PubMed Search Results Can Be Customized

According to the March 12, 2010 NLM Technical Bulletin, people using PubMed will be able to customize and tailor the display of their search results using MyNCBI.  Searchers can have the display default to Abstract format, show more than 20 citations per page, etc.  Note, if you want PubMed to display results in Abstract format and have 200 citations per page, your load time might take some time.  So balance your need for everything on one screen with your load time patience. 

PubMed has also increased the number of filters available from 5 to 15 and they are displayed under “Filter Your Results.” 

There are lots of good picturs on the Technical Bulletin and a two minute Quick Tour, Changing Your Default Display Settings, for people wanting to learn more about these features.

I have a problem with MyNCBI.  The problem is with the name.  The folks over at NCBI, NLM, and everybody else tinkering with PubMed to make it “more user friendly” for average users fail to realize the name MyNCBI means absolutely nothing to the average user.  The average user is used to MyCart, MyFolder, MyResults, MySaved, etc.  Think Amazon.com, that is what people are used to using, not cutesy names for things like MyNCBI. They don’t think MyNCBI is where they save stuff and where they can save filters for more tailored results.  I think you would get more average people using the very strong MyNCBI features if you labeled it something else.  Heck I would venture to guess most “average” users don’t even know about filters because they are hidden behind MyNCBI. 

Unfortunately I don’t see the term MyNCBI changing any time soon, NLM has a somewhat long history of naming things that mean something to those “in the know” but mean nothing to the average person.  LoansomeDoc and MedlinePlus are just two prime examples.  You should have heard the librarians at the Midwest Conference last year talk about how consumers don’t “get” what MedlinePlus is and that it is from the National Library of Medicine.

One thought on “PubMed Search Results Can Be Customized”

  1. It appears you can’t “share” these settings if you are using a shared MyNCBI account at your institution.

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