I have found Scopus to be a great resource when conducting author affiliation searches. All too often an author's institution is listed several different ways. Sometimes it is the author's fault or the publication's fault, and at times it is the institution's fault with many variant names.
A.B. Smith's works at Good Health Hospital System, here are some of the ways he lists his affiliation in his publications:
- Good Health Hospital System Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
- Good Health Hospital Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
- Super Medical School, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
- Big Money Donor Name Cancer Center, Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders
All four "institutions" are a part of Good Health Hospital System. Super Medical School is the medical school affiliated with the hospital and the Big Money Donor Name is the name of department that is within the hospital.
If you are searching for just one author it is pretty easy to go through and select appropriate institutions. However, if you need to find out what the entire department (or hospital) published within the last year, it gets a little tricky. You have to come up with all of the various ways your institution can be listed. If your institution is very large and has undergone some name changes, this can be difficult and time consuming. However, Scopus allows you to do an affiliation search using zip codes. For large institutions where it is it's own zip code this method of searching can be very handy.
Even with this handy dandy zip code searching. I found myself frustrated with Scopus. I got a call from the head of a department wanting a search to be done to see what all 95 people in his department have authored. He wants this search to be continuously updated. He would like to receive the information as an RSS feed that you could view on his BlackBerry using Viigo. I instantly thought of Scopus. It does author affiliation searches and you get an RSS feed of your search. I tested it briefly using a few names and thought it would work perfectly.
I was wrong. According Scopus, "RSS feeds are not available for all Scopus search results. RSS availability is also dependent on settings determined by your librarian or system administrator." The odd thing is that the small little test searches I conducted were RSS-able. Even a larger affiliation search which yielded 33,000 citations was RSS-able. But when I added all 95 potential authors and combined it with my affiliation search, it was no longer RSS-able. At first I thought it was because I combined searches. Nope combined searches were RSS-able. Then I thought it might be how I searched for (and later combined) all 95 names, so I typed it all out through the advance search box and it still didn't work.
I could email the results and get automatic updates email updates to my search. But that is not the point. The point is that he and I both want it in an RSS feed. This person just wants to read it on his BlackBerry, but he could easily want to display the results on his website and RSS feed makes that easy.
So I am back to square one looking at other ways that I can get this search in an RSS feed. Any ideas?