to integrate information from disparate sources into their knowledgeable advice for clinicians.

Given the current attention on Wiki sites, blogs, etc, it is de rigueur to be part of an open source Web site, phenomena still early in their development. Readers must understand that although the logic of self-governing systems and freedom pervades The Knowledge Hub, unlike many blogs, submitted material is carefully reviewed for authenticity and posted for a limited time, 3 years for scientific abstracts and 6 years for short courses, to remove them from the Web site by their ‘best before’ date. The Knowledge Hub does not “compete” with journals, as scientific abstracts are a bridge between study and official journal publication. Fortna and Wertheim understand and correctly emphasize that The Knowledge Hub “should not be considered a substitute for standard pathology texts” in that short courses are removed from the Web site in compliance with the USCAP Web site Posting Protocol as they are expected to become textbook material in the fullness of time. The Knowledge Hub by design focuses on the most current emerging topics of interest to pathologists! Organization and searchability of The Knowledge Hub, as noted by Fortna and Wertheim, “makes navigation through it somewhat difficult.” This is a fair criticism and they further conclude “many of these problems will be corrected in future refinements of the site.” They also note that “the Hub is in its infancy,” highlighting the fact that the USCAP is truly a pioneer in this realm, with the Hub being continually reconfigured to provide the most current easily searchable knowledge free to pathologists worldwide.

Category: Publications

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