Yesterday Mary found this twitter post from NCBI that they’ve updated the look of OMIM reports and shortened its URL. I’ve been at OMIM this morning to check out the changes, and I like what I see. We actually saw the URL change (from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=omim to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim) back in July, when we updated our introductory tutorial on OMIM, but now the new address is official. The old URL still works, and I’m not sure they will every discontinue it, but you probably want to update your bookmarks to the new one. And hey, what’s not to love about shorter URLs?
On the individual disease reports, NCBI announces a table of contents for the report. This isn’t so much new – we featured the table of contents in our v4 OMIM tutorial back in 2006 – but the table has shifted from the left-side blue navigation area that you see on many NCBI pages over to the right in a clean looking navigation area similar to the new navigation style that you will now see when using PubMed. As you might know, OMIM reports can be huge, with all sorts of information, so the table of contents is great. It makes navigating to exactly the category of information that you are interested in a simple click, rather than scroll & scan. Since July They’ve also added all the internal and external resource links to the right-side navigation areas. I think that’s a GREAT idea – those links provide so much additional information and connections. They used to be somewhat buried under a few clicks of navigation. We always really featured these links in our tutorials, to be sure people were aware and using this valuable feature, but having the links front and center will make them all the more prominent, and hopefully utilized! Below I show the old and new views for you to compare.
This is how OMIM reports used to look: