July 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 13)


Strong Points: Organization, types of documents available
Weak Points: Limited number of sources, some documents not translated to English

For research scientists, PubMed is as essential as oxygen—a necessary portal to the publications
of others. Yet, probably fewer people are aware of the search portal Scitopia.org, which, similar in some respects to PubMed, offers unique advantages and resources of its own. Queries are searched against 24 sources, 18 scientific society sources and 6 government information sources. Abstracts from society documents are free to read, but the article itself must be purchased unless one is a member of that particular society (much like the system employed by PubMed and its various journals). Particularly useful on this site are the other two types of search results: patents and government documents. Complete patents from the U.S., European, and Japanese patent offices
are downloadable, although a warning—the Japanese patents are only written in Japanese. The “government documents” category seems only inclusive of the U.S., but perhaps that will change
in the future. Across all categories, results can be clustered by subtopic or author. The site is nicely organized, easy to maneuver, and contains pertinent information from a variety of sources.

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