Interesting titles this week – an introduction

So, as you (the reader, singular), may have noticed there hasn’t exactly been a bunch of new material on this site recently.  You can blame quals (I know I do).  In order that I don’t completely let this blog lapse into the senility it most certainly deserves, I began to search around for material to post that wouldn’t require an hour or two of prep and any kind of serious mental effort.  This is the result.

I currently get three sets of emails a week that remind me of how damn productive my particuar niche(s) of the academosphere are.  One is from the amazing and prodigious Robert Malow.  The sheer quantity of material that this man works through is amazing, and then he formats it up nicely and emails it to very many people around the world.  The topic is HIV, but within that this biweekly publication covers everything from the molecule to society.  And it’s free.

The other two are non-curated emails, one from Google Scholar and the other from PubMed.  The former is entirely based on keyword searches, which makes narrow searches or multiple terms a necessity – especially since it often picks up grey literature.  The latter allows you to use fields to narrow searches down – if you are not already using these generally, and MeSH terms specifically, you are seriously underutilizing the strengths of PubMed.

These three updates provide high sensitivity, but pretty low specificity, and I then use a sophisticated algorithm (a.k.a. The Eyeball Test) to pick out potentially interesting things to read properly.  It is from this two-step procedure that I found all the articles I have blogged about so far, and probably those I will in the future.  But I will never get to blogging about half/98% of those I pick.

My plan, therefore, is to post every week a list of the things I have picked up, but not necessarily yet read.  Partly I hope that this will be of interest, if your interests are very closely aligned to mine (hence the singular reader concept), and partly I hope that this will push me to actually read them myself.  So a win for everyone, possibly.