Home / Science / They redesigned PubMed, a beloved website. It has not gone well | Science

They redesigned PubMed, a beloved website. It has not gone well | Science


Tero Vesalainen / Istockphoto, adapted by M. Atarod /Science

By Michael Price

PubMed, The Huge Database of Biomedical Literature maintained by the U.S. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), is one of the US government’s most popular websites, with approximately 2 million users daily. So when something on PubMed changes, it goes unnoticed.

Unfortunately, for the site’s caregivers, however, a sweeping redesign that was presented this week has left many PubMed users furious – posting their sometimes damned complaints on social media.

“Am I the only one who hates the new PubMed?” tweeted @LCneuroscience, the laboratory of David Weinshenker, a geneticist at Emory University School of Medicine, on May 19, the day after NCBI rolled out its re-recording.

“No. At first glance. Also second and third,” said biologist David Suter of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, in just one of hundreds of similar tweets that quickly came up in response – some of which cannot be printed on family-friendly websites. And by May 22, the original tweet from the Weinshenker lab had more than 1,600 likes.

Many of the complainers decry PubBed’s new styling and layout, how it displays search results and its supposedly improved search algorithms. “HERE’S THE NEW PUBLIC YOU DON’T ASK. It will make your eyes bleed and kill your soul. #bringbackoldpubmed, ” tweeted Paul Jenkins, a molecular biologist at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The Drug Monkey blog had a more specific complaint:

Molecular biologist Richard Ebright, meanwhile, urged PubMed users to return to an older version:

Others offered a more nuanced look, noting that almost every new design of a popular site was first criticized before people learn to live with it.

When asked to comment on such feedback, a spokesperson for the National Library of Medicine, which includes NCBI, ScienceInsider for NLM blog posts on redesign. They note the remake that aims to give PubMed users a modern interface, easier navigation and better search results based on machine learning algorithms. And in a January post, Bart Trawick, NCBI’s Director of Customer Services, noted: “Whether you think the new version of PubMed is bi-knee just as it is, or you have a good idea of ​​how to do it better – we wait to hear from you. “

That wait is apparently over. And on May 21, NLM Director Patricia Brennan took to Twitter to encourage PubMed users to record their thoughts on its feedback form. The agency understands that users can experience “any problems“With the transition, she wrote. As a result, it is now considering providing “short-term access” to Pubmed’s legacy, enhanced version.

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