One of the reasons I started my old blog was to use it as a front end for managing our department website. Prospective graduate students generally don’t think my friends at MIT haven’t published for the last 5 years based on their website, but people with bicoastal biases might actually believe that about Texas A&M. Manual updates are a pain. Faculty send you information in different formats, when they bother to respond at all.
When I was in charge of graduate recruiting, I also wrote some PHP scripts to automate the management of our departmental website, in an attempt to break the cycle of revision via Dreamweaver. One of the features I was most proud of was automated updates of faculty publication lists from PubMed via NCBI’s EUtils web service. Now that we’ve migrated to WordPress, I wrote a wordpress plugin WP PubMed Reflist to supply that functionality. I’ve now made it available on WordPress.org and I was pleased to see that the updater here pulled the latest update, which adds PMC and Full Text links.
For comparison, Tania Baker’s website at biology.mit.edu as of today: vs what the plugin does:
[pmid-refs key=’taniabaker’ limit=5]