Tool time: PubMed, RSS, and Feedly

I'm sure you all make use of PubMed (and probably Google Scholar) to try and keep up with the literature in your field. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to have automate the process? And have not only the results of your searches but also things like journal tables of content delivered in a single, user-friendly package?

There is.

You may or may not already know that you can set up saved searches in PubMed and have the results sent to you. There's a slicker way. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds coupled with an RSS reader (e.g. Feedly). When you do a PubMed search you'll find a "Create RSS" link under the search bar (after you've done the search). You can use that to get a link to an automated version of the search that can be used in a RSS reader. PubMed has a good set of instructions online for doing this. A RSS reader is simply a web site (or app) that aggregates all of your RSS feeds in one place. I happen to use Feedly. You can set up a free account on Feedly and paste in the RSS links you create in PubMed.

Wait! There's more!

Many journals also provide RSS feeds of their tables of contents. You can add those to your RSS reader as well. The RSS feed link for some journals are not always obvious, but can be found with a little digging. Add those in and the table of contents for each new issue will appear in your reader. Some professional societies also have RSS feeds. As do some news sites. Add whatever piques your interest.

And there you have it, a single site you can visit on a regular basis to see what's happening in your field. Maybe even put this as a recurring event in your ToDo or Calendar app.