I would like to be up to date with published articles on my research topic. I saw that pubmed allow to subscribe to a research (there is an RSS link just below the research box), so I added the RSS to my Outlook account. The problem is the new feeds seem not very frequent, and the articles are not even recent! (I added the RSS feed in November, today I got an update with a paper published in September 2012, which by the way I had already read). Do you subscribe to this kind of RSS? Is it a problem of Pubmed, or maybe of Outlook?

1 Answer 1


In this case, it's a PubMed issue, but it's actually an issue that most of the online aggregators and literature databases share: for some reason, which I have never managed to understand, databases update is slow.

If I take a given journal indexed in PubMed, Phys. Rev. Lett., let's see what are the most recently added articles:

pubmed results

You see that they are two months old (dating November 21, while I write this answer on January 25). Both the web search front-end and the RSS use the same database, which is not fast to pick up papers from some journals. Your mileage may vary, however: the most recently added PLOS One articles are dated January 16, a mere 10-days old:

pubmed results again

I say that most databases I know have the same issue. From experience, Web of Science has the slowest update, while both PubMed and Google Scholar are better. For my field (chemistry), SciFinder has the fastest update speed.

  • Thank you for the reply. What puzzles me is that if I make a research today, sorting by newest added, from the website, with the same words, I get much more recent papers (like 20 papers from January 2013). That's why I was wondering if it was also an Outlook issue.
    – laika
    Jan 25, 2013 at 10:20
  • 1
    @laika look at the RSS feed in another viewer, like Google Reader or Firefox. I doubt it's an Outlook issue.
    – F'x
    Jan 25, 2013 at 10:24
  • Sorry, I had to check again my exact research terms and now I see that the paper I received today is just the second newest article according to Pubmed (so it's not sooo bad as I was thinking). I'll give a look to SciFinder too!
    – laika
    Jan 25, 2013 at 10:27

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