Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Feed Frenzy

In response to a previous posting about journal tables of contents, I received the helpful suggestion of trying our an RSS feed reader. I soon installed the Sage reader for Firefox, and have had found it a very useful way to keep up. It is interesting to note the wide diversity of what various journals provide as far as RSS feeds.

The first frustration is those things I'd like as RSS feeds but aren't available (ah! the zeal of the newly converted). Science Magazine's advance publication spot, Science Express being at the top of the list. The ASBMB follows a similar line: Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and Journal of Biological Chemistry also fail to provide feeds for their advance articles.

The key point of variance is in what is provided. Oncogene opts for the most terse: just the title of each article. Many journals, including most Nature family journals (which Oncogene is in), give titles and complete abstracts. Journal of Proteome Research (an ACS journal) has titles, author lists, and an iconic graphic from the paper. PNAS picks a strange mix: the title, the author list, and then the timeline of submission, review, acceptance, etc. That's some administrivia I really don't see high in my list of things I need to keep on top of. PNAS also includes a short bit of the first sentence, but never enough.

I'm sure there are other permutations out there -- I'm opting to accrete RSS feeds slowly. Overall, I think I prefer the title+abstract format or the title+graphic format. This is what whets my appetite for a paper. Titles alone are nice and terse, but perhaps too terse.

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