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

Pubmed on tap:

($2.99/EUR 2.39)

Pubmed on tap has probably been around the longest, and is currently at version 2.5.4. As such it is a rock-solid contender, with all basic features on-board. The interface uses only standard iPhone interface elements and is very clear. Only the abstract view is a bit disappointing, it uses a font size that is just a bit too large (non-adjustable) and it also makes use of justification.

It is a universal app and the iPad interface is similarly simple, but effective. Like Pubmed Clip, it can email citations in RIS format, however switching between plain text and RIS format for email requires a dive in the settings tab. For users that have not gone completely digital yet, the Loansome Doc service is integrated, allowing users to order full-text copies of articles from their local medical library. One downside was that EZproxy support was a bit flaky, it did not seem to be consistently applied.

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

  1. PubMedUser January 27, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    According to this tweet, NCBI is working on a new PubMed Mobile right now.!/ncbi_pub

    • Iltifat Husain January 27, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      This is very interesting — we’d love for you to comment here or send us an email when they go live with their PubMed mobile app

  2. Digicmb | medlibmob January 29, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    Nice review, but what about: Papers and PubGet?

    • Iltifat Husain January 29, 2011 at 5:51 am #

      We’ll have a review of papers publishing next week. It’s a pretty
      comprehensive app, and provides a lot more functionality then these
      apps, as the conclusion of this review stated.

      • Whitney January 31, 2011 at 5:30 am #

        I work at Pubget, and per the previous comment, I’d be happy to provide you with more information about our mobile site. Our mobile site, just like our website,, directly connects researchers to all the papers they have access to- either through their institution, or open access content. Basically, whenever possible, they get the PDF right away. As it is a website, not an app, it is free. You just need to have your institution activated to search your subscriptions- which is also free for non-profits and universities. Feel free to email me at: wkmetz[at]pubget[dot]com for more info.

        • Iltifat Husain February 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

          Thanks Whitney for this information — very interesting. The nice thing about the webapp is the fact that it will work on all platforms.

  3. PubMedUser March 18, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Mobile PubMed was launched yesterday:

    • Iltifat Husain March 23, 2011 at 3:59 am #

      Thanks for this tip! We did a story about it yesterday based on your comment!

  4. Diana Frame March 25, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    Hi guys! I wonder if you might consider doing a review of PubSavvy as well (, or… in iTunes). I created PubSavvy since I search PubMed frequently for my “day job,” and other apps didn’t have some key features I wanted, like the ability to select from a list instead of one-by-one, or refine searches based on some handy limits / pre-saved search strings. We’ve just released an update and are already working on the next version, so I would be eager to hear your feedback and suggestions. Thanks!

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