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Q: Aggregating new information via Push technology ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Aggregating new information via Push technology
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: icudoc-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 26 Jun 2004 04:30 PDT
Expires: 26 Jul 2004 04:30 PDT
Question ID: 366593
I want the Web/Medical journals to be searched daily for the results
of certain key words, have the information aggregated and delivered to
my computer. I have searched "Push" technologies but many seem "out of
business" or only designed to search new content on specified web
sites. Can you help?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Jun 2004 04:45 PDT

There are some "push" technologies that can be used for free, while
others charge a fee.  Since you are looking to keep up-to-date with
information from many subscription-based medicial journals, you may
have more success with fee-based services that can access such

Would a list of such fee-based services suit your needs as an answer
to your question?  Or are you only looking for push technologies that
you can use for free?


Clarification of Question by icudoc-ga on 26 Jun 2004 05:18 PDT
I am an Intensivist (Critical Care Medicine) and would like
comprehensive medical/non-medical information on Critical
Care/Intensive Care/Intensivists pushed to me from medical journals
and non-medical news/information sources. I realize that I may need to
use more than one service for this and would therefore like the option
of both free and paying services. Thank you.
Subject: Re: Aggregating new information via Push technology
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 26 Jun 2004 12:08 PDT
Thanks for getting back to me on this...your clarification was a big help.

I had to look up intensivist with a Google search [ define:
intensivist ].  Sounds like a very harrowing, rewarding branch of
medicine.  A while ago there was a question at Google Answers  about a
young burn victim that stirred quite a bit of concern among the
researchers may be of interest to you:

As for your question, I've described below several options for keeping
up-to-date on areas of interest to you through automated search
services and related mechanisms.  Several of the options are available
at no cost, and -- to my mind -- are every bit as good as the
fee-based services.

Using the services can sometimes take a bit of getting used,
especially in constructing a well-focused set of search terms that
zeros in on the materials of most relevance to you, without dumping a
lot of extraneous information in you inbox.

If you need any assistance down the line, don't hesitate to ask...I'll
be more than happy (even weeks or months after an answer is posted) to
help you out.

Before rating this answer, let me know if anything here isn't clear. 
Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll get back to you with
additional information.

All the best,



One of the best sources of up-to-date medical information are press
reports and press releases of new medical developments.  These are
often issued well before the breakthrough is formally reported in the
medical literature.  Another source is the World Wide Web itself,
which is teeming with information on new developments -- if one can
simply locate what they're looking for.

Fortunately, there are "push" tools to search news and the web, and
bring the latest information to your inbox.

First stop, then, is Google News at:

They offer a free "News Alerts" service that will continually search
recent news items for you, according to the search terms you choose,
and then send you an email notification when a new item appears.

To start off, enter the search terms that are of interest to you.  For
instance, I conducted a search on:

[ aspirin "heart attacks" ]

which returned 49 recent news articles.

Don't be dismayed if your first search returns an overwhelming number
of search results.  This often happens on the first "sweep", but
subsequent searches will only find updates -- that is, the new stories
that haven't already been included in earlier searches.

Step 2 is to click on the text on the left hand side, "News Alerts".

Select "How often" you want to see results, and enter an email address.

That's it!  Whenever a new story appears containing your search terms,
Google News will automatically send you an email with a link to the

You are not restricted to a single search.  Set up as many as you
like, and feel free to vary the search terms.  As I said earlier, I'd
be happy to help you in constructing well-targeted searches.

This is a great service.  It should serve you well.


Next stop is Google Alert at:

This is very similar in concept to Google News, except that it
searches the entire web rather than just news sources.

Sign-up is free and just as easy as at Google News, although you have
to pick a user
name and password for this site.

You'll note that Google Alert invites you to submit up to five
searches at once, so if you want to try other search terms, be
my/their guest.

The first time you run this search, Google Alert will likely find you a ton
of results and will email you information on the top 50 results.

But after that, the service will simply provide you a once-a-day
update if any new materials appear on the web pertaining to your
search terms.   

Not long ago, Google search results began including the medical
abstracts from the PubMed system at the National Library of Medicine
in the US: 

I imagine you are familiar with this already, but if not, please take
some time to explore the PubMed site, as it is the single most
valuable online resource I now of for medical information.

You can construct a Google Alerts search that includes the term
"pubmed" in it.  For instance:

[ aspirin "heart attacks" pubmed ]

This search will produce results that are highly concentrated on
professional medical journal articles (rather than, e.g., health
discussion forums).


By the way, I looked over the PubMed itself at length to see if they
offer a direct alert service, along the same lines as I've been
describing.  There does not appear to be one, but the Google Alert
service should do almost as well.

I contacted the National Library of Medicine to see if they might have
(or one day offer) such a service.  I'll let you know if they offer up
any useful information.


Another service that may be useful to you operates with a different
delivery system.

MD-Linx, at:

delivers once-a-day well-crafted newsletters on specific areas of
medical speciality.  A list of their "Professional Sites" appears on
their home page -- press on the "scroll down" button to see it in its

For instance, selecting "Emergency MDLinx" from the list will take you here:

where you can view the latest articles pertaining to emergency
medicine.  On the left hand side of the page is an option to view
specific sub-specialties, such as the "Airway/Respiratory" category.

The "push" part of all this, is that MDLinx will deliver a daily
newsletter to you inbox with the news in your particular area of
interest.  If you rest your mouse on the text at the top of the page,
"Today?s News", a menu will drop down with an option for
"Newsletters".  Clicking on this will open up instructions about
signing up to have one or more newsletters delivered by email.


The final two options for pushing information into your inbox are --
by necessity -- a bit vague at the moment, since I don't know exactly
what type of information you're looking for.  However, if you want
more information on either of the options below, just let me know.

The first option to mention is the Proquest Medical database, which is
widely used by colleges, and is generally available through schools or
through libraries.  This is full-text and (often) full-image database
of medical literature.  A description of it can be seen here:

It's been my experience that Proquest is configured differently at
different libraries.  I suppose the depends on what specific services
a library subscribes to, and how the interface is integrated with the
library system.

If you have access to Proquest Medical through your practice, please
check to see if it includes a "push" option.  I would be happy to do
some checking for you, if I knew the details of of where (of if) you
have access to this particular searching tool.


Similarly, individual medical journals may offer a "push" option to
subscribers.  Again, I would be glad to check specific journals for to
see if this option exists...just provide me a list of the relevant


With the (relatively recent) integration of PubMed into the Google
search results, I truly believe that the Google News and Google Alerts
services that I described above will provide you well-targeted and
very current "push" access to the latest information in your field.

However, if you find you want additional information -- or want to
explore additional options -- just let me know, and I'll be happy to
help you.

All the best,


search strategy:  Used existing knowledge and bookmarked sites.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 28 Jun 2004 07:49 PDT
P.S.  I heard back from PubMed, and it seems you can store keywords
for repeated searching, but it doesn't provide automatic
have to run the search manually.  The exact message (with contact
information) is:


At this time yuou can do the first half of your task but not the second half.  
You may use the "Cubby" feature of PubMed, explained on the sidebar of the 
PubMed main page, to store a search.

The Cubby search will need to be run at your command rather than run 
automatically, although the automatic update feature is on the Wish
List of features that the developers are working on.  "Watch this
space for new developments," as the advertisements say.

I explained to someone last week that they were asking for a model with 
automatic transmission, but this week all we have is the stick shift version.

Al Reynolds
NIH Contractor
Customer Service
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Subject: Re: Aggregating new information via Push technology
From: uwimg2k-ga on 28 Jan 2005 23:17 PST
I'm tremendously out of date, but sometimes look up related answers,
and may be able to offer some more insight. I'd to grapple with some
of the same issues, the questioner was dealing with, and so here are
some decent options for somebody who may stumble onto these same

a) Use Biomail ( This is a free service, which is
open source, which will query the Medline database (of which PubMed is
the frontend) for a specific query, or specific MESH headings, and
then email you a list of articles that have recently or are in the
process of being indexed. You can schedule searches to happen every
week or fortnight or monthly. One caveat though, they won't list the
abstracts themselves, since these are copyrighted with license granted
to the NLM alone by the authors of the article. (Wierd, what would one
want to do with the abstracts? Sell them??) So if you need to read the
abstract, the email contains convenient links to the PubMed entry for
that specific article

b) Use HighWire ( : is another similar service, which
limits its offerings only to the journals hosted by this Stanford
based organization. Does include big names such as the AJCCM (which
should be of interest to the questioner) and other pulmonology
journals, and will email selected abstracts, and you can also access
selected pieces on your PDA along with the TOC. If you are affiliated
with an academic institution, then you are in luck, as most big
institutions would have quite a few decent subscriptions on HighWire.

c) Other academic publishers : such as ScienceDirect, and Ingenta have
somewhat half baked services, but they are working on it.

For its price, Biomail is great, and HighWire really provides a neat
service. Hope this helps somebody.


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