The NLM Technical Bulletin lists a few changes to PubMed that were implemented last Thursday (6/3/10). Here is a brief run down of the changes, for more information including helpful graphics go to the May/June issue of the bulletin.
Email Abstract Format – Users can now include/exclude the MeSH and “Other Data” associated with the PubMed citation int he email. The other data would be things like Publication Types.
PubMed Advance Search – The Advance Search page will be modified to provide users with a “more cohesive” method to build searches. “The ‘Search’ and ‘Preview’ buttons will be improved to process search terms present in either the Search Builder box or main search box.” Boolean operator buttons will now be in a pull down menu and terms in the Search Builder will default to AND unless users choose OR or NOT before clicking the Add to Search Box button. Finally, search box in advance search will not include autocomplete and the RSS and the save search feature will not be offered from that page. (It appears that you can still save your advanced searches and RSS them once you have run them and you are on the PubMed Results page.)
PubMed Discovery Ads– At first when I read this title I thought PubMed was going to start allowing advertisements which surprised me. It turns out that what they are discussing are the helpful bits of information in the “discovery area” (right side of PubMed results). The bulletin refers to these helpful bits as “ads” and they are “designed to lead users to additional information or assist with searching.” Whatever NLM wants to call it, this information has a new look to it with fewer lines, colors, and no more bulleted lists.
Use Parnter Organizations to Sign in to MyNCBI– Unfortunately I don’t have any information I I can offer on this subject. Apparently you can now sign in through a partner organization and also link your MyNCBI to your partner organization. But really, can the NLM Technical Bulletin make this sound any more complicated or confusing? Why somebody would want to do that is not explained in the bulletin, neither it is explained in (all three answers of) the Frequently Asked Questions on the Partner Account page. The only place I could find some information about the partner organization is from the 2008 number 364 issue of the bulletin. However that just says, “Use the ‘See more sign in options for My NCBI partner organizations’ link at the bottom of the Sign In page to learn more about this new feature which includes linking existing accounts with a partner organization account.” (It is a 2008 article so I don’t know if there was a link there, but there isn’t one now.)
There is a relatively small list of organizations listed as partner organizations. From what I can gather logging in under the partner organization is sort of like logging into your (if your organization is “partner”) organization’s PubMed. I assume (but could be completely wrong) this also enables full text linking and ILL. However I have no why somebody would want to do that instead of logging into MyNCBI. Why would somebody choose to do one or the other? More information and clarification from NLM would be nice.