Alternatives to Reference Update?

Todd McGee scoop at leland.stanford.edu
Thu Nov 28 16:21:19 EST 1996

Hi Malcolm. I'm a postdoc at Stanford University in the Dept Biology
and along with my postdoc research, I've been lucky enough to be
involved in the design of several online journals, including the online
versions of JBC, SCIENCE, J. Neuroscience, and J Clinical Investigation
and others. Several of these journals are in the process of designing
personalized services to offer their online readership. One of the
services that I am most anxious to have implemented is a type of
alerting service that would allow a subscriber to store a search
profile similar to the Reference Update profiles and then receive email
notification when an article which matches their profile appears in
that particular journal. 

This would, I believe, be quite useful but it's obviously limited since
it only covers a single journal. The first journal that I've been
working with to offer this service will be JBC and it should be
available to subscribers in a few months. As a natural extension of
this service, I am strongly pushing for this service to eventually
cover all of Medline so that each week (or at some other user-specified
periodicity) the user would receive an email message listing all of the
NEW articles added to Medline which fit the specified search criteria.
Of course this service will also be offered only to subscribers of the
electronic journals but subscriptions are currently pretty cheap,
certainly cheaper than Reference Update. 

The utility of this service will also depend on how quickly Medline
gets new articles indexed, and we're all familiar with how long this
used to take (sometimes months!). In the very near future, the Medline
indexing process will be significantly accelerated, in some cases,
articles will be indexed in Medline the same day they are published.
I'm fairly hopeful that the combinations of full Medline searching and
faster updating of Medline will go a long way to providing the type of
service that you asked about.

If you or anyone else thinks this would be a useful service, I could
sure use the help in convincing the journals that it would be popular
in our bio community.  Links to the online journals and their feedback
pages can be found at 

I'll keep trying to anticipate the needs of our community and designing
the next cool features for the journals but if you've got ideas that
you think would make your lives easier you could also send those
suggestions to the staff at Highwire. All suggestions are considered
for merit and feasibility.

Sorry to take up so much bandwidth. Hope this was helpful - 
Todd McGee
scoop at leland.stanford.edu

In article <57ioft$adq at umbra.unr.edu>
malc at equinox.unr.edu (Malcolm L. Carlock) writes:

> Are there any software alternatives to the Reference Update package?
> It would be lovely to be able to search for references via WWW rather
> than having to deal with the native Windows or DOS software that RIS
> currently offers, given the crash-prone nature of the Windows and DOS
> environments.
> I'm told that RIS won't have its WWW-based software ready until sometime
> in 1997.  Is anything else already out there?
> Thanks in advance for any info.
> Malcolm
> -- 
> Malcolm L. Carlock                    UNR Unix Administration and Support
> --Email:  malc at unr.edu                --WWW: http://unr.edu/homepage/malc
> --Voice:  702-784-4637                --Fax:  702-784-4050
> --USMail: University of Nevada, Reno / Mailstop 180 / Reno / NV / 89557

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