Wednesday, June 15, 2011

iPad Ideas: PubMed Searching, Part 3

Parts I and 2 of this series of posts focused on finding and use apps that will help you search PubMed on an iPad (or other mobile device).  In Part 2, I mentioned the "library" feature of PubMed On Tap Lite, a feature that will let you store citations/articles that you find within a particular area of that app.  However, most of us using PubMed already use some sort of reference manager to which we'd like to add references and articles that we find.

Those of you who've worked with me know that I am a heavy EndNote user and proponent.  However, I know that many of you use Zotero, Mendeley, or Bookends to accomplish the same level of organization as you conduct your literature searches.  So, how does reference management work on the iPad?  I have to admit, I'm still struggling with this a bit as I figure out the best system; I know, though, that some sort of reference management integration has to work on the iPad to really be able to use this tool in my research.

PubMed On Tap Lite, the app that I've discussed in the previous two posts in this series, claims that it will allow you to email your results to yourself in RIS format, which is the type of file that reference managers use.  I tried this out, and there are a few steps that you need to take in order to successfully add articles that you find through PubMed On Tap Lite to your reference manager (in my case, EndNote, although the same process will work for Zotero, Mendeley, Bookends, etc.):

1.  Check the settings of your PubMed On Tap Lite app and make sure that the "export reference options" has the format set to "modified RIS"

(2) After you've checked (and possibly reset) your settings, then you'll conduct your search as usual.

(3) When you receive your search results, you have the option to use the email icon and email yourself the reference information.  Now that your email settings are changed to the "modified RIS" format, whatever you email yourself will look like this:

(4) When you receive this email from your iPad (or other device), the information you see on the screen above will come in the body of an email, rather than an attachment, which means that you'll need to create a file that you can import into your reference manager.

(5) Create a text (.txt) file, and copy/paste the contents of the email into this text file.  Save it under a name, and to a location, that you can easily remember.

(6)  Open EndNote, select the library that you want to import the file into, and then use the "import" button to locate and import the text file that you just created.  You'll want to select the "RefMan RIS" filter (import option) to successfully import the file:

That seems like a lot of steps, just to get one reference into your EndNote (or other) library.  Personally, I think I might just email the references to myself through the PubMed On Tap Lite email option, then use the PMIDs to do an online search with EndNote and pull in the references that way.

It's also worth mentioning that several reference managers actually DO have iPad apps.  Mendeley has an iPad app, as does Sente, a tool I'm not very familiar with.  You can search the App store for both of these, and I plan on reviewing related apps in a separate post.  Although EndNote does not currently have an iPad app, it does have some suggestions for using the iPad to conduct research.  Check out the video below for using EndNote Web to search PubMed on the iPad:

No comments:

Post a Comment