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PubMed is changing more than just its look

by Kimberley Barker on 2019-07-24T11:39:48-04:00 | Comments


(This article was written by Elaine Attridge, and edited by Kimberley Barker)

For over 20 years, PubMed has been there for you by providing an easy-to-use interface to find articles on the topics in which you’re interested. Updates have been made periodically including in 2017, when a new search algorithm was implemented that uses machine learning to locate the “best matches” of top articles for the terms you’re searching. Top articles now are weighted by term frequency and by using relevancy data obtained from anonymous PubMed search logs that were aggregated over a period of time.

Get ready for another change that should occur sometime between September 2019 and January 2020. Once this version of PubMed is live, you will notice a new, modern interface that works better on mobile devices. It will be easier to perform your search, to show the most relevant articles first, to read snippets of the abstract in which the terms you used are highlighted, which makes reading articles much simpler. A handy graph prominently displays how often your term(s) have been written about over the years so that you have a sense of how far back in the literature you should look.

Other new features include a limit to connect you to “Associated data” from each article. “Cite” provides the reference in AMA, APA or MLA formats for use in bibliographies. And the “Share” feature easily links your citation to Facebook, Twitter, or provides a permanent link to the citation that you can email to others.

For more savvy searchers, the advanced search allows for search term building within specific fields such as Medical Subject headings (MeSH), the title/abstract, and more. Those with a NCBI account will continue to be able to use it but with the new PubMed, one can create an alert using a Google or eRA Commons account, too.

Want to get a look before it’s live? Click here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pubmed/. This experimental site, called PubMed Labs, is not yet fully functional and does not include all of the information that it will, such as the complete MEDLINE database. PubMed Labs is intended to be a test site for new features and to give users a peak before it goes live.

If you have questions about the coming PubMed update, please email Elaine Attridge: Elaine@virginia.edu

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