NLM needs your input. We are experimenting with a new PubMed search algorithm, as well as a modern, mobile-first user interface, and want to know what you think. You can try out these experimental elements at PubMed Labs, a website we created for the very purpose of giving potential new PubMed features a test drive and gathering user opinions.
Please note that PubMed Labs includes only a limited set of features at this time and not the full set of PubMed tools. The absence of a feature or tool on PubMed Labs does not mean we plan to eliminate it from PubMed; it simply means we are not testing it now!
The key elements we are testing are:
- A new search algorithm for ranking (ordering) the best matches to your query
Based on analysis of data obtained from anonymous PubMed search logs, we have developed a new algorithm that we believe does a much better job of sorting search results by their relevance, or “best match,” to your query. This new algorithm incorporates machine learning to re-rank the top articles returned.
We were so excited by results with this algorithm that we already implemented it in PubMed, but it is still experimental and we would very much appreciate hearing what you think. Part of our test in PubMed Labs is having best match be the default sort, instead of PubMed’s default of sorting by most recent articles. If you find that you prefer to sort by the most recent articles instead, it takes only a simple click of a button to do so.
Interested in specifics about the new algorithm? You can read more in this NLM Technical Bulletin.
- Mobile-first, responsive design with modern user interface
PubMed Labs is designed to make searching and reading articles fast and easy, whether you are using a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
- Snippets from PubMed abstracts & highlighted search terms/synonyms
The search results page in PubMed Labs includes highlights (“snippets”) from the article abstract, when available, that are identified based on their relevance to the user query. Search terms and their synonyms are highlighted in both the title and the snippet.
We hope you take some time to try out the site and let us know what you think about these features. You can comment via this blog post as well as leave feedback via the PubMed Labs site.