Seeking science reading?

By Grant Jacobs 31/10/2012

…you’ll want to know about the update to

As I write ScienceSeeker pools science writing from 1240 blogs, indexing 163,472 articles.

A key new feature added is searching. Unlike limiting google to searching blogs, searching ScienceSeeker limits your search to those science-related sources that have been approved by the ScienceSeeker editors.

When you first land at ScienceSeeker, you’ll see the recent editor’s picks and below it posts with citations – those that are most likely to be directly covering the research literature. As well as the last few posts on ScienceSeeker, the right-hand side may show a selection of posts of whatever topical theme is running. (Selected posts about ‘super storm’ Sandy are up as I write.)

Clicking on ‘Posts’ from the site menubar (see above) will produce a list of the latest posts on ScienceSeeker, most recent first.

If you click on the date for a post, the (first portion of the) first paragraph will appear immediately under the title, as in the first example immediately above. (Alternatively you can click on the little ‘+’ to the right of the title.) Clicking on the title will take you to the article in a new tab.[1]

The bottom-right of each entry gives the categories that blog covers, an icon (star) to allow readers to recommend the article to others and lastly an icon (thought bubble) that readers can offer notes about the article. You need to recommend an article before you can add notes.

Articles that have research literature citations feature a gray bar in the bottom-right. (See second post in the example list above.) Those that have been selected as an editor’s pick have a red bar.

The right-hand column can be toggled between the default sidebar—the latest posts on ScienceSeeker—and filters.

There are two filters: posts, sources. Adjacent to these are access to the widget page and the ScienceSeeker post feed.

With the filters you can limit what ScienceSeeker offers to you by entering text in the ‘Search Title’ textbox.

Searches expect whole words. (For example, entering ‘cod’ won’t yield ‘code’. Similarly, there are no wildcards.)

To search, enter your search text in the box in the usual fashion, then go back up and click on either of the ‘Posts’ or ‘Sources’ buttons.

Searching ‘Posts’ searches the post titles; searching ‘Sources’ searches the titles (names) of the blogs.

Categories are the different topics the blog covers, as set by the blog owner.[2] You’ll find that clicking the checkbox prior to the category currently has no effect – to see what blogs offer posts under a particular category, click on the text of the category title.

Widget lets you add a widget to your blog to allow your users to search ScienceSeeker contents from your blog.

The Feed link opens a new tab with a stream of the ScienceSeeker feed.

The citation creation facility, a feature of ResearchBlogging, is now available at ScienceSeeker. This can generate industry-standard COinS-format literature citations that are also used by Mendeley, Zotero and other applications.

If you write a science-related blog and haven’t yet done so, add your blog to those that ScienceSeeker tracks.

There’s more – I’ll let you explore for yourself. More details are on the scienceseeker blog.


1. While this works fine, I prefer web developers to not control links and let user’s decide how they are to act.

2. Bear in mind a blog may cover more or different topics. Blog owners can only set a limited number of categories but may write on a wider range of topics.

Other articles on Code for life:

Coiling bacterial DNA

Loops to tie a knot in proteins?

Monkey business, or is my uncle also my Dad?

Deleting a gene can turn an ovary into a testis in adult mammals