PubMed Alert Me is very simple to install and use. The system allows up to 200 queries to be stored which is more than most SDI services, and it is not web-based. Thus, the system is the only freely available software where online registration is not required. The system does not rely on a remote mail server. Additionally, the ability to directly export citations to EndNote and the ability to directly e-mail alerts to colleagues are additional features not commonly implemented by the freely available web-based systems.
Libraries prefer to provide SDI services to online users because they can track their interests, show-case the usage of their service, develop relationships with users, and advertise. These aspects of web-services may impinge on users’ privacy, and thus turn away users from using such services. PubMedAlertMe is ideal for novice users who prefer not to register with an online service, and use a Windows desktop computer that is always on, and have EndNote installed. The program does not provide any help menus or help text, but it is simple enough that such assistance is not needed. PubMedAlertMe has also several disadvantages compared with other systems. For example, the host machine needs to be left turned-on for running scheduled queries tasks, the system only works on Microsoft Windows operating systems, and the links to export citations to EndNote, and the feature that allows forwarding article alerts to colleagues, only work on the client machine that actually ran the search.