Donnerstag, 21. März 2013

Automated pubmed searching with RSS

If you're regularly searching pubmed on a particular topic, you can make your life a lot more comfortable using automated searches. Everything that is required is a web browser and a RSS-aggregator, such as the soon-to-fade-out Google Reader, feedly, or a Tiny Tiny RSS instance (if you're geek enough to set one up for this purpose).

Here's how it works:

  1. Go to pubmed.
  2. Type in your favorite search query.
  3. Click "Search".
  4. After the result appeared, click on the button "RSS" below the query field.
  5. Adjust the settings to your liking and click "Create RSS".
  6. Use the xml-link to subscribe to this search in your favorite aggregator.
Et voila, you're done! Next time you log in to your feed aggregator, you'll see all the new articles that match the query. The cool thing is, you don't have to check the search on a regular basis anymore - your feed aggregator will keep track on all the new results as they tumble in via the feed. Unread items will be highlighted. If you use a mobile client, you can use the time on the train to browse through the list and star interesting articles for later reading. 

You can take this a step further, and subscribe to TOCs from your favorite journals. Never face a pile of unread TOC alerts in your inbox again. Every decent journal out there offers an RSS feed. 

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