This blog has repeatedly discussed the recent and upcoming changes to PubMed (see links below). I didn’t try to hide that I was not impressed with -nor very fond of- most of the changes. But despite these feelings, shared by many (librarians?), the introduced changes are there to stay, whereas the announced changes are about to be implemented…… SOON, VERY SOON!
The most salient changes are the disappearance of the Single Citation Matcher, the Tabs (Limit, Preview/Index, Clipboard, History, etc.) and the Blue Side Bar. Full text icons are already gone (i.e. the green page icon indicating free full text).
Factually, this means that in a short while you can only use the Advanced Search. It will no longer be optional. Besides the shortcomings of this feature (see previous posts), it will also mean that a complex search (when you need to look up MeSH) will take much longer. As discussed before, using “The Index of Fields in the Advanced Search” is not very suitable for this purpose.
As you may know, multi-word terms words are now split and separately searched in all fields instead of searched as one term in title and abstract (ATM or Automatic Term Mapping)* or as Michelle Kraft of “the Krafty Librarian” describes it: ATM is basically just Googlizing the search process.
To get a complete picture of the upcoming changes, I recommend the excellent post of Michelle Kraft describing all these changes in detail (see here).
Michelle also refers to two valuable information sources:
- MidContinental Region (MCR) recording of one NIH webmeeting: https://webmeeting.nih.gov/p67806081/
- Good video for patrons to show them the changes and how to search PubMed: Melissa Rethlefsen’s tutorial at Mayo Clinic.http://liblog.mayo.edu/2009/03/04/pubmed-advanced-search-an-introduction/
To be honest, I fear the upcoming changes. Personally, I already switched to the OVID interface to search MEDLINE, but I’m afraid of how it will affect the search courses we give and the way the patrons will search PubMed. Given the past experiences (usage of wrong MeSH, too easy use of limits, no use of Clinical Queries), I’m not very confident about it.
Note: *the mapping process with MeSH terms remains unchanged.
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