CHEM 184/284 (Chemical Literature) - Huber - Winter 2022: Lecture 8

A two-credit course in the techniques and tools for effective searching the literature of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and related fields.

Lecture 8: indexes and Databases for Sciences and Engineering

Indexes & Abstracts: Definitions

  • Index-- A tool which provides access to some body of information by a "pointer" derived from the original.
    • Examples of pointers: author names, subject terms, chemical formulas, cited references.
  • Abstract -- A brief summary of the content of a document.

Considerations in Selecting an Index for Searching

  • Scope
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Chronological coverage
  • Access points
  • For electronic indexes, Interface features

Scope

  • What subject areas does the index cover?
  • Broad scope is useful for comprehensive searches, and "interdisciplinary" topics. Example: Science Citation Index covers the whole of science, engineering and medicine.
  • Narrow scope may be quicker and easier to use, cover less irrelevant material and/or have specialized indexes useful to your search. Example: Catalysts and Catalysed Reactions

Comprehensiveness

  • What kinds of documents are covered?
    • Most indexes are aimed primarily at journal articles. Example: Academic Search Complete.
    • Others specialize in conference papers, technical reports or patents. Examples: NTRL for technical reports; Conference Papers Index for reports and conference papers; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for dissertations.
    • Some cover multiple document types. Example: Chemical Abstracts/Scifinder, Web of Science.
  • How much of the world literature does it attempt to cover? Some are limited geographically.
    • Example: Though both cover medical literature worldwide, MEDLINE/PubMed favors US literature; EMBASE favors Europeanmedical  literature.
    • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses only covers North American and European dissertations.
  • Everything or just "the best"?
    • Chemical Abstracts/SciFinder attempts to cover all of the chemical literature.
    • Science Citation Index/Web of Science goes by the rule "20% of the journals publish 80% of the literature" and only indexes the top journals in each field, as measured primarily by citation count.

Chronological factors

  • What years does the source cover?
    • Few sources do retrospective coverage, i.e. indexing the literature before the index began publication. But some do: Science Citation Index has been extended online back to 1900 (though UCSB only has access back to 1945.) Chemical Abstracts Service has now started retroactively indexing pre-1907 literature in its online databases.
    • Many electronic sources didn't originally go back as far as the corresponding printed tools. That, too, has changed in many cases. In addition to the Web of Science version of Science Citation Indexand SciFinder (see above), the Compendex, INSPEC and BIOSIS databases, among others, now extend all the way back to the beginning of the printed indexes.
    • Sometimes you only need recent years. For example, in biotechnology or particle physics, information dates quickly. Not so in synthesic chemistry, taxonomy, geology, or mathematics, however.
  • How often does the index come out? Online is usually faster than print, which may be faster than CD-ROM. Since almost all indexes are available online these days, using print editions for current material is usually a bad choice.
  • How much time lag between publication of the original document and its appearance in the index does the index have?
    • Web of Science is very fast...since it doesn't do detailed indexing.
    • May vary depending on type of document and source of document. Chemical Abstracts does rapid indexing for a set of key chemistry journals, slower processing for others. Similarly, patents from several key patent issuing authorities get rapid indexing. Technical reports and dissertations are delayed further since CAS uses secondary sources for that information.
    • To get an idea of the indexing lag, compare the publication date of the most recently issued publication of the type you are interested in to the date of the index.

Access points

  • Subject indexing
    • Some use keywords from document titles and/or abstracts. Example: Biological Abstracts in print and some older years of Science Citation Index use title keywords only. The Web of Science version of Science Citation Index uses title and abstract keywords. Chemical Abstracts weekly issues in print used text keywords.
    • Some use standard subject headings or classification codes, like the Chemical Abstracts volume indexes or Index Medicus. Such indexes may have a thesaurus - an alphabetical listing of headings with cross-references to broader, narrower and related terms.
    • Many electronic files use a combination of keyword searching and assigned subject headings or classification codes.
    • Keyword indexing responds more quickly to new concepts, may be easier for quick, limited searching.
    • For some documents, indexers enhance the author's title and/or abstracts with additional keywords. Used often in patents.
    • Subject headings and classification codes bring related concepts together regardless of jargon; are better for browsing and comprehensive searching.
    • The combination of the two provides maximum power and flexibility; in electronic forms, it lets you use keyword searching as a first step to discover the assigned headings or codes which apply.
  • Author Access
    • Nearly all indexes have an author index but...
    • Some don't index all authors of a paper.
    • Some use initials for first names (example: Science Citation Index in its early years), some use full names where available (example: Chemical Abstracts).
    • Some try to bring different forms of an author's name together; most don't.
    • Some are now allowing searching by unique author identification numbers, such as ORCID or ResearcherID.
  • Access points -- Specialized indexing
    • Corporate source / Affiliation of authors
      • Useful for locating the research of a given company.
      • Can be combined with author searching to distinguish authors with similar names.
    • Geographic indexing -- common for biological, environmental, geological indexes.
    • Genus/species indexing
    • Chemical substance indexing
      • A specialized form of subject indexing.
      • Some index individual compounds; example: Chemical Abstracts
      • Some index classes of compounds.
      • Some index compounds and component elements.
      • Indexing may be by name (sometimes multiple forms), chemical formula or structural feature.
      • More sophisticated forms, such as structure, reaction, substructure or similiarity indexing usually are available in electronic tools only.
    • Patent indexing
      • Indexes by patent country and number, as well as inventor and patent assignee. Subject indexing may take advantage of classification codes in national or international use.
      • Concordances relate "families" of patents from different countries.
    • Numeric data indexing
      • Especially useful for engineering data, some databases allow you to search for numeric data (e.g. length, volume, velocity, electrical power, luminosity), specifying units and numerica values or ranges of values.
    • Citation Indexing
      • Connects cited papers to citing papers.
      • Can be effectively used for subject searching, based on the premise that an author only cites papers which are directly relevant to the current paper.
      • Some electronic forms use co-citation techniques (e.g. Related Record searching.)
  • Combining access points
    • By their nature, print indexes rarely allow combination of different access points, such as author and keyword.
    • Electronic indexes can allow combinations of multiple access points (and usually have more access points to begin with...)

Interface Features

For electronic indexes, the same considerations of interface features apply as in online catalogs. (See Lecture 3.):

  • Search features -- Basic vs. advanced searching; truncation, Boolean searching, proximity searching, search limits.
  • Display features -- Short vs. long record displays; record sorting options; record marking; printing/downloading/e-mailing records; linking between records and/or to full-text sources. Many electronic indexes nowadays have features to analyze and/or refine answer sets.
  • Personalization features -- Settable preferences; Stored searches and/or answer sets; Alerting services.
  • Help features -- On-screen examples; In-context help; Indexed and/or searchable help screens.

Federated Searching -> Discovery Tools

"Federated searching" is a bit of library jargon that refers to systems that allow you to search multiple databases at the same time.  Frequently, you can do this with databases available on the same platform (e.g. any or all EBSCO databases; any or all ProQuest databases; any or all Web of Science databases.)  Sometimes a third-party search interface will let you search multiple databases at once - for example, the WorldCat Discovery interface allows you to search multiple article indexes at the same time as you search the Worldcat catalog.  Federated searching is now frequently being recast as discovery service. See lecture 3 for more discussion of this concept.

Note, however, that generally any federated search only allows you to use search features that are common to all the databases involved - in other words, a "lowest common denominator" search.   As a result, federated searching can save you time, but it may force you to do a less sophisticated search than you might be able to do in any of the individual databases.

© 2022 Charles F. Huber

Creative Commons License
This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at guides.library.ucsb.edu

EBSCO is a major provider of databases, as well as hosting electronic books, and some electronic journals.  While they do not provide any of the most important purely scientific databases, some 9see below) are of considerable use for basic sicience searching and for the industrial side of chemistry and chemical engineering.

Common features

  • Search features
    • "Basic search" is by keyword (article title words, subject terms and abstract keywords, author(s), title words, journal name). You may limit searches by date range, full text availability, refereed journals only, by publication name or type. You may also expand the search to search article full text.
    • "Advanced Search" allows the user to specify which fields the term(s) will be searched in. It also allows searching by company, geographical term, product name, business codes and more. Limits are the same as for "Basic Search".
    • To combine searches, click on the Search History tab in the middle of the screen.
    • "Search options"
      • "Search modes" -- In Basic and Advanced search, beneath the search window area are an assortment of check boxes. "Boolean/phrase" searching is the default search type, using Boolean and proximity operators (see below). You may alternatively select "Find all my search terms" (equals ANDing all the entered terms), or "Find any of my search terms" (equals ORing all the terms). "SmartText Searching" allow you to enter whole paragraphs of text - up to 5000 characters. The system will pull out the keywords from the text, and search them, giving you an answer set sorted by relevance. (Instructor's Note: I don't find "SmartText" very useful, but your mileage may vary.)
        You may also select to search the article full text (where available) and/or "apply related words", where the system will add synonyms from a standard list to broaden your search. Example: Searching "aviation" with this feature also searches "air".
      • Limiting features -- EBSCOhost generally provides a large number of limiting options, which vary by database.
    • Truncation -- * used for any number of characters at the end of a word. ? represents one wildcard character.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms.
    • Proximity -- To search an exact phrase, use quotation marks: "biotechnology stocks". Also available: Nn searches for words within n words of one another. Wn specifies the order of the terms.
  • Display features
    • Most records have abstracts, many have full text, either as HTML pages with graphics or as PDF files
    • The results list may be sorted by date, author, source or relevance; relevance is the default option..
    • Display options: record display (title only, brief, standard, detailed), number of columns, number of records per page,
    • Refine options are shown on the left-hand side of page: full text only, references available, scholarly journal only, publication year range. plus analyzed source types, subject thesaurus terms, and other categories varying by database.
    • In the individual record display, a "Find similar" option is available, using "smart text" searching.
    • UC-eLinks is available in these databases.
    • Marking of records is referred to as "saving records to a folder." Records in the folder may be formatted for printing, using the browser's print capabilities, saved to disk, or e-mailed. If there is HTML full text for an article, it may be saved/printed/e-mailed as well. The "Alert/Save/Share" link allows you to save an entire search set to a folder, create a search alert (via email or RSS feed) or generate a "permalink" URL that will take you directly back to this search in this database -- a handy way to share results with other users who have access to the database.
    • Machine translation of HTML text, as well as machine generated audio (MP3) files of HTML text are available.
  • Customization features
    • Users may register to create a personal profile ("My EBCOhost"), which allows for saved searches and alert searches.
  • Help features
    • Clicking the Help button pops up a separate Help window using a Java applet. You may browse the Help table of contents. There is no search option for Help.

Academic Search Complete -- The General, Starting-Point Database

  • Scope
    • Academic Search Complete is a very broad, multi-disciplinary database for arts, humanities, social sciences, current events, science, medicine and technology.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Indexes over 10,900 journals, magazines and other sources., including 5,000 peer-reviewed journals. Many of the articles indexes are available in full text from within the database.
    • Also has limited indexing of books, reports, conference proceedings and newspapers.
  • Chronological coverage
    • Most coverage is from 1984 to present. Selected magazines are indexed for earlier years, with some as far back as 1865. Note that coverage of specific titles may not be cover-to-cover, and that titles may be dropped or added (for no obvious reason). Clicking on the "Publications" link at the top of the search screen provides a list of indexed sources; clicking on a maganine/journal's name in the list leads to publisher information, and a list of the years indexed.
  • Access points
    • Advanced Search allows searching in: All Text, Author, Subject Terms, Abstract, Keywords (author-supplied), Geographic Terms, People (persons mentioned in the article), Product Reviews, Company Names, NAICS codes and descriptions (These are standard codes for industry types from the U.S. Department of Commerce), stock symbols and publication names and identifiers.
    • Limits: Images, Full text (Those available within the database itself. Note that using these limits may cut out articles where the image or full text is available from other online sources.); Available References, Scholarly journals, Publication date, Publication title, Publcation type, Document type, Language, Number of pages.
    • Special features of Academic Search Complete
      • The database uses a standardized set of subject headings. In the index, you can mark terms to select them for searching, or click on them to further explore the subject hierarchies of broader, narrower and related terms. To do so, click on the "Subject Terms" button at the top of the screen.
      • The "Cited References" button at the top of the screen allows you to search for references in the database which cite a particular article. Note that indexing of cited references in Academic Search Complete only exists for a fraction of the publications they index, and only for recent years within those.
      • Also under the "More" button is an option for searching for images. You may search by keyword, and limit to images of people, places, historical images, nature images, maps or flags.
  • General comments: Academic Search Complete lacks the comprehensiveness in any particular subject, or the depth of indexing of the specialized subject indexes below. However, it is an excellent starting point for undergraduate level research, particularly for current events. In the sciences, it is excellent for finding popular treatments of scientific discoveries and issues, from magazines like Scientific AmericanNew ScientistDiscover and Science News.

Business Source Complete - The Business and Industry Database

  • Scope
    • Business Source Complete covers the literature of business and industry
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Over 7,000 scholarly business journals, trade journals and economic reports. Currently, about 700,000 new records are added per year. A large fraction of the articles indexed are available in full text (HTML, PDF or both) within the database.
    • Searching on a company name will retrieve, where available, Datamontor company profile reports (use the Source Types analysis to limit your results to "Company Profiles".) Similarly, "SWOT Analyses" (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) are also available.
  • Chronological coverage
    • Varies. Many scholarly journals go back to 1965, most publications are from 1993-present, but some records date back to 1900.
    • Very up to date. Articles indexed a week or less after publication date for many sources (e.g. The Wall Street Journal.)
  • Access points
    • Advanced Search allows searching in: All Text, Author, Subject Terms, Abstract, Keywords (author-supplied), Geographic Terms, People (persons mentioned in the article), Product Reviews, Company Names, NAICS codes and descriptions (These are standard codes for industry types from the U.S. Department of Commerce), stock symbols and publication names and identifiers.
    • Limits: Images, Full text (Those available within the database itself. Note that using these limits may cut out articles where the image or full text is available from other online sources.); Available References, Scholarly journals, Publication date, Publication title, Publlcation type, Document type, Language, Number of pages, and others.
    • Special Features of Business Source Premier.
      • The database uses a thesaurus of subject headings, which may be searched to find broader, narrower and related terms. In the thesaurus, you can mark terms to select them for searching, or click on them to further explore the subject hierarchies. To do so, click on the "Thesaurus" button.
      • "Advanced Search" also allows browsing and selecting of author names, journal names, classification codes, etc. for improved searching. To do so, click on the "More" button at the top of the screen, then select "Indexes".
      • Browsing "People" will let you find references to individuals in articles. If the person is frequently referenced (e.g. Bill Gates), you can find subheadings to identify different types of articles.
      • Company names are browsable, but different names for the same company are not cross-referenced.
      • There is a specialized author index list ("Author Profiles", see top of search screen), which not only allows you to browse a list of author's name, but also links to contact information, and a list of publications in which their articles appear.
      • There is a separate "Company Information" option, searchable by company name, which yields extensive basic information on publicly-traded companies.
  • General comments: While not really a science database, Business Source Premier does index the major chemical industry news sources, like Chemical Week, Chemical Market Reporter and Chemical and Engineering News, as well as Scientific American.
  •  
  • © 2022 Charles F. Huber

    Creative Commons License
    This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at guides.library.ucsb.edu

 

ProQuest is another company producing multiple databases, pluse full text digital collections in the humanities, and an assortment of e-books. Most of thei rindiexing databases, including all their science and engineering databases, are hosted on the ProQuest platform. Note: ProQuest was recently acquired by Clarivate.However, the ProQuest database platform remains, for the present, separate from the Web of Science platform.

Common features

  • Search features
    • Truncation -- * used for any number of characters at the end or middle of a word *n. specifies a truncation of up to n characters;  ? represents a single wildcard character.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms. Numeric operators (>, >, =) are available for numeric fields like publication year.
    • Proximity -- Terms entered as a phrase in quotation marks: "anti-retroviral agent", are searched as a phrase. Also available:NEAR/n searches for words within n words of one anothe in any orderr; PRE/n looks for the terms with n words of one another in the order given. Example: quadrupole PRE/2 resonance.
    • Combining searches -- Can do so in "Advanced" search. Can also click on "Search History" and combine any or all previous searches in the session.
    • By using the "All Database" function, one can select any or all subscribed CSA databases, and conduct a search in all of them simultaneously, though records can only be displayed one database at a time.
    • "Basic Search" is by keyword (article title words, subject terms and abstract keywords, author(s), author's affiliation and journal title.) Searches may be limited by specific date ranges
    • "Advanced search" allows the user to specify which fields the term(s) will be searched in. It also allows searching by conference name, document type, language and publication year, among others. Searches may be limited by year or range of years.
    • Clicking on the "Search Tools" tab allows you to go to "Command Search" (information on search commands can be found on the Help screens.)
    • Pther features of the ProQuest interface:
      • Indexes may be browsed to verify search terms for authors, journal names and publication types. When you select a field from the drop-down menu (e.g. Author), click on the "Look up Authors" link which appears below the drop-down menu.
      • The database uses a thesaurus of subject headings, which may be searched to find broader, narrower and related terms. In the thesaurus, you can mark terms to select them for searching, or click on them to further explore the subject hierarchies. See "Thesaurus" above the drop-down manus..
  • Display features
    • The search results list displays not only bibliographic information, but a portion of the abstract, and hotlinked descriptors (subject headings) for each record.  Where available, the indexed figures and graphs may also be displayed as thumbnail images.
    • Results are sorted by default in "Relevance" order. You may select to sort in publication date order, either newest first or oldest first.
    • On the left hand side of the resultsdisplay, the "Narrow results by" allow you to analyze or refine your answer set by various available fields (e.g. source type or publication date.)
    • Linking to electronic articles and call numbers through UC-eLinks is available.
    • Marking, printing, e-mailing: records may be marked for separate viewing. Entire answer sets (with a maxiumum of 500 records) or marked records may be formatted for printing, using the browser's print capabilities, saved to disk, or e-mailed. The ProQuest interface also allows you to export the selected answer set to RefWorks or EndNote.
  • Customization features
    • Users can register online to create a "My Research" account. When you log into your profile, you can save searches online, create search alerts, or RSS feeds, tag search results and share them with other ProQuest users, or customize the interface or search/display settings.
  • Help features
    • Clicking on the Help button takes you to the context-sensitive Help screens for the ProQuest interface and all the  databases.
    • You may browse the Table of Contents, use the Help Index or Search the Help screens (see tabs at upper left of Help screen.
    • There are online tutorials for Quick Search, Advanced Search, and Command Search.

Biological Sciences Collection

  • Scope
    • Biological Sciences covers research in biomedicine, biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, some other areas of zoology, ecology, and some aspects of agriculture and veterinary medicine. It does not coer classic botany or zoology as deeply as BIOSIS (see the Web of Science platform.)
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Indexes over 6000 serials, as well as conference proceedings, technical reports, and monographs. About 165,000 new records are added per year.
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1982-present.
    • Articles indexed about six weeks to two months after publication date for major English language journals.
  • Access points
    • Searchable fields include: Abstract, Author, Document title, Publication title, Subject heading (including identifiers and taxonomic terms), Tags, Author affiliation, Conference, Corporate Author, Environmental Regime, and more.
    • Limit fields include Publication Date, Language, Source Type and Document Type.
    • There is also a taxonomic thesaurus to let you find species, genus, family, etc. terms for organisms of interest.
  • General comments: Biological Sciences Database is a useful complement to BIOSIS for many areas of biology, especially biochemistry, biotechnology and marine biology.

GeoRef -- The Geological Sciences Database

  • Scope
    • GeoRef covers all areas of geology (including extraterrestrial geology), economic geology (e.g. mining and petroleum geology), hydrology, oceanography, palaeontology, geophysics, geochemistry and mineralogy.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Indexes more than 3,500 journals in 40 languages as well as new books, maps, and reports. Each month between 4,000 and 7,000 new references are added to the database.
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1693 - present (North America coverage); 1933 - present (Worldwide coverage)
    • Articles indexed about one to three months after publication date for major English language journals.
  • Access points
    • Searchable fields include: Abstract, Author, Document title, Publication title, Subject heading, Tags, Author affiliation, Conference, Corporate Author. Latitude and Longitude, etc.
    • Limit fields include Publication Date, Language, Source Type and Document Type.
  • General comments: GeoRef is the premier database for the geological sciences, and is very strong in geochemistry, mineralogy, and cosmochemistry.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses -- the primary index for dissertations

  • Scope
    • As the name suggests, this database indexes dissertations and theses in all subject areas.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Covers most North American and European universities.  Note that coverage depends on the individual institution making their documents available to ProQuest.  Coverage of master's theses is not nearly as complete as for doctoral dissertations.
  • Chronological coverage
    • PQDT goes back to 1861, though most records are from the 20th Century to the present.
    • Time lag varies by institution, but is generally less than a few months.
  • Access points
    • Indexed fields include: Abstract, Author, Document title, Full text, Tags, Advisor, Committee member, Department, School name/code, Cited references
    • Limits include: Publication dte, Language, Advisor, School, Subject, Manuscript type.
  • General comments
    • PQDT is the primary source for locating dissertations and theses.  Note that it does not do detailed subject indexing, so you are dependent on keyword searching.  Most other databases which index dissertations (e.g. SciFinder) get the bibliographic data and abstract from PQDT, and add their own detailed subject indexing.
    • Most dissertations from 1997 forward are available as PDF copies.  If a dissertation is available as a PDF from any University of California campus, UC users may download the PDF free of charge.

PsycInfo -- The Psychology Database

  • Scope
    • PsycInfo covers the literature of psychology and related disciplines. It is produced by the American Psychological Association.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Covers psychology in all forms - biopsychology, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, etc. - and related areas of business, education, medicine, nursing, etc.
    • Indexes over 1,800 journals, plus books, book chapters, dissertations, and reports.  Cited references are indexed inn some 185,000 of these documents.
  • Chronological coverage
    • ​1890 - present
    • Updated weekly; time lag in indexing is about two months.
  • Access points
    • PsycInfo has a vast array of searchable indexes. In addition to the indexes in Biological Sciences Collection above, PsycInfo lets you distinguish between Subject headings and Major Subject Headings, letting you focus on the most relevant articles.
    • It also allows you to limit searches by location, classification, tests and measures, record type, supplemental data available, language, age group (of the study) and target audience.
  • General comments
    • PsycInfo has many powerful specialized features for searches in its discipline.  Nontheless, psychology researchers should also search PubMed, and biopsychology researchers should also consider BIOSIS and SciFinder.

 

© 2022 Charles F. Huber

Creative Commons License
This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at guides.library.ucsb.edu

We will cover the core Web of Science database in detail in Lecture 9.  There are several other databases, however, which UCSB accesses on the Web of Science platform, owned by Clarivate Analytics.  These include:

BIOSIS Citation Index -- Biological Science File 

  • Scope
    • BIOSIS covers the entire range of the life sciences, including biochemistry and biomedical research, and much biotechnology.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • BIOSIS indexes over 6,000 journals, plus books, conference proceedings, and technical reports.
    • BIOSIS is the largest biological sciences database, but even it is not completely comprehensive.
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1926 to present.
    • Articles indexed about three weeks to one month after publication date for major English language journals.
  • Access points
    • Searchable by Topic (= keyword), Title, Author, Publication Name, Year Published, Address (=location where research was done), Taxonomic Data, Major Concepts, Concept Code/Heading, Chemical and Biochemical, Meeting Information and Identifying Codes in Basic Search. By clicking on Change Limits, the search can be limited by the date or range of dates the article appeared in the index.
    • In Advanced Search, you can use command language codes to search in all of the above fields, plus Gene Name Data, Sequence Data, CAS Registry Numbers, Disease Data, Parts and Structures Data, Methods and Equipment Data, Geographic Data, Geological Time Data and Patent Assignee. You can also use parentheses and Boolean operators to combine searches in more complicated combinations. Besides indexing dates, searches may also be limited by language, publication type (e.g., journal articles, conference papers), literature type (e.g., literature reviews, protocols) or taxa (e.g, humans, non-human mammals, plants, bacteria, viruses.)
    • Special Features of BIOSIS (available in Advanced Search:
      • Concept codes (CC) index broad subject areas and lifeforms.
      • Taxa can be used to limit by broad groups: plants, animals, non-human animals, primates, etc.
      • Chemical and biochemical names (CB) and CAS Registry Numbers (CA) can be searched in a specific field.
      • Also: genes, sequences, diseases, methods and equipment, geographic terms, geological eras.
      • BIOSIS introduced some new subject fields to supplement/replace concept codes in 1999. Earlier articles won't have these search features.
    • Cited Reference Searching - BIOSIS began indexing cited references from its source documents in 2006.  Additionally cited reference data from those articles which also appear in Web of Science prior to 2006 has been added to the file.
      • You may search by Cited Author, Cited Work, Cited Year(s) or any combination of the three.
      • Note that Cited Reference Search is separate from both Basic and Advanced Search. To combine a Cited Reference Search with a topic or author search, you must make use of the Search History.
      • For details on Cited Reference Searching, see the lecture on Web of Science.
  • Search features
    • Truncation (called "wildcards" by Web of Knowledge) -- * represents any number of characters, usually used at the end of a word, ? represents exactly one character, $ represents one or zero characters.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms.
    • Proximity -- Default search of multiple words assumes the words are a phrase. The operator SAME requires the terms to both be in the title, the author keywords, or the same sentence of the abstract.
    • Stopwords -- automatically ignored. If used in a search phrase, they are treated as a sort of wildcard word. Example: Searching mind over matter will retrieve any three word phrase beginning with "mind" and ending with "matter".
    • Combining searches -- Can do so in Advanced Search.
    • Search History -- Available by link from any screen, or viewable in advanced search. Displays all searches in a given session. In Advanced Search, searches may be combined used set numbers and Boolean operators. Example: #2 NOT #1 From the Search History, you can create Saved Sets or Search Alerts. To do so, you must register to create an account on the Web of Knowledge server. See also Personalization below.
  • Display features
    • From the results display, you may search within the results set, or "refine" by Major Concepts, Document Types (e.g. article, meeting, patent), Literature Types (e.g. review), Authors, Source Titles, Subject Areas, Publication Years, Assignees, Concept Codes, Super Taxa, Languages, or Literature Types. This feature uses the Analyze capability of the interface to generate a list of the most common members of the chosen category. Clicking on Analyze allows you to generate a ranked list of any of the above with additional control. The lists of, say, authors, may be sorted by the number of hits or alphabetically.
    • From the results display, you can click on a link to the Scientific WebPlus databaseand run your same search against a database of selected resources on the World Wide Web.
    • Linking to electronic journals is available via UC-eLinks.
    • Records lists are sorted by default by indexing date, but may be sorted by relevance, first author, source title, conference title or publication year.
    • In the individual record display, you can go to cited reference, citing reference and related record information cross-linked from the Web of Science database, if the article has been indexed there. Even if it hasn't been, you may link to citing references (where available) or create a Citation Alert for the article.
    • Marking, printing, e-mailing: Selected records on a given page, or a numeric range of records may be printed, e-mailed or saved to disk. Records may be marked for separate viewing. by clicking the check box beside the desired records, then clicking on the "Add to Marked List" link. The list of marked records may be formatted for printing, using the browser's print capabilities, or e-mailed. Sets of records in Web of Knowledge databases may be saved directly to one's EndNote Web account, or formatted for saving in EndNote, ProCite or Reference Manager bibliographic database formats.
  • Customization features
    • Users can register, using an e-mail address and self-created password, to be able to save search histories within BIOSIS, and create e-mail alert searches.
  • Help features
    • Clicking on the Help link takes you to context-sensitive help. That is, if you are on the Keyword Search screen when you click Help, you get help on that type of searching; if you are on the Citation List screen, you get help for displaying and selecting citations.
    • Once you've entered Help, you can click on the Help Index link to view an alphabetical list of all Help topics, or the Help Table of Contents for a structured list.
    • There is no Search function for Help topics.
  • General comments: BIOSIS is essential for most searches on biological topics, but others (Biological Sciences Database, SciFinder) can be complementary and should also be checked for any biochemistry search. On the Web of Knowledge platform, you may search BIOSIS and Web of Science simultaneously by clicking on the "All Databases" tab. This can save time, but loses some of the specialized features of each database.

Derwent Innovations Index - the patents database 

  • Scope
    • Derwent Innovations Index covers the patent literature in all subject areas - chemical, electrical and mechanical.
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1963-present
    • Updated weekly, with more than 25,000 new patents.
  • Access points
    • Basic Search - Topic (= keywords), Title, Inventor, Patent Number, International Patent Classification, Derwent Class Codes, Derwent Manual Codes, Assignee (name only), Assignee, Ring Index Number (for chemical searching), and other Derwent ID numbers.  Inventor and Assignee have browsable indexes, where you can select names from the available list.
    • Advanced Search - Same fields as Basic Search, but uses command language to combine terms with Boolean operators and parentheses, and allow combination of answer sets.
    • Cited Patent Search - Cited Patent Number, Cited Patent Number Expanded (includes other members of the patent family), Cited Assignee, Cited Inventor.
    • Compound Search - Uses the Derwent Chemistry Resource You must have a (free) account on the database and sign in in order to use the compound search options.
      • Text Search - Compound Name, Substance Description (generally refers to the class of compound, like "alkaloids"), Structure Description, Standardized Molecular Formula, Molecular Formula, Molecular Weight, Derwent Chemistry Resource Number
      • Structure Search - Uses a Java applet.  May not work with all browsers or all versions of the Java software.  Can search for exact structure, substrucutre or by similarity.
  • Search Features
    • Though on the Web of Science platform, Derwent Innovations Index does not  (at present) use the same search engine as the other WoS databases, so some seach features differ.
    • Truncation - The asterix (*) represents any number of characters, the question mark (?) represents a single wildcard character, and the dollar sign ($) represents zero or one character.  Truncation symbols may be used at the right-hand side of a word, or within a word.  Left-hand truncation is not available.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT
    • Proximity operators - SAME requires that terms be in the same sentence in a record.
    • Combining searches - Basic Search allows you to add additional search fields.  Combining different types of searches (basic, cited patent, cchemical comound) can only be done in Advanced Search.
  • Display Features
    • Derwent patent records use enhanced patent titles and abstracts.  The Derwent indexers read the patents in detail and create descriptive titles and abstracts to replace the often unhelpful published titles and abstracts, for enhanced keyword searching, and understanding of patent content.
    • Answer set display - brief records contain the patent number(s) - if the patent is a member of a patent family, multiple numbers may be displayed, enhanced title, assignee, inventor(s), Derwent Primary Accession Number, and the number of citing patents.
    • Sort - Default is by Latest Date, but you may also sort by Inventor, Publication Date, Patent Assignee Name, Patent Assignee Code, Time Cited or Derwent Class Code.
    • Refine Results - The Refine options on the left hand side of the scireen allow you to analyze and refine your answer set by Subject Areas (broad subject categories like "Engineering" or "Chemistry"), Assignee Names, Assignee Codes, Inventors,  International Patent Classification (IPC) codes, Derwent Class Codes or Derwent Manual Codes.
    • Add to Marked List - Records may be selected by clicking the check box to the left of the record.  Selected records may be added to a "Marked List" for viewing, emailing, downloading, printing or exporting.
    • Exporting - Dropdown menu allows exporting selected records to EnNote online, EndNote desktop or ResearcherID.  (EndNote online and ResearcherID require registration. See Customization below.)
    • Clicking on the title displays the full Derwent record including: Patent number(s), inventor(s), patent assignee(s), links to citing patents, links to patents and/or articles cited by the inventor (iwere applicable), links to patents and/or artlcies cited by the patent examiner (where applicable), enhanced abstract, links to abstract from the original patent (and equivalent patents, if applicable),  front page drawings (if any), IPC codes, Derwent codes (all codes are clickable links), patent history details, application details, designated states (for WIPO patents), Derwent comoound numbers (in chemistry patents) - numbers link to searches.
    • DII has no links to full text patents at present.  To find full text, try searching the patent number in Espacenet or Google Patent Search.
  • Customization features
    • Users may register to create an account.  The same account works across all Web of Science platform databases, as well as EndNote online and ResearcherID.
    • Registered users may save searches and create search alerts.
  • Help features
    • Clicking the Help link at the upper right of the screen takes you to in-context help.
    • A help table-of contents and index are available.
    • Some help topics have links to tutorials on those features.
  • General comments: Derwent Innovations Index is the most powerful search took available to us for searching mechanical and electrical patents.  SciFinder is about equally good for chemical patents, but each database has certain advantages, so a thorough searcher will use them both for chemical patents searching.  At present, DII does not allow Markush searching of chemical patents, though the commercial, command-line versions of the Derwent databases do include Markush searching.

© 2022 Charles F. Huber

Creative Commons License
This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at guides.library.ucsb.edu

Compendex Plus - The Engineering Index - using the Engineering Village 2 interface

  • Scope
    • Compendex covers all branches of engineering, including chemical engineering, biotechnology and materials science.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Covers over 5,000 international engineering journals, technical reports and conference proceedings. Each year more than 200,000 new abstracts are added..
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1884-present.
    • Journal articles indexed within about one month after publication date for major English language journals.
  • Access points
    • Quick Search: Default search"default  is by keyword in all fields. Drop-down menu search fields are: Subject/Title/Abstract, Abstract, Author, Author affiliation, Standard ID (identification number for a standards document), Ei Classification Code (subject doce), CODEN (a journal identifier), Conference Information, Conference Code, ISSN (another journal identifier), Ei main heading (main subject heading), Publisher, Source Title, Controlled terms, Uncontrolled terms, Country of origin, and four funding fields.
    • You may limit searches by: Date, Language or Document Type.
    • "Expert Search" (the command-line mode) you may specify which fields with command language codes, and combine terms with Boolean operators and parentheses for complex searches.
    • Thesaurus search lets you look for terms in the Compendex subject thesaurus, a hierarchical set of subject terms.
    • You may browse the Author, Author Affiliation, Controlled term, Serial title and Publisher indexes by clicking the appropriate link at the right-hand side of the Search screen.
    • Searches may be combined using the "Search History" link at the upper right of the screen.
    • Special Features of Compendex
      • The database uses a thesaurus of subject headings (see the "Thesaurus" tab in the upper part of the screen), which may be searched to find broader, narrower and related terms. In the thesaurus, you can mark terms to select them for searching, or click on them to further explore the subject hierarchies. Located within the "Tools" options.
  • Search features
    • The Ei Village 2 version of Compendex has three search modes:
      • Quick Search -- uses multiple windows, with drop down menus of search fields, and the other access point features described above.
      • Expert Search -- Command-line searching. It has somewhat more power and flexibility than Quick Search, but a steeper learning curve.
      • Thesaurus Search -- Lets you browse the Compendex subject thesaurus to find useful search terms.
    • Truncation -- * used for any number of characters at the beginning, end and/or middle of a word. ? represents a single wildcard character. Note the box labelled "Autostemming off"; if this box is not checked, Compendex will automatically truncate every term, except in the author field.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms.
    • Proximity -- Terms entered as a phrase: fluidized bed combustion, are searched as individual words. To search as an exact phrase, put the words in quotation marks "fluidized bed combustion" or braces {fluidized bed combustion} Also available: NEAR/n searches for terms within n words of one another and ONEAR/n for terms within n words of each other in the specified order.
    • Combining searches -- Click on "Search History" and combine any or all previous searches in the session.
  • Display features
    • Most records have abstracts.
    • Linking to call numbers and electronic journals through UC-eLinks is available for many journals.
    • Before searching, you may select to sort records by relevance or in reverse chronological order. When results are displayed, you may also sort in chronological order, or alphabetically by author, source or publisher.
    • Compendex automatically displays a "Refine Results" column on the right-hand side of the display. This shows the ten most common authors, author affiliations, controlled vocabulary (subject headings), classification codes, countries of publication, document types, languages, years of publication, and publishers (though you may opt to display more than 10 in any given category.) You may click the check box(es) for items in the lists and narrow your search to include or exclude them. There is no user-selected Analyze option. You may also use the "Add a term" window to search within a results set.
    • Newly added is a Numeric Filter option.  Clicking onthe drop-down menu allows you to select the type of measurement (e.g.volume, temperature, electrical resistance), units, and specify operator (less than, greater than, range) for a numeric search.  You may need to think about the term for the measurement you are seeking - Compendex uses "size" for length, width, depth, etc.
    • Marking, printing, e-mailing, downloading: Records may be marked for separate viewing. You may mark individual records, an entire page or a specified range of records using the "Results Manager" area at the top of the Search Results page.
    • In the full record display, author names, CODENs, ISSNs, and controlled subject terms are hotlinked for one-click searching.
  • Customization features
    • Users can register to create a profile. With a profile, you can save searches (click Save from the Search History screen), create e-mail Alerts (check the Alert box when saving a search) or create online folders for your searches.
    • You can also tag articles with your own keywords, and create groups with other users who share your interests. Tags may be public or private (viewable only by your group.)
    • Other types of customization, such as search and display defaults, are accessible only to system administrators.
  • Help features
    • The Help link opens a new window with a table of contents of help with all aspects of search and display of records and other Engineering Village features.
    • There is also and index of help topics, and a search feature.
  • General comments: Compendex is a useful source for chemical engineering, applied chemistry, materials engineering and biotechnology.

PubMed -- the Medical Literature Index

  • Scope
    • Scholarly journals in medicine and related areas of science and engineeing.
  • Comprehensiveness
    • Journals only -- around 4,300 journal titles, mostly English language. PubMed adds close to 600,000 new records per year.
    • PubMed is very comprehensive for medical journals.
  • Chronological coverage
    • 1844 to present.
    • Articles indexed about two weeks to one month after publication date. In process records can be as little as a week old.
  • Access points
    • Searchable by keyword in basic search.
    • Advanced search uses a "Search Builder" to let you choose specific fields from a wide array of possibilities, and add terms using Boolean operators.Search field include: Affiliation, Author (can specify Corporate, First or Last), Author Identifier, Date (with specific options), EC or RN number (that is, Enzyme Commission or CAS Registry), , Grant Number, Investigator, Journal (also Volume, Issue and Pagination), Language, MeSH Terms (that is Medical subject Headings. Also MeSH Major Terms, and MeSH subheadings), Pharmacological Action, Publication Type, Publisher, Title and Title/Abstract among others.
    • PubMed uses the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), created by the National Library of Medicine, for subject indexing. The MeSH headings are very detailed for medical topics, and use extensive subheadings for even more specificity.
  • Search features
    • Truncation -- * used for any number of characters at the end of a word. Note that PubMed will automatically map search terms to its thesaurus of MeSH headings, but use of truncation deactivates this feature.
    • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms.
    • Proximity -- No proximity searching available, but does check for certain phrases.
    • Stopwords -- automatically ignored.
    • Combining searches -- Can do so by previous searches from search history; click on "History" link to view searches and combine them.
  • Display features
    • "Display Settings" link allows you to select record display format, number of records per page, and sort order (default is "recently added", you may also select publication date, first author, last author or journal.)
    • On the left-hand side, PubMed allows limiting to documents with abstracts, free full text, or full text in general, and to articles with associated data. Below that it shows filtering options, including date range, and (under additional filters) article type, species, languages, sex, subject terms , journaland ages.  Uniquely, 
    •  
    • Clicking on an article title takes you to the full record for the document. In adition to the bibliographic information and abstract,  PubMed displays  a list of similar articles, articles cited by the document, and a listing of MeSH headings associated with the document (hot-linked for searching) and substances mentioned in the document.
    • Linking to electronic journals and call numbers through the database itself is available for many journals. You will find the full text links on the upper right hand side of the document record, either from the publisher's site, or the free copy in PubMed Central, or both. If you connect to PubMed using the specialized UC URL (found in our databases lists), you will also ge the UC-e-Links option. Both full text linking options are displayed with the individual record display.
    • Marking, printing, e-mailing: records may be marked for separate viewing. Entire answer sets, marked records or specified ranges of records may be formatted for printing, using the browser's print capabilities, or saved to disk. No e-mail option is available, but you can use the browsers "Send Page" function to send records formatted for printing.
  • Customization features
    • "My NCBI" allows users to create a username and password with which they can save searches, set up e-mail alerts for new content and other options.
  • Help features
    • Clicking on the Help link takes you to the Help table of contents. There is also an FAQ page and a tutorial. There is no Search Help feature.
  • General comments: Best starting point for medical research. Note that some other versions of Medline take better advantage of the detailed Medical Subject Heading indexing available in the database. However, PubMed's free (i.e. taxpayer-supported) public access has made it extremely popular. From the PubMed home page, you will find links to NLM's vast suite of other databases of nucleotide, protein, genome, safety and other information. Note that the PubMed database is also included in SciFinder and SciFinder-n, so that a search there also searches PubMed.  In SciFinder-n, if a document is indexed in both the CA files and PubMed, the two records are merged and display both the CA subject headings and the MeSH headings. However, PubMed proper and SciFinder each have some search features the other lacks.

© 2022 Charles F. Huber

Creative Commons License
This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at guides.library.ucsb.edu



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