Under the hood web 2.0- PUBMED and RSS

Snap poll: Did you know that PUBMED and a lot of the NCBI gives you the ability to create custom RSS feed around just about any query

My Answer : Yes I do ..but I learnt about this feature very recently, and I have been using PUBMED for years. You can watch how this feature works from this screencast .

The reason I bring this up is my observation that the NCBI and the EBI have been putting in a lot of energy at staying current while  preserving their orginal interface. Under the hood at the NCBI you can find features like MY-NCBI which has some killer personalization options ( to borrow a web 2.0 buzzword) . The NCBI forms have started to use more and more javascript and things  have started to look “more ajaxy” . Even the collections option just about ensures that I dont use connotea as often ( other than when I want to share collections on the web).

The point is that the bio-search space has and continues to see variations to the theme of search. A lot of these offerings seem to be mere duplications of functionality already present at the EBI and NCBI. While this is a good thing and only through such attempts will we arrive at a “Google”( in the verb sense) for biosearch.

I sometimes wonder if it would just be more worthwhile for atleast the career scientists among us, to learn how to use NCBI and EBI first. Then maybe private research dollars could be diverted to tackle the harder problems in bio-search .

References: Helia seraches PUBMED/MEDLINE


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