The MEDLINE database is an excellent source of non-patent literature prior art for professional patent searchers, especially for fields like medical devices and pharmaceuticals. PubMed may be one useful free way to access MEDLINE data, but it is by no means the only option. As Herve Basset (of the fantastic blog Science Intelligence and InfoPros) points out in a comment on a previous Intellogist blog post about 5 recent changes to PubMed:
I would rather advise to switch to PubMed alternatives: GoPubMed, PubGet, Biblimed…
I decided to take a look at one of the PubMed alternatives recommended by Herve, BibliMed. BibliMed is a free search interface that accesses MEDLINE data and provides unique search and viewing features like a tag cloud of MeSH term suggestions to add to your search and a list of books relevant to your query. BibliMed may not include the command line search option that makes PubMed attractive to expert searchers, but the intuitive and creative search features on BibliMed will be very useful for students and novice searchers who aren’t comfortable crafting complex queries and using MeSH terms.
After the jump, learn about the intuitive search and viewing features available through BibliMed!
Background on BibliMed
BibliMed is an alternative interface to PubMed for searching the MEDLINE database, and the interface is created by a French Society of the same name.BibliMed includes both a simple search option that is accessible without registration and an advanced search option (BibliMed+) that’s available for free with registration.BibliMed+ includes the additional features of:
- History and export options
- Clinical filters
- Advanced search options (therapeutic use, drug effects, methods, etc)
Search and Viewing Options on BibliMed
After completing a free registration for BibliMed, users can enter their email and password to log in to the full version of the system. Enter a simple keyword term (within a field selected via drop-down menu – text, title, date, author, journal, issue, volume, page, or keyword), or select from “MeSH term, substance, and journal suggestions” that appears via auto-completion.
This auto-complete feature only appears to function when the Text, Journal, or Keyword fields are selected.
After entering an initial query, the user can filter search results by:
- Adding additional keywords or MeSH terms to the query (queries or favorite search terms may also be saved).
- Select from a list of relevant qualifiers and related MeSH terms (sorted by relevance or alphabetical order) to add or exclude from the query (or search for the term in other databases, such as Wikipedia). Mouse over each term to display a small menu of icons.
- Filter by publication type, subject, systematic review filters, clinical filters, and medical genetics filters, and select record type (all articles, all indexed, abstract, full text, free text).
Search results are automatically filtered as the user selects new terms or filters to add to the query. Results are listed 50 per page and include a red tag indicating the type of record (i.e. no abstract, abstract, free full text, etc), the title, and basic citation information. Select the red tag or title to view a window displaying the full record for the result (such as links where the free full text is available, publication type, MeSH terms (which each display a small menu of icons when moused over), abstract, etc).
For each search result, users can select from a small menu of icons to:
- Find similar articles
- Export the citation to Mendeley
- Export the record in text or Medline format
- Save the notice to BibliMed
Professional patent searchers looking for non-patent literature on the MEDLINE database will still want to use PubMed or a subscription platform (like STN) for searching, since command-line search options are available on these platforms. BibliMed does provide a much more user-friendly interface for integrating MeSH subject headings into the query, especially for users who aren’t used to looking up MeSH terms on PubMed. Any professor who wants to teach his or her students how to search MEDLINE would have a much easier time showing students how to craft relevant queries through BibliMed than through the complicated PubMed interface.
Do you know of other alternative search interfaces to PubMed for searching MEDLINE data? Let us know in the comments!
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This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.