My NCBI – a must-use tool

My NCBI is a free, free, free tool. You can tie it to your Google account, or make a new one. I won’t lecture the Millennials on how hard it used to be doing lit searches. In the Olden Dayes, having a library key was a sign of status, and critical to grant writing.

What can you do with MyNCBI?

  • set up automatic literautre searches – lots of them, whatever keywords you want
  • Save stuff, make your own collections
  • set filter options for manual searches
  • set up “My Bibliography” – lets other people find your pubs
  • be in compliance with NIH public access policy for your own pubs

But mostly, it’s the first on that list. Every Sunday night I get the results of about 10 searches. There is an art to picking the key words, but it is one easily mastered. Some of my searches are very broad, some very specific. And some results are worth the Sunday night smile:

Are you sure about this one?

Understanding dosing: children are small adults, neonates are immature children. Anderson BJ, Holford NH. Arch Dis Child. 2013 Sep;98(9):737-44. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-303720. Epub 2013 Jul 5. Review. PMID: 23832061

And for the anatomy fiends out there (somehow tongues are always funny):

Short Faces, Big Tongues: Developmental Origin of the Human Chin.  Coquerelle M, Prados-Frutos JC, Rojo R, Mitteroecker P, Bastir M.PLoS One. 2013 Nov 15;8(11):e81287.PMID: 24260566

And best of all:

Comparison of Muscle Activation while Performing Tasks Similar to Activities of Daily Livings with and without a Cock-up Splint.  Jung HY, Jung NH, Chang MY. J Phys Ther Sci. 2013 Oct;25(10):1247-1249. Epub 2013 Nov 20. PMID: 24259768 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] Free PMC Article

Yes, I find that if I remove the cock-up splint, the cock-up filter, and the cock-up cooking, my activities of daily living are much smoother.


5 thoughts on “My NCBI – a must-use tool

  1. Great post! Let me add that a critical part of effective PubMed searches is correct use of Boolean terms. A shocking number of scientists just don’t even know you can do this…
    AND / OR / NOT, putting things in parentheses, asterisks for wild cards, square brackets for defining fields, etc.

    Searching neurons AND 2013 might get you a pile of junk

    Searching neuron* [TI] AND 2013/10:2013/11 [PDAT] AND (nature [JOUR] OR science [JOUR] OR Proc Natl Acad Sci [JOUR] OR j neurosci [JOUR]) AND Mc* [AU] will get you anything with neuron or neurons or neuronal in the title published since the beginning of October in a handful of high impact journals by anyone of Scottish ancestry. It might still be junk, but at least it’s targeted junk!

    • Very very true. There is a fair amount of power-searching that can be done. Importantly, it can all be automatic and regular. The downside is becoming complaisant about your search terms. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. I also find Google Scholar alerts quite valuable: sometimes new papers appear in Google Scholar almost half a year before they are registered in PubMed (and sometimes it happens the other way around). Also at least in my field some journals I care about are not in PubMed (deemed not medical enough, I guess?). Google Scholar comes with a bit of noise, as it usually considers PhD theses and some science-related press-releases as “normal publications”. But this noise is not too strong (in my experience, about 90% of what its nets catch is valuable).

    Another thing where it is really good is in reporting papers that cite key papers in your field (including your own papers). WebOfKnowledge can do it as well, but somehow I find Google Scholar more intuitive and easy to use.

  3. Good point – there are lots of other tools. When I try to explain that the backwards and forwards searches in WOK were things you used to have to do by hand in the Olden Dayes, students are aghast. Aghast, I tell you. I should take this info & expand into a new post… add to my list of undone schtuff.

  4. Pingback: More on acquiring info | Mistress of the Animals

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s