PubMed® Redesign is here… to try.

1 10 2009

30-9-2009 23-35-13 pubmed try the redisgned PubmedWe have been waiting months for it, it has been announced several times, we have seen previews, webinars, small changes were introduced over time, till suddenly, today (30-09-09) there was a bright button on the front page of PubMed inviting you to “Try the redesigned PubMed”.

You can click on the button or go directly to http://preview.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed.

As a matter of fact @pfanderson already informed fellow tweeting librarians about the PubMed preview link the day before (see Tweet) and within minutes the entire Twitter Librarian community was buzzing about it (see the start of the discussion, taken from Eagledawg post on this subject). People thought that the link was not meant to be public, because it was picked up from a webinar, and no official announcement had been made. But today the new PubMed (first time I see the ®?) is live -although still optional-, accompanied by an official announcement of the redesign at NLM Technichal Bulletin (later followed by a post on Linkout in the PubMed Redesign).

Patricia has depicted the changes in a Powerpoint Slide (see post at Emerging Technologies Librarian: What I most want to be able to find in the new Pubmed.

My take on this:

  • While the front page looks “Functional, clear, ‘modern’” as  someone on Patricia’s blogpost said, I agree with David Rothman, that there are “TONS of wasted screen real estate on that front page”. Why is the search bar hidden at the top?
  • The buttons themselves are relatively easy to find and understand. Although some options like “PubMed Quickstart” are not always straightforward (mistaken for “easy search option” instead of HELP). But that is probably just a matter of getting used to the new design.
  • But what happens if you search: The Details-tab is no longer there and the History is gone. Yes, Limits, Preview/Index, History and Details tabs’ features have been consolidated in Advanced search (see techbull).
  • This means in practice that the front page only lends itself for performing one-search-at-the–time, without being able to check the Details-tab (only indirectly by going to Advanced Search). It needs little imagination to foresee what will happen. Users will type in (“Google”) terms, the combinations of which are inspired by the “Auto suggest” function. There is no way to check the mapping of the words, there is no way to combine MeSH and textwords (unless you know them by head). Basically this search page only lends itself to “quick and dirty searches”, the “One string only”-Google searches. The new PubMed Interface is all about “Serependity”. Some people may like that. I don’t (mostly…).
  • Once done it is easier to save the search or take and RSS-feed (but given the quality of the search…) .
  • No functionalities have gone, all there has been done is replacing the functions. But this can (and in my view) has implications for the functionality of PubMed itself,
  • Thus advanced searchers have to use the “Advanced Search”. But in contrast to the front page this one is full of limits, indexes and bars that should be wisely (and often not) applied. For people searching for evidence this site is not handy at all. In fact, I find it a real nuisance to use.
    I agree with Creaky: some 3rd party tools seem more adequate for beginners/simple searches. But for advanced searches I will move to OVID MEDLINE, for good. Alas I still have to teach my clients and students PubMed. It will be quite a task to see how that can be best done.

So I conclude:

“It is possible that I am about to preach to the choir, but I am going to come right out and say it anyway. I hate PubMed. I hate it with a burning passion. For a site that is as vital to scientific progress as PubMed is, their search engine is shamefully bad. It’s embarrassingly, frustratingly, painfully bad.”

Looks familiar? Anna Kushnir said that almost one and a half year ago... And Anna did get her way. Her ranting elicited a response of Dr. Lipman of the NCBI who reassured her “that a number of changes are underway that will make PubMed work better for her and many other users”. Pubmed is now “easy to use” for people like her. Will there come a PubMed that suits me too?


You may also want to read:

  • Kraftylibrarian: The PubMed redesign is here
  • Pubmed changes at the front door (2009/04/01/)
  • Advanced Neuritis in Pubmed (2009/03/08/)
  • Pubmed: past present and future – part iii: the future (2008/06/27/)
  • Pubmed: past present and future – part-ii/ the present (2008/06/15/)
  • Pubmed: past present and future – part-i/ the past(2008/06/11/)
  • Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


    Actions

    Information

    11 responses

    1 10 2009
    pfanderson

    Just my two cents. I am not as distressed as many others about the changes to Pubmed, but then I have *never* depended on it for serious research. I tell students that while Pubmed and OVID Medline search the same database that the two tools were designed to access that content in very different ways for different audiences. Here is how I’ve understood things. Pubmed was designed for a fairly dependable quick search by a busy clinician to quickly get information chairside or bedside in support of clinical decisionmaking. It is NOT NOT NOT an appropriate tool for designing a systematic review search or similar type of study. OVID Medline was designed by librarians and geeks for librarians and has always been a bit of a struggle for the general enduser. I see these are different tools for different tasks, and don’t expect either one to be good at both.

    1 10 2009
    Twitter Trackbacks for PubMed® Redesign is here… to try. « Laika’s MedLibLog [laikaspoetnik.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

    […] PubMed® Redesign is here… to try. « Laika’s MedLibLog laikaspoetnik.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/pubmed%C2%AE-redesign-is-here-to-try – view page – cached We have been waiting months for it, it has been announced several times, we have seen previews, webinars, small changes were introduced over time, till suddenly, today (30-09-09) there was a bright… (Read more)We have been waiting months for it, it has been announced several times, we have seen previews, webinars, small changes were introduced over time, till suddenly, today (30-09-09) there was a bright button on the front page of PubMed inviting you to “Try the redesigned PubMed”. (Read less) — From the page […]

    1 10 2009
    precordialthump

    Why isn’t the preview button on the front page?
    Doesn’t make sense to me…

    1 10 2009
    Erika

    Patricia, one problem with that argument is that there are more and more people who don’t have access to Ovid. We canceled our subscription (at a major research university) 3 years ago, and it’s mostly been fine. But Laika is right, this new interface may make it much more difficult to do good, high-quality searches–at least for the casual user.

    1 10 2009
    laikaspoetnik

    @precordialthump You tell me.. but I miss the Details and History Tab even more. The Details Tab is the only way you can check (and adapt) your quick and dirty search. I learned people always to use the History, to check terms and keep the overview. But if they need several extra steps I can’t sustain this.

    @pfanderson first thanks for your shout outs. Not living close to the fire I might have missed it.
    While I agree that PubMed and OVID/MEDLINE are the two extremes and that PubMed is less suitable than OVID/MEDLINE for systematic searches, I think that:
    – PubMed has become far less suitable to do these systematic searches
    – as @Erika said, not everyone can afford OVID MEDLINE. That’s why we teach our students and interns PubMed: they can always continue using this when leaving our hospital
    – Really I’m most worried about the “man in the middle”: those people who want to find good evidence relatively quickly. Imho, it is precisely this group who will suffer from the redesign. Because it requires too many steps to ‘get what you want’ in a relatively controlled way. Regularly I give a courses to Dutch Clinicians (together with the Dutch Cochrane Center). They have to search answers to at least 4 difficult questions in several databases, including PubMed. I don’t think this will be as easy as before. The advanced search is so illogically designed, it will be difficult for me to make sense of it (for them).

    I want to stress that I don’t expect nor would like PubMed to be designed for librarians, but I daresay we often know were our clients go wrong and we still have to teach them…

    4 10 2009
    PubMed® Redesign [2] News, webcast « Laika’s MedLibLog

    […] Redesign [2] News, webcast 4 10 2009 Since last week you can try the redesigned PubMed (see post). There is a link on the PubMed homepage which will connect to a preview version. The direct link to […]

    5 10 2009
    PubMed Redesign, A Physician’s Opinion | Dr Shock MD PhD

    […] PubMed has redesigned their interface. The changes to PubMed are outlined in the NLM Technical Bulletin. Medical Librarian’s reviewed the redesign, most of them not very pleased. Laikas has the most detailed review of them all. […]

    5 10 2009
    Science Report » Blog Archive » PubMed Redesign, A Physician’s Opinion

    […] PubMed has redesigned their interface. The changes to PubMed are outlined in the NLM Technical Bulletin. Medical Librarian’s reviewed the redesign, most of them not very pleased. Laikas has the most detailed review of them all. […]

    14 10 2009
    Frank Norman

    I think the comparison we have to make is not PubMed vs OVID Medline, but PubMed vs Google Scholar. Many people are relying on Google Scholar for literature search as it is such a clean, easy interface and they overlook it’s serious inadequacies.

    Shifting them to using PubMed must be a good thing, IMHO. They were never going to become OVID users as they don’t have the time/interest to learn how to use it.

    28 10 2009
    integronboy

    The new site is awful. Just looks like a fake website (the kind of website you find by mistyping, such as pubbmed.com), the access number are hardly visible and bugs have not been fixed.
    Try again!
    See my FB group on it

    1 11 2009
    The New PubMed: Trick or Treat? « Laika’s MedLibLog

    […] long seek refuge in OVID MEDLINE, […]

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s




    %d bloggers like this: