Cool Toys pics of the day: NIH Reporter

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NIH Reporter: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm

A new year and change is in the air. This is actually not a new
change, although it was new to me. This replaces the CRISP database
and some other information sources from NIH about what they are doing
with their funds.

“The information found in RePORTER is drawn from several extant
databases–eRA databases, Medline, PubMed Central, the NIH Intramural
Database, and iEdison–using newly-formed linkages among these
disparate data sources. The comprehensiveness of these databases
varies, as does the quality of the linkages formed among them. We
expect that the quality of RePORTER data will improve over time as a
result of changes in both data collection (e.g., implementation of the
NIH Public Access policy) and the increased ability to identify
missing information that comes from making these data accessible to
more people.”

I don’t like it. Near as I can find out, there is no good way to do an
advanced search or a freetext search. It looks as if you can combine
terms with Boolean logic, but it sure as heck did NOT work when I
tried. I ended up having to do about 20 individual searches for each
of the terms of interest, and I have no idea if there are duplicates.

In addition to not liking the searching interface, I also didn’t like
the data output. I ended up copying manually (cut and paste) almost a
thousand citations, which were not available in a structured form to
integrate with a database. Altogether, it was a frustrating
experience.

Anyway, it looks like what I was trying to do should have worked, so
perhaps the folks at NIH think it does? What I really really wanted to
be able to do was push a search from PubMed or the NCBI databases
directly into Reporter and get back meaningful relevant results. Now,
THAT would be blissful! Uh, um, useful. 🙂

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