Archive for January 2012

Russian Neurosurgical Journal; Vol 3, No 4

Papers: Software for Research

What is it?

Papers is a software application for Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad that manages your library of (scientific) literature. It can be downloaded from the Mac-version costs €59 / $79, and there is a free 30-day trial available. Papers Touch, the iOS version, costs €12 / $15: this is a so-called “universal binary”, which means the same app runs both on iPhone (or iPoud Touch) and iPad.

Papers for Mac

The main screen is visible in Figure 1, and is comparable to the interface of Apple’s iTunes. In the left column there are several default folders, containing your library and a search field for example. Below there are both “smart folders” (that automatically aggregate content based on some conditions, like author or title words) and normal folders to which you can drag articles. In the middle you see the articles and a preview below. Although you can read the article in this preview, it is more comfortable to open it in a new tab or read it full screen. The right column shows the article’s information, including abstract. I found this to be very useful: when reading an article, sometimes I want to look back to the abstract. This way I don’t need to scroll back.

Figure 1: Papers for Mac - Home screen (click to enlarge)

Since Papers 2 arrived, it is also possible to manage your references with this program, like EndNote does. Figure 2 shows how this works: when typing in e.g. Word or Pages, double-press the Control-key and a menu pops up. Simply type in the name of the author, a topic, or what you are looking for, and select from the list. This functionality is called “Manuscripts” and works like a charm.

Figure 2: Papers for Mac – Manuscripts (click to enlarge)

Papers Touch

Reading from the small iPhone screen can be cumbersome because the articles are in PDF and –therefore- do not adapt to screen size (in contrast with the EPUB format that is used for many eBooks, but also available for our articles on Surgical Neurology International). Reading from the iPad goes very well, as can be seen in Figure 3. Synchronisation between the library on your Mac and your iOS device is done wirelessly (WiFi) – no iCloud (yet).

Figure 3: Papers Touch on iPad (click to enlarge)


I have been using Papers for a few years now, and am hugely impressed by the app. The addition of  “Manuscripts” in Papers 2 made EndNote obsolete for me. A minor disadvantage is that the number of available reference styles is still limited, but it is steadily growing. Such styles are made in the so-called Citation Style Language (CSL), which can be done by anyone who is a little familiar with the HTML and XML language.

I recently created the CSL style for Surgical Neurology International, that can be downloaded from our Author Instructions page. It has also been submitted to the original CSL styles repository, so you can expect it to be included with the app soon.


Excellent app, 5 out of 5 stars without doubt. And one of the reasons to buy a Mac.


Pieter Kubben

Information Technology editor

Surgical Neurology International

Elekta Neuromag TRIUX

More info is available here.

Decision support for depressed cranial fractures

And here is number 5 out of 5 of the surgical guidelines of the Brain Trauma Foundation: depressed cranial fractures. In my earlier posts you read about on epidural hematomaacute subdural hematomatraumatic parenchymal lesions, and posterior fossa mass lesions. Before implementing the final part I needed to fix a technical problem. I ended up creating a workaround that does the job, so here we go…

Step 1: the original text-version of the guideline’s recommendations

Step 2: create a flowchart

(click for full size version)

Note that the double line around the first decision moment is my way to indicate that both factors should be present (a logical AND-operator).

Step 3: convert into an app!

As you can see, the text is a little too long for the iPhone’s display. Of course, on iPad there is no problem because of the larger screen. I have not tested this one on Android yet. At least this is something I have to work on, probably I should decrease the font size on iPhone a little bit.

So, here is how the full Brain Trauma Foundation section on the surgical guidelines look in the iPhone menu of NeuroMind 2:

Now they’re just in the order in which they appear in the guidelines. Probably I will change this into alphabetical order later on… The latest developments on NeuroMind 2 are available here.

Pieter Kubben
IT editor
Surgical Neurology International 

Papers style added to Author Instructions

One month ago we gave you a sneak preview on our upcoming reference style to use with Papers, a Mac-alternative for EndNote. Now we made this style available for download at our Author Instructions page.

It has also been validated and uploaded to GitHub, according to the suggestion of our reader Rintze Zelle.

Cavernous Sinus Hemangiopericytoma

Neurocirugía Hoy, Vol. 3, Numero 11

Colloid Cyst

Helsinki Live Video Course, 2011

Surgical Neurology International is pleased to present 15 surgical videos from the “11th Live Demonstration Course in Operative Microneurosurgery.”

The “Live Demonstration Course in Operative Microneurosurgery” is an annual course chaired by Professor Juha Hernesniemi, Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Helsinki in Helskinki, Finland. This year’s course was held from June 5-10, 2011, and featured a faculty of Vinko Dolenc from Ljublana, Slovenia, Ali Krisht from the USA, Ugur Ture from Turkey, Fady Charbel from the USA and Rokuya Tanikawa from Japan, among others. The “12th Live Demonstration Course” will be held June 3-8, 2012, in Helsinki.

The videos are about 20 minutes in length and show, in detail, how surgeons perform various procedures from aneurysm surgery to cavernous sinus tumors, brain tumors, cerebellopontine angle tumors, pineal tumors, bypass surgery and more. The list of the 15 procedures is found below.

The videos will be hosted on the SNI website 24/7 -365 days a year and can be watched at any time. You may comment on the videos for an exchange of ideas or questions to the surgeons on the procedures.

This course is the first of many courses on different subjects that SNI will present for its readers worldwide.

James I. Ausman, MD, PhD

Click any link below to view the surgical video:

  1. Left Mid-Temporal Pilocytic Astrocytoma – Ture
  2. ACA Aneurysm + Distal MCA Aneurysm – Krisht
  3. Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm – Hernesniemi
  4. Brain Stem Hemangioblastoma – Ture
  5. Right Medial Temporal Lobe Pilocytic Astrocytoma – Ture
  6. Moya Moya Right STA-MCA bypass – Tanikawa
  7. Superior Cerebellar Artery Aneurysm – Hernesniemi
  8. ICA Ophthalmic Aneurysm, Nonruptured -Hernesniemi
  9. Moya Moya STA-MCA Bypass – Charbel
  10. Meningioma of Cerebellopontine Angle – Krisht
  11. Occipito Temporal AVM – Hernesniemi
  12. Pineal Cyst – Hernesniemi
  13. Superior Cerebellar Artery Aneurysm – Krisht
  14. Colloid Cyst – Hernesniemi
  15. Cavernous Sinus Hemangiopericytoma – Dolenc

Lecture 31: Intracranial Meningioma

Intracranial Meningioma by Isaac Yang, MD