PubChase has been busy these past few months. In addition to their literature recommendations search engine on desktop and mobile, they regularly invite researchers write assays on the story behind their latest publications. They now launched a new initiative that could have a strong impact by helping young scientists navigate in the sometimes troubled waters of academic life.
The new career advice forum is a semi-crowdsourced list of science career-related Q&A. PubChase has aligned a rather impressive panel of mentors that answer questions that anyone can ask. The motivation for the forum (as explained in this blog post) is to provide free and good quality mentoring for scientists and researchers. Too many young researchers are facing difficulties with their supervisors in part because academic scientific leaders often lack proper management training. PIs are also incredibly busy and giving career advice is often not on top of their list of priorities.
List of questions and answers on the PubChase career advice forum
The forum gives you advice about what should you do if, for the past 3 years, your advisor has been asking for one “last experiment” before you publish? Or how should you react if your PI has simultaneously handed the same project to you and another student in the lab At the moment, one question is being answered every week, eventually buildup up to be a repository of career advise accessible to all. PubChase Career Advice Forum
I had the pleasure of meeting with Lenny Teytelman, co-founder of Zappy Lab a few weeks ago. He shared with me his vision for Zappy Lab: researchers will soon go mobile and there’s a need for good quality apps. The mobile apps for researches market is just emerging. A few journals, search engines and life science companies already have their apps. Their are also a few simple apps that allows one to calculate dilutions and molecular weights. I will very soon create a dedicated section for these apps in the “Online tools for researcher page“.
Zappy lab is the first company focusing on its mission to create an ecosystems of useful, practical and foolproof apps for researchers both in and outside the lab.They started with three simple but useful tools; a lab counter to count cell number at the microscope, another helps microbiologist keep track of bacterial growth curves, and a third app helps geneticists score yeast tetrad dissections.
Their flagship product is called PubChase, a tool to search, organize, and discover biomedical research. PubChase uses the PubMed database to allow users to easily search and browse through paper abstracts and to bookmark them to a personal PubChase library. Unlike other scientific search engines, PubChase generates recommendations for other papers based on the articles in your library, adapting rapidly to changes in interests you might show. This will be appreciated when starting new projects, especially when compared to other recommendation systems such as Google Scholar’s, that are based on citations. PubChase is available for both mobile devices (both iPhones and Androids) and web browsers.
The app is constantly evolving. The web browser version now offers a free PDF cloud-storage to PubChase functions. Store up to 300 of your favorite articles for free and pay a subscription to store additional files. Many other functionalities are to come says Lenny, with the goal of creating a comprehensive and integrated suite of applications to support the researcher over the entirety of the research cycles (literature search, protocol development, experimentation, writing/communication).