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Content Versus Interface at the Heart of PubMed Versus Scholar

At his blog, NeuroDojo, Zen Faulkes contemplates the merits of using Google Scholar rather than PubMed for literature searches. He writes that he's "never warmed to PubMed, although I know many of my peers use it multiple times daily," and that, in his opinion, "Google Scholar has been the greatest thing since Otto Rohwedder’s invention. I always found it much more straightforward to search compared to PubMed’s finicky structure, and it was more likely to just give me the PDF reprint." Furthermore, he suggests, since Google Scholar searches the PubMed database, and he "like[s] the interface better," he sees no reason to use PubMed. In Twitter comments on the subject, Faulkes writes that researchers appear to be divided over Scholar versus PubMed. For example, Rob Oakes notes that "Scholar only includes part of [the] PubMed index," Faulkes writes. "And because the whole thing is proprietary, it's impossible to know which results are being excluded," Oakes continued to Faulkes via Twitter. Meanwhile, he writes, user Biochembelle "noted that PubMed's functions have improved in the last year," and that, by using PubMed, she doesn't "have to 'wade through patents and books,'" Faulkes says. Faulkes adds that it's difficult to compare the two since they are both "moving targets," and constantly being updated. "So Scholar users, maybe it’s worth it to go back and give PubMed another shot. PubMed boosters, try playing with Scholar’s new toys," he writes.