Finding the best PubMed search app for the iPhone & iPad: Review of 6 PubMed applications

By: Wouter Stomp MD and Nick Genes MD,PhD

Whether you’re a doctor, student or researcher, you probably have to use Pubmed, the US National Library of Medicine’s publicly accessible index of Medline citations, on a regular basis. Although Pubmed has a mobile version of its website, it looks outdated and is not the easiest to use. Several apps have appeared in the Apple’s app store for iOS devices, to improve your searching experience.

The following post contains analysis and reviews of the following six Pubmed apps for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch):

* Mobile Abstracts
* Orkov
* Pubmed Clip
* Pubmed on Tap
* Pubmed Library
* Pubsearch Plus

Please note: Use the above hyperlinked index in order to go directly to the specific app’s page in the review. The conclusion is on the last page of this expansive review.

Mobile Abstracts:

(iPhone $0.99/EUR 0.79, iPad $1.99/EUR 1.59)

Mobile Abstracts is a really basic Pubmed searching app. You can search Pubmed, view the abstracts, and pull up pdf’s. Also it has basic bookmarking functionality built-in and abstracts can be sent over email, but that’s about it. The interface leaves some things to be desired, with blue on black text and stretching out the text over the full width of the column.

The iPad version, which must be purchased separately, isn’t any better. The search interface is clunky, forcing you to enter authors and terms in separate fields (that aren’t so clearly marked). When you find your reference and click “full text” the app jumps to safari — no built in webkit, no pdf manipulation.

Not recommended, easily the weakest of the bunch we reviewed.

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mobile-abstracts/id348575624?mt=8

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