Tutorial:How to find PubMed records where you were author (member) as part of a consortium
Entering edit mode
8.3 years ago

I learned something new about PubMed today. I was recently working on a grant application and found myself helping a collaborator prepare her biosketch. The new biosketch format allows you to provide a link to your Complete List of Published Work and they suggest that you use your "My Bibliography" collection on your myNCBI page to create a public link. An easy way to do this is to create a pubmed search result with all your papers and then hit 'Send to' -> 'My Bibliography' (while signed into myNCBI).

We had a pubmed query but it was missing some of her publications. Namely, all those where she appeared only in the "Collaborators" list as part of a consortium. See example below of a paper with both Author and "Collaborator" list. In some cases, the consortium is the only author listed. In any case, it is reasonable to want to include these in a PubMed list/link.

Here is the PubMed query that I ended up crafting to find the missing publications:

Mardis E[Investigator Name] OR C. elegans Sequencing Consortium[Corporate Author]

And, here's a link to that search result: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Mardis+E[Investigator+Name]+OR+C.+elegans+Sequencing+Consortium[Corporate+Author]

There were two interesting things about this:

  • The first search term is for "Mardis E" as a "Collaborator" or "Investigator". I found the field code for this Buried in the PubMed docs: As of March/2008 the "Investigator Name [IR]" field is used to contain names of individuals (e.g., collaborators and investigators) who are not authors of a paper but rather are listed in the paper as members of a collective/corporate group that is an author of the paper." These are used for Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, etc.
  • The second search term is interesting. This is for a paper that was still missing that lists only "C. elegans Sequencing Consortium" as an author. I guess because it is from before March/2008 the individual authors never got entered in PubMed as Collaborators and instead the consortium was entered as a "Corporate Author". Only one paper is associated with that author. But, if you go to the paper there is only a footnote that says: See genome.wustl.edu/gsc/C_elegans/ and www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/C_elegans/ for a list of authors. Both of those links are dead or redirect somewhere else now. So, documentation of who contributed to that paper has been lost to internet antiquity. It seems strange that Science would (presumably?) not agree to host the complete author list no matter how long it was. But, I guess in those days they were thinking about printing costs and maybe didn't have a concept of online-only material. This is an interesting downside to the use of consortia names as the primary author. Not to mention the problems it always causes for EndNote.

Another fine example of the lengths one will go to procrastinate while grant writing. :-)

pubmed • 3.4k views
Entering edit mode
8.2 years ago

An even simpler way to get these records is the old-fashioned method to search for Surname-Initials. To use an example: I don't find a certain paper, which I contributed to as a consortium member, with the search term "Dietrich JW[Author]", but with "Dietrich-JW".

It may at least be a try to use this old search formula from the times of SilverPlatter and classical MEDLINE. It may lack some specificity, however.

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