Please help me save the old PubMed

Blitzkrieg tyson at canada.com
Sat Feb 12 16:01:51 EST 2000


the new format is more user-friendly.....if you don;t want to waste paper
just decrease the font setting on your browser and the abstract will print
out on one page .....or just copy the abstract to the clipboard ....or print
only the abstract frame...then you won't get the pubmed header frame etc...


"Russell Farris" <tryggvi at email.msn.com> wrote in message
news:O0QDiLSd$GA.233 at cpmsnbbsa05...
>          Please help me save the old PubMed. On March 1, 2000, it will no
> longer be available and we will have to use the new version, which appears
> to have been designed to discourage riff-raff like me from using Medline
> data to embarrass my doctors.
>
>          The format of the old and new PubMed forms are compared below for
a
> sample citation/abstract saved as a test file.
>
>                              Old         New
>                            format      format
> -----------------------------------
> Offset from left       0                8
> Words               322            402
> characters       2,308         3,517
> Lines                   43              98
> Pages to print        1                2
> -----------------------------------
>
>          It is outrageous that in this era, when we are constantly
exhorted
> to recycle and save resources, the bureaucrats at the National Library of
> Medicine (NLM)have designed a form which wastes a sheet of paper each time
> an abstract is printed. The layout of the new PubMed is so bad that when
you
> print an abstract you not only have to print an extra page, you must keep
> both pages and staple them together. This is necessary because the
> institutional advertising and useless features at the top of the form
cause
> the abstracts to have a page break in the middle of the text. If they had
> put the junk at the end of the form, you could at least just throw away
the
> second sheet.
>
>          There is a lot of junk on a sidebar that prints out on every
> citation and abstract. Thousands of other websites have non-printing
> sidebars, why not PubMed?
>
>          I wrote Word macros to reformat PubMed abstracts into a
convenient
> form. Abstracts from the new PubMed, with the junk at the beginning and
end,
> and with 8 blank spaces before every line, will be much more  difficult to
> reformat.
>
>          There are other problems with the new PubMed, and few
improvements.
> On the old PubMed, for example, you would see how your search terms were
> grouped with each search. This would often let you know if you had
invented
> a new term that the MeSH server couldn't handle. On the new PubMed, you
see
> only your search terms as you have typed them. There is consequently a
> greater chance of deluding one's self about the results of a search.
>
>          The new PubMed does not fix any of the annoying features of the
old
> version. Citation data is still in JOURNAL-TITLE-AUTHOR order. I have
looked
> at hundreds of journals over the years and I have never seen citations
> listed in that order.
>
>          When "Saving as" abstracts from the old PubMed, the title
returned
> was always "PubMed medline query." When saving abstracts from the new
> PubMed, the title is always "Entrez-PubMed." Neither are very useful-why
not
> return the first author's last name and the year?
>
>          The nicest feature of the new PubMed is the "Go to publisher
> website button." But as nice as this feature is, there is no reason for
the
> button to be printed on every citation.
>
>          A very nice bureaucrat (VNB)at NLM suggested that I look into
> taking a class on the new PubMed. I didn't need a class for the old one,
and
> taking a class will not fix the problems with the new one. If NLM had
decent
> designers and programmers they wouldn't need to waste millions of dollars
> giving free training at sites all over the country. The VNB at NLM also
said
> that "NLM/NCBI has limited staff resources and cannot maintain and support
> two versions of PubMed." If that is true, why not keep the good one?
>
>          I suspect the real reason they are shutting off the old PubMed is
> because no one is using their new one. PubMed is not a free service--you
pay
> for it with your tax dollars and you have a right to expect that the new
> version will be at worst no worse than the old one. I don't know whether
the
> new PubMed was done by a contractor, or in house by NLM personnel, but it
> must have cost a fortune. We might as well have thrown the money down a
rat
> hole.
>
>          If you would like to see the old PubMed kept in operation until
NLM
> fixes the new one, please write to them at custq at customerq.nlm.nih.gov and
> tell give them your opinion. Thanks.
>
> Russ Farris
>
>
>
>






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