For those comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes Excel (or another spreadsheet) would be ideal for evaluating articles. Recently PubMed added a “Send To-File” option for the file type CSV (for spreadsheets). However, I recently talked with a user who needed more than the default columns PubMed offers.
In seeking an answer to how to customize PubMed’s limited columns (not possible, at least, not yet) I stumbled upon a handy tool with a default that included the column he really wanted — article abstracts. The tool is open-source (free) and called Pubmed2XL. It will work with just about any spreadsheet program – Excel, Open Office, Google Docs, etc. Download it free at: http://blog.humaneguitarist.org/tag/pubmed/. Those familiar with XML can customize the columns further, but their defaults were perfect for this situation.