I'm starting an experiment… like some Twitter colleagues around me have done in their respective field: I'm creating a twitterbot to survey the MOF (metal–organic frameworks) literature for me. It's an attempt to try and bring to Twitter (which I use more and more) my earlier workflow for keeping an eye on the literature. I used to subscribe to RSS feeds from certain key journals, and browse through them when I would have the time. The upside is that now and then you read stuff that's outside of your own research subfield. The downside… is that it's very time consuming. So, I could only follow a few journals…

Exponential growth of MOF papers

Exponential growth of MOF papers…

How does it work?

The original inspiration dates back a few months: I became aware of this possibly through Sylvain Deville's announcement of his IT_papers bot. But I didn't exactly follow the "established" methodology… All the blog posts I could find about setting up a twitterbot for scientific literature rely on keyword-based queries of databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar, etc.). I didn't want to follow this approach, so instead my bot relies on filtering RSS feeds through Yahoo pipes. The Pipes workflow is very simple:

Yahoo Pipes workflow

Simply copy-paste a large number of journals' RSS feeds (I've got all potential RSC, ACS and Wiley journals covered… I'm probably missing some from Elsevier, but they're not as active in my field). Join all, filter titles and abstracts for specific keywords, and… voilà! I then used dlvr.it to post the resulting RSS feed to Twitter.

The future

Given the large number of MOF papers published every day (figure 1 above), I don't know how manageable the resulting feed will be, and whether I'll end up using it as my tool for staying up-to-date on the torrent of MOF literature…

More importantly, I don't know if others will find it useful. So, I welcome all feedback on this initiative, whether through comments below this entry, Twitter messages, etc.