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What's our stance on asking questions of the form "I looked for an overview of X for a while on google, and couldn't find it, anyone else have any luck?" or "I saw this article once about X, but now I can't find it; does anyone remember it?" On SO this sort of question is frowned on, but it seems like it may be more allowable here.

The main reason (that I can think of now) is that bio / medical information tends to be more scattered among (subscription) journals than e.g. physics or programming references. What do people think?

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    $\begingroup$ bio / medical information tends to be more scattered... that is why you should look on NCBI Pubmed and not on Google $\endgroup$ – nico May 19 '12 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ @nico I disagree, google scholar has a much broader journal search base than Pubmed. $\endgroup$ – Rik Smith-Unna Jun 6 '12 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Richard Smith: I wouldn't say so, at least in biology and especially for non-free articles. $\endgroup$ – nico Jun 6 '12 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @nico we must either have different specialisms or different search strategies. I find Pubmed very limited, but have never failed to find a paper through Scholar if it's available digitally. In particular Pubmed often doesn't have linkouts for full text, whereas Scholar indexes every site hosting the paper and always includes the home publisher. $\endgroup$ – Rik Smith-Unna Jun 6 '12 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ That said I've read some reviews which said Pubmed is better for clinical medicine, as its MEDLINE database has features for that specific purpose not available in Scholar. $\endgroup$ – Rik Smith-Unna Jun 6 '12 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Richard Smith: Possibly it is due to the fact that I use PubMed through my institution proxy (so I have always links at least to journals to which we have a subscription)? You may want to try PubGet or GOPubmed anyway. $\endgroup$ – nico Jun 7 '12 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ @nico no that can't be it - I also connect through my institution VPN. I recently tried PubGet as it looked like a promising interface, but was disappointed with the search algorithm. In several cases searching for the exact title of a paper didn't even return that paper in the first several pages of results! I'll give GOPubMed a try :) In the end though, I'm very happy with Scholar. $\endgroup$ – Rik Smith-Unna Jun 7 '12 at 21:22
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I think such questions are fine, and they are definitely better than questions that a simple Google/Wikipedia search would have solved. A question for an article pointer does have a definite answer, so it's not like an open discussion "what do you know about X?"

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