HubMed is PubMed on Steroids

by Ray Matthews on December 05, 2004 at 07:25 PM

At the Internet Librarian's Conference, Steven M. Cohen demonstrated many real cool RSS applications including HubMed. Not being a health sciences librarian, I wasn't yet familiar with this relatively new alternative search of the familiar PubMed medical literature database. If you're one who monitors the latest news about a drug or treatment, or if you're doing serious medical research, you'll absolutely love the assortment of alerts and exporting features HubMed provides.

You won't appreciate any of this until you do a search. So go ahead, look for something of interest. I have a niece just diagosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma so I'll do a search of that. HubMed allows users to perform a search, click on the orange "feeds" button in the right corner of the search results, and save it as an RSS feed. When new articles have been added to PubMed, HubMed will send you this information notification as an RSS feed.

So from the page of the search results I click on the orange button and now I see a page with the urls for query based feeds in both RSS and Atom formats. You can simply drag this button into a RSS news reader like NetNewsWire Pro (Mac) or NewzCrawler (PC) . Myself, I click on my Bloglines brower bookmarklet, and bingo, I'm into Bloglines where with one more click I'm subscribed to this feed for Hodgkins's Lymphoma. Now, Hubmed will keep checking the literature and deliver to me everything new it finds. Three clicks, literally. This is better than a dog that brings the morning paper.

If you are subscribed to a HubMed RSS feed, you can also post directly from your aggregator using the Blogger API at Biologging, is a community weblog for biomedical researchers. It allows you to create your own annotated store of abstracts, and to browse the logs of other users. You can create an account and submit posts to your personal weblog within biologging by using the 'Blog This' or 'Make A List' buttons in HubMed.

But wait, there's more. So much more, in fact that Matt Eberle at Library Techlog calls Hubmed "The Swiss Army knife of PubMed interfaces." If you go back to your search results, you'll see for each result a number of links to things like Abstract, Fulltext, SFX, Clip, Citation, Related, TouchGraph, and References.

A click on the SFX link (a library link server) connects you to a look up of the resource in the holdings in your local library's catalog. It supports Innovatic Innopac, BIBSYS, Dynix Horizon, Endeavor VOYAGER, SIRSI Unicorn catalogs. You can also ook up holdings in other catalogs (such as MELVYL and Library of Contress, and OCLC WorldCat), request the document be sent to you using your library's document delivery service or another (such as ILLiad and Infotrieve), download the bibliographic record for importation into your software (Refworks, Endnote, Procite, Reference Manager), save the citation, capture it using the wonderful award winning Windows utility NetSnippets, and more.

My compliments to Alf Eaton and the creators of HubMed. "I have used HubMed for a while now," writes Steven, "and have been absolutely thrilled with the results. This is one of those tools that awes the crowds at some of my presentations, and rightfully so."

I agree and only wish that HubMed had more in the way of tutorials to help novices like myself get the most out of this wonderful service. Have fun exploring it!

Speaking of the health sciences, look for the syndication of more and more publications from federal agencies. I saw recently, for example, that the National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) is publishing Network News, their bimonthly Newsletter from the South Central Region, as a RSS feed. Thank you, Greg Bodin, for offering this.