Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cool new feature in PubMed

Perhaps they were inspired by HubMed, but it appears that the National Library of Medicine is finally developing an RSS 2.0 feed for PubMed searches. Those in the biomedical sciences know that PubMed is the web interface for searching the MEDLINE database of the peer-reviewed scientific literature. It contains millions upon millions of citations going back to 1965, and it is the means by which most physicians and scientists search the biomedical literature. It's a cool feature that allows you to set up an RSS feed to monitor authors, keywords, and other searches You just set up a search, choose the "Send to RSS feed" in a pulldown menu, and set some options and limits on the feed, after which it will generate an XML link. RSS searches monitored this way will be updated using the same "What's new?" strategies used by My NCBI for updating saved searches and will be updated once a day.

It's about time. Now that I've discovered the joy of perusing blogs using RSS feeds, I can't imagine any other way to monitor searches of the literature like this if you're a frequent user of PubMed. If you're a less frequent user, PubMed still offers e-mail updates. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be working yet; the "Send to RSS feed" option isn't showing up on the pulldown menu that it's supposed to. Here's hoping that they have it up and working soon.

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