Web of Science – Search Tips

Web of Science – Search Tips

May 20, 2019 0 By Bernardo Ryan



[Applause] first let's take a quick tour of the web of science home page you can search a number of different databases on the web of science platform choose a database here these will depend on your institution subscription if you're not sure which is best for you use the all databases option which searches all available data resources at the same time I'm going to search the web of science core collection for my examples but all the search tips I show you in this demonstration can be used anywhere in the web of science before beginning your search be sure to set your search preferences at the bottom of the page select the years of your search under timespan the years available will depend on your institution subscription then click on the arrow to expand more options by default all indexes or databases within your subscription are searched unless you choose to deselect any you may also choose to enable or disable search suggestions or change the default number of search fields from 1 to 3 begin with a basic search or select other options such as cited reference search advanced search or author search choose a field for your basic search from the drop-down menu you can enter a simple search in one field or if you'd like to combine searches add additional fields you can always clear the screen back to the default research is done in the topic and title fields web of science suggests alternate search terms if you've made a spelling error enter your search term and click the search button if alternate terms are suggested you'll see them just above the search box here I've misspelled Parkinson's disease and a suggestion has been made for me click the link for the correct term to be taken to the search results if you prefer more control over how your search terms are treated I'll show you some additional search tools that can help truncation symbols also known as wildcard characters are used to find plural forms and variant spellings of words there are three truncation symbols available for use in the web of science the asterisk is the most flexible symbol and stands for any number of characters including 0 in the example shown here star carbon star would find carbon hydro carbon or polycarbonate the dollar sign stands for 0 or 1 character the question mark stands for 1 character and can be repeated to find a specific number of characters these truncation symbols can be used at the beginning middle or end of a word or phrase or in combination search operators allow you to combine terms and exact ways to find just what you're looking for the and operator finds all terms entered the example shown here will find the phrase stem cell as well as the word lymphoma when using or at least one term must occur aspartame or saccharine or sweetener will retrieve articles that contain any one of those terms the not operator excludes terms from your search a search for mobile phones not iPhone will retrieve records containing mobile phone excluding any that contain iPhone proximity is a way to specify how close one term should appear to another if you would like to search for an exact phrase enter it in quotation marks you may use wildcard characters within quotation marks to retrieve variations in spelling and plural forms nearer finds terms within the same field and allows you to specify how far apart terms should be if near / 10 is used search terms must be within a maximum of 10 words from one another if no number is specified the default is 15 words the same operator is used only in the address field and retrieves terms that all occur within the same address line let's apply some of these search tools in an example this search demonstrates the use of the near operator as well as truncation first I've selected the topic field from the drop-down menu on the right topic searches article titles abstracts and keywords I've entered the term osmium and specified that I wanted to appear within five words of the root term hydroxy I've included the asterisk truncation symbol both before and after hydroxy now click search over 400 results a return that match my search statement examining the results I see that I found articles that contain the word osmium near terms like dihydroxylation and hydroxy tamoxifen these variations were found because I used both left and right hand truncation this is a quick summary of the most commonly searched fields common to all web of science data resources along with examples to illustrate each the topic field searches article titles abstracts and all keywords or control terms enter words or phrases in this field to retrieve records about your topic the author field searches every available author on a paper the most effective way to search is last name followed by one or more initials some author names in the web of science display unique identification numbers called researcher IDs or orchid IDs if an author has created a free profile on researcher ID com or orchid org this ID number will be associated with items in the web of science that he or she has tagged as their work this helps to differentiate authors with the same name and initials use the author identifier field to search this identification number use the examples in this table as a quick guide full explanations of each search field can be found in the web of science help file the web of science help file can be found here in the upper right corner you can also find links to additional training and support options here you