Yes, it’s Yet Another Interesting Way to Use PubMed. Though for the most part it’s subscription based, and I always get nervous when a site that is subscription-based but won’t give me actual, you know, COSTS — anyway, introducing Authoratory, at http://www.authoratory.com/. It’s a search engine that provides you with experts based on datamining PubMed. Authoratory claims to index over 280,000 people — see their statistics and FAQ page for more information (and while you’re at it you might want to take a look at the tutorial screenshots too — there’s a lot of information on these pages.)
The search link is on the left nav. You can search by keyword, browse keywords, or browse listed experts. I did a search for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. After a couple minutes (rather slow results) I got the report that there were over 500 matches for that query, but I was only going to get five because I wasn’t a subscriber. Search results include the years the expert is included in PubMed, their name, and their affiliation.
If you click on a name you’ll get more detailed information. The first result for the query above was Ganesh Raghu, who is repeatedly referred to by Authoratory as Raghu, Ganesh. The details page for each name provides a summary for the number of articles in PubMed, common keywords affiliated with that name, and sometimes (when enough information is available) other experts from PubMed who appear to be affiliated with the individual.
There’s a lot of other information that’s available only to subscribers, including more affiliated keywords, selected grant totals for recent years, unique vocabulary, and affiliations. One bit of the premium information, the e-mail address, I found anyway when I searched the Web for Ganesh Raghu to make sure I had his name the right way around.
I like the concept of datamining PubMed, and even as a nonsubscriber I found the results pretty interesting. But I have two beefs with Authoratory. First one is that there’s no pricing on the site I could find. Yes, I know that it’s because it’s a data mining service aimed at the scientific community, it will probably cost a bazillion dollars. The site should just say that. Because no matter how high the bazillion will be, I can always imagine bazillion+1. Okay? The second thing are the ads. The context ads on the same page with the datamining results are kind of jarring, and the ads on the right seem really inappropriate for a site like this. Hey, I’m searching for information on early-onset Alzheimer’s. Oh look, an ad inviting me to take a fun romance quiz. Rgh.