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How do you follow the scientific literature?

This is a quick survey to see how people keep track of the newest developments in their fields. As an example, I use a mix of the following services:

  • PubMed's "MyNCBI" saved searches for specific authors and keywords
  • Google alerts for the same
  • RSS feeds or email alerts for my favorite dozen or so journals
  • RSS feeds for arXiv.org, Research Blogging, as well as a mix of science and tech blogs
  • Old school Google or (gasp!) sometimes library searches

I've been playing around with some services such as Mendeley and ResearchGate as well, but those haven't really been added to my common research discovery toolset yet.

So yeah, as the title says: how do you all stay up to date with the scientific literature? Please leave comments!


  1. Google alerts for authors/keywords/citations, email TOCs for 12-15 journals, and blogs.

  2. 1. RSS feeds from journals.
    2. RSS feeds from blogs.
    3. Google Alerts.

    PubMed is of little use to me, since I don't do much meddy.

  3. Anonymous15:13

    I use PubCrawler: http://pubcrawler.gen.tcd.ie/

  4. 1] RSS and Twitter for discovery
    2] PubMed for further readings

    sometime the RSS can be overwhelming, so I am working on a Python script to aggregate RSS feeds from Journals/Blogs, filter/rank them by query terms and output a "nicely" formatted html page (similar to Paper.li)

  5. @Zen: PubMed isn't just medicine though... you've got 13 manuscripts indexed there! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=faulkes%20z%5Bau%5D

    Sounds like we've all got similar methods, though, which guess isn't a surprise, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

    @Leonard: I'd love to see that script once it's finished!

    1. I have posted the first draft of the code on Sciple.org
      it is a long way from being finished, though

  6. Anonymous02:38

    Pubcrawler from TCD Dublin

  7. Pubmed for alerts to specific terms or authors.
    TOCs emailed to me for about 6-8 journals.
    RSS for blogs and Twitter for random papers I may have missed.
    Google scholar and library searches for specific topics.

    Newly added, the Mendeley Suggest feature. It's more pinpointed to my interests than the TOCs but suggests old and newer papers so it can't be the only source.


  8. Saved searches from Pubmed which get emailed to me. I also get emails of Tables of Contents from the journals most important in my field.

  9. Bradley, I know PubMed casts a pretty wide net, but I have yet to find anything it does that other services with wider coverage can't do.

    1. Oh, okay, yeah. That makes sense. I was basically trained on PubMed, so it's my default.

  10. Pretty much the same as you, plus citation alerts to all my own papers from various sources: surprising how many relevant papers I'd miss without that feature.
    On the whole, though, I still spend way too much time sifting through all these titles compared to actually reading these papers! I want an RSS reader with specific tools for researchers. Ideally it should be one that's open and allows plug-ins to be written by researchers themselves. That would be the most efficient way to minimize searching and maximize reading, IMHO.

  11. Anonymous00:29

    I use My NCBI, newsletter from publication houses, "PUBGET" is an add-on for me and sometimes I use Google scholar.

  12. PubCrawler! http://pubcrawler.gen.tcd.ie/

    Supplemented with occasional Google searches for my own papers. Google occasionally finds things faster.