Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coming soon: A new look for PubMed

The National Library of Medicine has announced that the PubMed database will soon undergo an interface redesign. Stated goals are to make PubMed easier to use, simplify the interface, refresh the look, better organize the text on the screen, and promote scientific discovery. NLM anticipates that the new design will be ready in mid-September.

Among the expected changes is the replacement of the current tab system (Limits, Preview/Index, History, Clipboard, Details) with a single screen combining many features onto one page.

The campus libraries offer hands-on training for PubMed (and many other research tools) - check soon for the
Fall workshop schedule.


  • What is the launch date? Proposed for mid-September.

  • Where have changes been discussed? June issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin.

  • Where will Single Citation Matcher & Clinical Queries be? Links will be on the front page and on Advanced Search.

  • Is “Preferences” replacing “MyNCBI”? Undecided.

  • What are the most results we can view on a page? Changing from 500 to 200 as a max.

  • Will there still be links to the MeSH database? Yes.

  • Will there be a direct export function to bibliographic management software? No, can’t support the many types of software.

  • Is Advanced Search changing? Not at this point.

  • Why not call it MySavedSearches instead of Preferences or MyNCBI? Because it includes functionality for all of the other Entrez systems.

  • Are there any plans for adjacency searching? No. Not part of the base technology.

  • Where will clipboard items be displayed? A link to access clipboard items will be available in the upper right hand corner, similar to the Limits message.

  • Will saved searches be lost when the new interface goes into effect? No.

  • Will LinkOut still exist? Yes

  • Will search screens for other NCBI databases change as well? Others will eventually change, unsure which ones and on what timeline.

  • Will cross-database searching be available? They are not implementing a new technology, just a change in appearance. The only cross database search capability is found on the Entrez home page.

  • Will it be possible to e-mail to more than one address? Not at this point as far as we know.

  • Will the library links to full text still be there? Yes, probably in the upper right corner on individual citation display.

  • Will we still have the ability in history to combine search numbers? Yes, will probably have to go to Advanced Search page.

  • What citation display views will we still have? All, except Citation and AbstractPlus won’t exist anymore.

  • Is it still possible to display text on the screen not as HTML? Yes, in Summary and Abstract views.

  • Will the hyperlinked MeSH terms in the display run a search or link to the database? They will probably only run a search, not link to MeSH database.

  • Where is "details"? Only by clicking into AdvancedSearch at this point.

  • Will Journals and MeSH database be available like on the sidebar now? Yes, on front page and through a drop-down menu above search box. Drop-down menu should be customizable in MyNCBI.

  • Is there a limit to the number of buttons for full-text access? Not that we are aware of.

  • Will the preview function still exist? Yes, on Advanced Search.

  • Will Powerpoint slides be available? Yes, in the June TB issue. A webinar recording will also be available later.

  • Are the limits available for both search boxes? There is only one search box.

  • Will there be another orientation when the new look debuts? Yes, including tutorials, quicktours, etc.

  • Where will limits be? Advanced Search page.

  • Where will history be? Advanced Search page.

  • Where will single citation matcher be? On the home page and on Advanced Search page.

  • Can you select to view MeSH terms in the citation record? Yes, you can set that preference in MyNCBI.

  • Can Advanced Search be set as the default searching page? No, the search box will be at the top of every page, so the page itself can’t be set.

  • Is it possible to get rid of the boxes on the right-hand side? You can click the minus sign, but they won’t totally go away.

  • Will we have to change our OutsideTool settings? No.

  • How much of a heads-up will we get? As much as we can get from NCBI.

[Thanks to Ebling Library blog]

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