Giving Feedback on PubMed

Medlib-lis on fire with the feedback about the PubMed interface.  Some people like the clean interface and autofill features.  Others are frustrated by the number of clicks it take to get somewhere (they seemed to have increased) and there seems to be confusion with LinkOut, Advance Search not “staying” for multiple searches, and limits not carrying over. 

Whether you love the new PubMed or hate it, you should really give the correct people feedback on the new design.  But did you know there are actually three places you can write to about the new design? 

1. Preview Page Feedback – On the preview page  there is a feedback link that goes directly to NCBI.  This link is labled Feedback and is right above the search box.

2. Help Desk Link – In the footer of the regular PubMed  page there is a link to “Help Desk.”  Information submitted through that link is sent to the Medlars Management Section which is the group that normally handles PubMed problems.

3. Customer Service Staff – This is a form  that goes to the reference staff who get correspondence from the “contact us” buttons on the NLM main website, MedlinePlus, etc.

I have heard from one person that enough people had complained about a specific issue in the feedback link that NCBI made changes to address that issue.  So they are listening to your feedback.

Personally, I would like some clarification about the relationship between NCBI and NLM.  NCBI are the people who are responsible for PubMed, correct?  Is NCBI a part of NLM or are they a separate department from NLM?  If they are a separate department from NLM then how does NCBI handle the specific needs of librarians who use the PubMed database?  I realize more than just librarians use PubMed, but it seems that every so often NCBI changes PubMed in a way that is counter productive to librarians and library searchers.  For example, there was the time when PubMed put the library LinkOut icons at the bottom of the abstract (where nobody looks first) and the publisher icons at the top. 

Change happens everywhere and all the time.  We aren’t going to be 100% happy with everything but it is important to provide feedback to the appropriate parties so that we all can be involved in the process.

6 thoughts on “Giving Feedback on PubMed”

  1. NCBI is one of the branches of NLM. The head of NCBI (Dr. David Lipman) reports directly to Dr. Lindberg, the director of NLM. Of all of the different departments and branches at NLM, NCBI is probably the one with the lowest proportion of librarians. That being said, there are many librarians on staff who represent us and our needs.

    This NLM organizational chart might help clarify: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/2009_org_chart.html

  2. I like the website for pubmed, but noticed something that can cause confusion, and thought you could see about making a change.
    When you are at the abstract and see the link to the publisher’s website to get the article. I think when it’s not free full text, it should say on the link, “pay per view access” or something to that effect. So that you know you have to pay or have a login/pw to view the fulltext and then you won’t click on it if you choose not to pay but instead to order through docline. good work team on the new website.

  3. Carol, I would love to make those changes but as a mere medical librarian not associated with PubMed, NLM or NCBI I am powerless to do so as are most medical librarians. We just use the product. In order to see your change you must email Help Desk people on PubMed.

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