PubMed CSV option added [Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:04:49 +0000]
It looks like things are afoot at PubMed.gov [http://pubmed.gov]. They've apparently added a CSV option for downloading citations. This is great and will facilitate people getting citations into spreadsheets. Having this new option sure beats that FLink [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/flink/docs/flink_how_to_save_pubmed_results_as_csv_file.html] thing.
I'm not sure it's totally up and running though as the RSS feed for their News and Noteworthy [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/feed/rss.cgi?ChanKey=PubMedNews] shows a link to a post called "CSV File Selection" from March 24th but there's no post there, it just redirects to the home page.
Interestingly, this all seems to have happened a few days after someone from the NIH [http://www.nih.gov/] - according to Google Analytics - spent a good bit of time on this blog looking for information on how to get PubMed citations into a spreadsheet. Boy, would I like to believe that had something to do with it!
Of course, the data in the CSV file is still limited and non-customizable. You still can't get abstracts, it seems. That makes no sense of course since it is available in the XML format. If they've already got the data in a granular fashion, why not offer users better options?
For now, if you want abstracts and customized output you can try PubMed2XL [http://vimeo.com/15098984]. By the way, I'll be uploading an updated version in a few days. I just moved to a new town and I'm not quite settled enough to update some documentation and do some light programming work.