Shorten PubMed Links With pmid.us
PubMed is one of the most heavily used search tools in the health sciences fields, and if you're anything like me, you stumble across articles all the time that you want to send to your friends and colleagues. But PubMed doesn't make it that easy for you to create a link that's easy to share. Depending on how you got to an article's result page, your web browser's location bar can show you either a massive, unwieldy link, or one that won't even lead to your article.
A URL shortening service called pmid.us can make quick work of linking to articles you find, with just one tiny piece of information: the article's PMID, a unique number assigned to every citation. You'll find the PMID of an article somewhere in every view of a search result. It's at the bottom of the abstract in the default AbstractPlus view, shown here:
Just copy the PMID to your clipboard, and paste it after http://pmid.us/ to form a link that will lead immediately to the PubMed abstract for the article. No muss, no fuss, and it'll fit easily in an e-mail or tweet.
pmid.us has some a few other tricks up its sleeve in addition to linking to a single abstract. You can also link to:
* multiple abstracts, by putting a plus sign between the PMIDs.
* a full-text article, by adding full: before the PMID.
* a list of related articles, by adding rel: before the PMID.
NCBI's Help Manual lists a native method of linking in to results which has a few more features up its sleeve, but is also more complicated to work with. The native method is clearly more powerful for linking to searches, but for a simple abstract or related article list, pmid.us will do the job very nicely.
Have you tried out pmid.us to make better URLs? Know a better way to link in to abstracts? Drop it in the comments and let us know.
- Andrew Bain