Expanding your searches: two features of Library Search

You have used DMU’s Library Search to track down articles that could help with your research. By pure chance, or the wizardry of search engine algorithms, one article jumps out as being exactly what you were looking for. But how can you find more articles that are like, or better than, the one you just found? There are two new or underused features of Library Search that could help to do just that.

Take this sample search for peer-reviewed articles on “persistently crying babies“.

relatedSearchTo get this far I typed ‘persistently crying babies’ into the search box, and ticked ‘Peer-Review’ in the left hand navigation to focus the results. There are some differences in the way the first three results are presented. Articles 2 and 3 both have an extra link offering ‘Related Articles’ and citation counts from both Web Of Science and Scopus. But what do these features add?

Related Articles

Behind this link is a huge database of ‘people who read this also read that’ relationships. The usage data from millions of researchers worldwide (and not just this institution) has been mined to discover patterns that could help point you to articles that you might not otherwise have found. Clicking the link causes a set of related articles to appear in the right hand panel.

relatedSearchResultsThe ‘Related Articles’ link chosen is highlighted in grey so we do not lose track of which article we are working on. The results ‘suggested by bX Recommender‘ are those picked up by the data-mining. While the items that appear in the main panel are filtered to promote things that you can read online immediately, there is no such guarantee to the related articles. Still, they might be worth knowing about and available from other libraries one way or another.

Citation counts

Another easily overlooked feature of the display are the citation counts from Web of Science and Scopus. These are two databases that organise their results based on the number of times one article has been cited by the others that follow it. It goes beyond following which links researchers click on: this logs the items valued enough by researchers enough to include them in the references in the articles they publish.

Clicking on the ‘WEB OF SCIENCE℠‘ link takes you to a results page listing those citing articles, building on, or possibly disagreeing with, the original article.

wosThere is even a ‘Times Cited’ count for these articles too, so you can follow the tracks of academic influencers. The ‘Find it @ DMU’ button takes you back to our database of the journals to which we have access at De Montfort University.


About Philip Adams

Senior Assistant Librarian at De Montfort University. I am interested in digital preservation and the use of data to measure a library's impact. All comments own.
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