PubMed Advanced Search beta

I stumbled across a beta Advanced Search in PubMed today.  Has anyone else played with this?  It appears that it merges the Preview/Index, History, Limits, and field searching screens all together in one place.  Perhaps this will make some of PubMed’s features more obvious to searchers, but I’m not seeing too much benefit to it otherwise.  The History still has to be combined in the old, rather annoying way with the # and the capital ANDs and ORs and NOTs, for example, though there are of course the contextual menus to help you do that without the typing.  Now, if there was a nice checkbox option instead…

mla 2008 – coming soon to a theatre near you (or to chicago)

I’m rather glad that MLA is hiring bloggers to cover MLA because this year I already have about forty times the number of commitments as last year, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll spend typing. (I am obviously not going to be an official blogger as I didn’t really cherish the idea of applying for it and revealing my name, and since I already have wireless all taken care of, that wasn’t really an incentive.) This year, I will in fact have a cell phone with an unlimited data plan, so I will likely be twittering like crazy instead. Whether I choose to twitter as Ratcatcher or not…well, we’ll see.

For those twitterers going to MLA, make sure you follow mla2008. You can send mla2008 a direct message, and it will get redistributed to the group using GroupTweet.

Stuff at MLA I’m looking forward to (besides the Ovid party…):

Some posters:

Really, there’s too much to link to right now.

marketing to bloggers

I was highly amused to receive the following comment on one of my posts about MLA 2008:

Stop by the Epocrates booth at MLA; #239, and enter to win a FREE Centro!

Our team looks forward to meet[sic] you!

I approved it just because I was so tickled that medical library vendors are starting to market to bloggers.  And, to boot, a blogger who hasn’t actually posted anything in ages.

MLA 2008 – really, now, $505???

After MLA 2007, my only real suggestion to the MLA 2008 planners was to provide wireless.  It was frankly ridiculous to have no wireless available in the conference rooms.  And, now, I see that the registration packages are up on the web site, and lo and behold, wireless is available.  For an extra $75.

Yes, it’s $505 to register for the super inclusive plus internet package.  Now, since my organization pays for internet access for me, this isn’t really an issue for me financially.  But what about for those people whose organizations aren’t quite as generous?  For a “connection”-themed conference, it seems bizarre.  Of course, I realize that MLA was going to be charged a fortune by the hotel and apparently, it was going to be enough that they’d have to pass that on to recoup costs.  But I really have to wonder, why choose this hotel, then?  Why not go for a hotel where wireless is considered a basic amenity?  Maybe conference hotels just don’t do anything for free.

I have issues with the idea of paying for wireless up front when all it says is “Internet access in the Hyatt Regency Chicago public areas.”  What are public areas?  Does that include all the conference rooms and the ballrooms and etc.?  I guess I will go scour the hotel web site for more information.  Until then, my only conciliation is that at least it’s not Internet Librarian.

health sciences librarian blog reading survey

No doubt you’ve seen a link to Marcus Banks’ interesting survey about reading health sciences librarian blogs–but if you haven’t completed it yet, take a minute to do so. You have until January 21, and Marcus has promised to reveal the results on his blog.

submit to biomedical digital libraries

In wake of recent (well, not that recent, really) criticism of publishing for Haworth comes a very welcome announcement. Biomedical Digital Libraries, the open access journal that has brought you such excellent articles as “Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science,” “The ‘impact factor’ revisited,” and “The excitement of Google Scholar, the worry of Google Print,” has dropped out of BioMed Central and started afresh using Open Journal Systems.

What does this mean for you?

  • You can now submit to Biomedical Digital Libraries without coughing up a hefty acceptance fee.  For those researchers with grants, BioMed Central and PLoS are good choices for publication.  Without those grants, many medical librarians just haven’t been able to publish in BDL, no matter their interest.  Hopefully, the lack of submission fee will bring the high quality content BDL has been publishing from more quarters.
  • Biomedical Digital Libraries used to encourage multimedia submissions.  I wasn’t able to locate that information on the new site, but perhaps Marcus might comment on whether this is still true?
  • BDL articles will be archived in DLIST or E-LIS.
  • BDL uses open peer review for submission acceptance (peer reviewers’ reviews are posted and identified by author) and it appears that it will allow readers to comment on articles–another form of open peer review.

Not sure if your article could be submitted to BDL?  Take a chance and submit it!  If you want more guidance, check the BDL site for author guidelines and journal scope.

OvidSP and RSS feeds

I must be in a blogging mood or something (more like trying to avoid actual writing), but I feel inspired to post again.  Today, for the first time, the test RSS feeds I set up using OvidSP came through with new items.   Since no one has written much about OvidSP’s feeds yet, at least that I’ve seen, I’ll give you a brief overview.  They are weird.  There, that’s basically it (maybe one of these days I’ll do a whole review with screenshots and tutorial bits and whatnot, but not today).   If it wasn’t for the whole dependence on subject headings thing, I’d basically never use OvidSP over Scopus, which does everything so seamlessly.

I subscribed to a search feed (not a table of contents feed) from Current Contents.  The RSS feed shows up with the article title as the title, but at least in the feed I am seeing in Google Reader, the only other information you get is the abstract and perhaps some keywords–i.e., no source information comes in the RSS feed.  Here’s what I really *do* like, though–when you click on the title, if your institution subscribes to the full text of the article via Ovid, you get jumped to the HTML version of the full text.  Otherwise, you get jumped to an abstract.  In my abstract, my institution’s link resolver shows up, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m on the network, or if it identifies the RSS feed with my personal account.  I guess I’ll have to do some more research.

What would make sense for Ovid to do, especially since they are requiring you to have a personal account to use RSS feeds, is to put your institution’s link resolver into the RSS feed–it would save a step.  Also, it really ought to be a no-brainer that having source information in the feed is important.  I’ve only tested this on Google Reader, though, so maybe it is there in other readers.  Unknown.

Has anyone else tested out the OvidSP RSS feeds?