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Verity Searching Help

Latest Enhancements (updated July 18, 2006)

  1. Search Enhancements
    • Saved queries. Return to the search form with your form input intact by clicking on the new link, “Back to Search Query.” This feature will enable you to make minor adjustments to your original search, such as correcting typos and adding additional criteria. To perform a new search, click the “Start New Search” link.
    • Resort hitlist: You can re-sort the results of your search without returning to the search form by selecting a re-sorting option in the “Results Sorting Options” box and clicking the “Re-sort” bottom.
    • Improvements to navigation links: The default “records per page” setting is 25. This can be changed to 5, 10, 25, or 50 articles per page. The hitlist will display jump links at the top and bottom of the page, to the next group of 5, 10, 25, or 50 articles. A maximum of 10 jump links will be displayed. To move to the next group of jump links, click the “More Results” link. For example, if you are using the default setting of 25 records per page, the first 10 jump links will take you to the first 250 articles. Clicking the “More Results” link will take you to the next 250 articles, beginning with number 251.
    • TOC style hitlist. The search results hitlist is formatted to look like an issue Table of Contents.
    • Relevancy percentage. To view the relevancy percentage of your search results, select “Relevance Order” as your sorting option. The default sorting option is “Show Most Recent First.”
  2. Author Quick Search
    • Clicking on any highlighted author’s name in Table of Contents, Abstract Views, MyArticles, and Search Results (including AQS results) will initiate a cross-platform search of all Scitation publications for articles written by the selected author. Results of an AQS will include all instances of co-authoring as well.
    • Author Quick Search is a Scitation personalization feature and, as such, requires a valid Scitation login. Scitation registration is free, requires only a valid email address, your name, and professional affiliation, and takes only a few minutes to complete. Sign up now.
    • Note: AQS in SPIE publications is constrained to searching within the SPIE Digital Library, and does not search cross-platform on Scitation. All results in SPIE AQS will be within the Digital Library.
  3. Search This Issue
    • Each Table of Contents for all publications on Scitation now features a handy link for executing a search across just the issue being viewed. Simply click on the link (log in if searching requires authentication), enter your query, and submit. Results will be returned only for the issue you’re browsing.
    • Search This Issue is a Scitation Personalization Feature and, as such, requires a valid Scitation user id and password. Scitation registration is free, requires only a valid email address, your name, and professional affiliation, and takes only a few minutes to complete. Sign up now.
  4. Search Cited Authors
    • Results for author searches extend beyond an exact match. The search will use the information you provide to find all possible matches and eliminate any impossible matches.
  5. PubMed®/MEDLINE® Searches
    • PubMed keyword searches can now be executed from select pages on Scitation. PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950’s. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources. PubMed/MEDLINE search options are included in the Scitation search pages and on AIP journals’ search pages.
    • Searching on author name will translate directly on PubMed search. All other fielded searches translate to ‘free text’ searches on PubMed.
    • Search results are displayed in a new browser window, allowing the user to return to Scitation easily.

Topics

Copyright 1996- Verity, Inc.; provided, portions may be copyright in third parties
as may be set forth elsewhere. All rights reserved.

Search Types: Simple and Advanced Searches


There are two user interface “search pages” for the Verity search engine: the Simple Search and the Advanced Search. The user may toggle between the two search types as necessary.

  1. Simple Search: The user is presented with two search query boxes (both of which have an associated pulldown zone menu containing the most frequently searched zones), separated by a pulldown operator menu (which allows the user to specify a limited number of Boolean and proximity operators). For more complex searches, the user should link to the Advanced Search.
  2. Advanced Search: The user is presented with a single search query box, without any zone or operator menus, and instructed to use the descriptions and examples in the table provided to compose the search query. Although this interface might appear to be the simpler, it allows the user to perform a wide range of more advanced searches. Here, the user assumes the responsibility for using the correct syntax and utilizing valid combinations of query words, zones, operators, and wildcards as defined herein.

Both search interfaces also include a set of four options which may be used to enhance the search query and the Results List (or “hitlist”) which is returned by Verity.

Use the Search button to activate your search query. Use the Clear button to clear the search page of all text entries and/or menu choices and start over with a new search.

Note: Case doesn’t matter in queries: a word entered in lower case will match words in upper case or lower case. However, when you mix cases, the search becomes an exact pattern match.

Both search interfaces also allow the user to refine the initial search from the Results List. In this manner, an initial search which returned too many records may be narrowed without having to return to the Search Page. This option employs a single search query box preceded by a pulldown operator menu and followed by a pulldown zone menu containing the most frequently searched zones for the database. Use the Refine button to activate your refine search query.

If this refine option is insufficient for the user’s needs, the user should return to the appropriate Search Page and implement a new search using more specific criteria.

Searchable Zones


The Verity search engine allows the user to search in any defined “zone” (an indexed field which is explicitly tagged in the HTML-coded data). To specify a query expression for a zone search, you need to specify a zone name (this is done automatically for the user in the Simple Search; it must be done manually in the Advanced Search). A zone name corresponds to the HTML-tag name. The zone name is combined with a search query and the <IN> operator in the query expression. For example, the following query will find documents whose titles have stemmed variations of the word “ion” in them:

ion <IN> title

These “stemmed” variations would include the root word “ion” as well as the following: “ions,” “ionize,” “ionizing,” “ionization,” etc.

The query can consist of words and phrases separated by commas, including topics, or it can be a query expression using the Verity Query Language. To search with multiple words, phrases, or topics, enclose that portion of the query in parentheses. For example:

(stellar <IN> title) <AND> (smith <IN> author)

To find an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in double quotes.

Selecting search zones: For a given search term, the Simple Search allows only a subset of the searchable zones to be selected; the desired zone may be chosen from a drop-down list, for up to three search terms. The search zone options include a new choice: “cited author,” which has been added to both the Simple and Advanced Searches. The “cited author” option will return results of authors who appear in the bibliographic section of the abstract. A grouping of scientifically-relevant search fields, “abstract-title-keywords” has been added to the Simple Search so that more accurate and complete results are retrieved when searching on scientific terms. The default zone is indicated on the Simple Search interface, and in the Advanced Search the default is Full Bibliographic Record, which searches every defined zone for the database.

Remember, the Simple Search only allows a subset of searchable zones, dependent upon the database. Use the Advanced Search to access any of the valid zones for the applicable database. Note: The default zone for both search interfaces is Full Record, which searches every defined zone for the database.

Not all zones are applicable to all databases.

DESCRIPTIONS VALID SYNTAX EXAMPLES
Searchable Zones: Note: spaces are required around all “<” and “>” symbols. Note: placing a word or phrase inside double quotes finds exact matches only, excluding stemmed variations such as plurals, -ed, -ing, etc.
Abstract/Title/Keywords
(of article)
term <IN> abstract <OR> term <IN> title <OR> term <IN> keywords dynamics <IN> abstract <OR> dynamics <IN> title <OR> dynamics <IN> keywords
Author (of article) term <IN> author
(shortcut: au)
jones <IN> author
jones <IN> au
Author (cited) term <IN> biauthor jones <IN> biauthor
Affiliation
(of author; generally location)
term <IN> affiliation
(shortcut: af)
“max planck” <IN> affiliation
“max planck” <IN> af
Abstract term <IN> abstract gluon <IN> abstract
Title term <IN> title Physics <IN> title
Keywords term <IN> keywords gluon <IN> keywords
Section Head term <IN> sec1 (major heading) <OR> term <IN> sec2 (minor heading) optics <IN> sec1 <OR> optics <IN> sec2
Country (of primary author) term <IN> country “united states” <IN> country
Subject (text of primary PACS code) term <IN> subject
(shortcut: su)
lattice dynamics <IN> subject
lattice dynamics <IN> su
Journal (name of journal) term <IN> journal
(shortcut: jo)
chaos <IN> journal
chaos <IN> jo
Coden (coden of journal) term <IN> coden APPLAB <IN> coden
Volume (of journal) term <IN> volume 105 <IN> volume
Usage:
(jcpsa6 <IN> coden) <AND> (105 <IN> volume)
Issue (of volume) term <IN> issue 24 <IN> issue
Usage:
(jcpsa6 <IN> coden) <AND> (105 <IN;> volume) <AND> (24 <IN> issue)
Issue Date term <IN> issuedate December 22, 1996 <IN> issuedate
Usage:
(jcpsa6 <IN> coden) <AND> (December 22, 1996 <IN> issuedate)
Page (first page of abstract) term <IN> fpage 2471 <IN> fpage
Usage:
(jcpsa6 <IN> coden) <AND> (105 <IN;> volume) <AND> (2471 <IN> fpage)
PACS Codes (numerical entries) term <IN> pacs 42.55.Gp <IN> pacs
PACS Text (text entries) term <IN> pacstext “excimer lasers” <IN> pacstext
PACS Year term <IN> pacsyr 1996 <IN> pacsyr
Document Type or Kind term <IN> type experimental <IN> type
(Valid types are: abstract, apparatus, brief report, book review, comments, communications, computing, data, experimental, letter, method, note, patent, popular, review, special, theoretical, unspecified journal)

Boolean and Proximity Operators


You can use operators and modifiers in query expressions to instruct the search engine to widen or narrow the focus of a search by applying logic to your query. The most popular logical terms are the operators AND, OR, and NOT. Modifiers can be used with operators to further define your question. These frequently-used words (AND, OR, and NOT) are interpreted as Verity Query Language by default.

You can focus the search more closely by telling the search engine to retrieve documents that contain the search terms in close proximity to each other: that is, near each other or in a specified order. The operators used for proximity searching are NEAR, NEAR/x, and the pair ORDER NEAR.

DESCRIPTIONS VALID SYNTAX EXAMPLES
Boolean and Proximity Operators: Note: all operators except AND, OR, and NOT must be surrounded by “<” and “>” symbols.
Find both terms term1 <AND> term2 proton <AND> electron
Find one or both terms term1 <OR> term2 smith <OR> jones
Find one or both terms (both scores higher) term1 <ACCRUE> term2 smith <ACCRUE> jones
Find documents excluding a term term1 <NOT> term2
<NOT> term
“lasers” <NOT> “excimer”
<NOT> superconductivity
Find terms in close proximity term1 <NEAR> term2 air <NEAR> pollution
Find terms separated by x words term1 <NEAR/x> term2 (where x = # of words separating terms) optical <NEAR/3> systems
Find nearby terms in a given order <ORDER> <NEAR> (term1 term2) <ORDER> <NEAR> (“thin film”)

Wildcard Characters


Selects documents that contain matches to a character string containing variables. Wildcard characters let you define a search string with variables, which can be used to locate related word matches in documents. You can use the following wildcard characters to represent variable portions of search strings.

DESCRIPTIONS VALID SYNTAX EXAMPLES
Wildcard Characters:    
Specify one and only one character
(You can use a ? to specify the first letter of a word)
? p?oton (finds proton, photon)
Specify zero or more characters
(You cannot use a * to specify the first letter of a word)
* neutr* (finds neutron, neutrino, …)

Options to Enhance Your Search Query & Results List


Limiting Searches by Publication Date> [ Options ] [ Top ]

The Publication Date Range option follows the query box(es). This feature allows the user to specify a range (FromTo) of dates to be searched against the search quer(ies). Publication years, months, and days may be specified, entered in multiple formats (alphabetic, numeric, or alphanumeric).

  • Year:
    • Years may be entered in either two-digit or four-digit format; e.g., articles published in 1996 may be indicated using either 96 or 1996.
    • A year with no month/day specified in the From box will default to the beginning of the year (January 1); in the To box, it will default to the end of the year (December 31).
    • If no To parameter is specified, the default is everything later than the From parameter (e.g., From: 1993 yields hits from January 1, 1993 to the present or even future, in the case of forthcoming articles).

    • To limit to a single year, enter the year in both Year boxes (e.g., From: 1995 To: 1995 yields everything from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1995).

  • Month:
    • Months may be entered in either one-digit, two-digit, or text format. Note that alphabetic entries are truncated after the third character. Example: Articles published in July may be found using either 7, 07, July, or Jul.

    • A month with no day specified in the From box will default to the beginning of the month (1st); in the To box, it will default to the end of the month (31st).

    • To limit to a single month, enter the year and month in both sets of Year and Month boxes (e.g., From: 1990 Oct To: 1990 10 yields everything from October 1 to October 31 in 1990).

  • Day:
    • Days may be entered in either one-digit or two-digit format; e.g., articles published on the 5th of the month may be indicated using either 5 or 05.

    • To limit to a single day, enter the year, month, and day in both sets of Year, Month, and Day boxes (e.g., From: 94 3 15 To: 1994 March 15 yields everything on March 15, 1994).

Note: Limiting on the Publication Date Range may slow down your searches.

Changing the Hitlist Sorting Options [ Options ] [ Top ]

The method by which records are sorted in the hitlists is configurable by the user. There are three options:

  1. Relevance Order:
  2. Records are sorted in descending order based on score, with highest relevance scores on top.

    Score Title
    92% Record 1
    85% Record 2
    43% Record n

  3. Reverse Chronological Order:
  4. Records are sorted by date of publication, with the most recent articles on top.

    Score Title Date
    57% Record 1 October 1996
    89% Record 2 March 1996
    72% Record n December 1994

  5. Journal/Volume/Issue/Page Order:
  6. Records are sorted alphabetically by journal name first, then subsorted by volumes (most recent volumes on top), issues (most recent issues on top), and page ranges (lowest page numbers on top).

    Score Title Journal/Issue Date Volume/Issue/Page
    41% Record 1 J. Appl. Phys. – May 15, 1996 Vol 79, Iss 10, Pg 7586
    67% Record 2 J. Appl. Phys. – May 15, 1996 Vol 79, Iss 10, Pg 7592
    85% Record 3 J. Appl. Phys. – May 1, 1996 Vol 79, Iss 9, Pg 7409
    86% Record 4 J. Mat. Res. – August 1996 Vol 11, Iss 8, Pg 1859
    77% Record n

The default for Hitlist Sorting Options is Relevance Order. The user may change the sorting order as desired. Note: Changing the sorting order may slow down your searches.

Changing the Number of Records Displayed Per Hitlist [ Options ] [ Top ]

The number of records displayed in each hitlist is configurable by the user. One user may prefer to see 500 records returned as 50 hitlists (or “pages”) of 10 records each; another may prefer 10 pages of 50 records each. The available choices are 5, 10, 25, or 50 records per hitlist.

The default for Records Per Page is 10. The user may change the records per page as desired. Note: Changing the records per page may slow down your searches.

Changing the Scoring Threshold [ Options ] [ Top ]

A document’s “score” is reflected by the percentage found in the first column of a hitlist. Scoring of the results list is related to both query hit density and document size. That is, document scores are calculated based on the proportion of instances found in relation to the size of the region containing the words. The document with the smallest region containing all search terms receives the highest score.

Score thresholds are divided into 4 categories:

All 1% to 100% Returns all records found
Low 20% to 100% Returns all records found except for the lowest scores — those scoring less than 20%
Medium 50% to 100% Returns records which score in the upper half — those scoring higher than 50%
High 70% to 100% Returns only the highest scoring records found — those with scores above 70%

The default for Threshold is All. The user may change the scoring threshold as desired. Note: Changing the scoring threshold may slow down your searches.

Special Cases


This section contains searching tips to handle several “special case” scenarios in which the highly technical nature of the math/science-specific data in the bibliographic databases (particularly with regard to entities such as equations, chemical formulas, astronomical object nomenclature, etc.) cause difficulties with search queries containing hyphenation, punctuation, etc.

  • Searching on PACS Codes:
  • To find a complete PACS Code containing a plus sign, you must enclose the code inside double quotes:

    use “42.88.+h”
    not 42.88.+h

    However, to search for the same code using a wildcard character, dispense with the quotes. To find 42.88.+h,

    use 42.88.*
    not “42.88.*”

  • Searching on Subscripts and Superscripts:
  • Subscripts are denoted as “sub” and superscripts are denoted as “sup” in the data records contained in the bibliographic databases. Example: C[sub n]H[sup +]

  • Searching on Formulas:
  • Characters such as parentheses, square brackets, plus signs, etc. are considered to be “punctuation” by the Verity search engine when they are contained in a search query, and thus they are dropped from the query in favor of a “white space.” This makes it difficult, though often not impossible, to search on formulas, equations, and technical nomenclature. In many instances, the NEAR, NEAR/x, and ORDER operators can be very useful for finding hits on these types of queries.

    Note: Case doesn’t matter in queries: a word entered in lower case will match words in upper case or lower case. However, when you mix cases, the search becomes an exact pattern match.

    A few examples follow to illustrate cases where the “natural” query string may not return the expected results, but where a rephrasing of the query may help:

    Instead of the query You might try this query
    T[sub c] T sub c
    Ce[sup 3+] Ce sup 3
    GaAs(001) GaAs <NEAR/1> (001)
    H[sub 3]O[sup +] H sub 3 <NEAR> O sup
    alpha-AgI <ORDER> <NEAR/1> (alpha AgI)

How to Search on Authors and Cited Authors


Results for author searches extend beyond an exact match. The search will use the information you provide to find all possible matches and eliminate any impossible matches.

You can search on combinations of full names, initials, multi-part names, and titles of lineage (for example, Jr., Sr., III). All punctuation is ignored by the search engine with the exception of the comma, which can be used to separate the last name from the first name. This is most useful when searching on multipart last names such as “de Vega, Hector J” or “De Poortere, E”.

Here are some examples of how the search works for author queries:

query: “John B Smith” or “Smith, John B”
returns: John Boris Smith, John B Smith, J B Smith, John Smith, J Smith
but not: John Louis Smith, John L Smith, J L Smith, Jeff Smith, Robert Smith, R Smith
   
query: “John Smith” or “Smith, John”
returns: John Boris Smith, John B Smith, John L Smith, J B Smith, J L Smith, J Smith
but not: Jeff Smith, Robert Smith, R Smith
   
query: “J Smith” or “Smith, J”
returns: John Boris Smith, John B Smith, John L Smith, J B Smith, J L Smith, J Smith, Jeff Smith
but not: Robert Smith, R Smith

With this in mind, it is generally best to provide as much information as possible in an author search. If you know the author is “John Smith” and you query on “J Smith”, you may also get “Jeff Smith”. When you query on “John Smith” you will eliminate “Jeff Smith” and still get “J Smith” matches (after any “John Smith” matches).

How to Write Verity Search Queries


This section describes how to write the queries that tell the search engine what to look for. For a quick introduction to writing queries, check out the Search Tips section. This section includes the following topics on performing searches (NOTE: This section is presented to provide complete background about the Verity search engine; some functions may not be available in this implementation!):

Verity Search Query Language Reference


This section describes how to use the Verity Query Language to express your document needs to an agent. The Verity Query Language supports a wide array of operators and modifiers you can use to compose queries for the documents that meet your interests. This section includes the following query language topics (NOTE: This section is presented to provide complete background about the Verity search engine; some functions may not be available in this implementation!):

Using The Article Collection Option From Your Search Results


You can now use the Article Collection Option from Your Verity Search Results. You will notice that an additional field is now displayed directly in front of articles Relevancy Score. This additional field contains the "Collect Article" icon (). Each time you add an article by clicking on the "Collect Article" icon (), it appears on your personal "Article Collection" page. Articles that have already been added to your collection will be marked by an "Article Collected" icon (); this icon will replace the "Collect Article" icon so that you will know what has been added to your collection as you browse. NOTE: if you access your collection and then resume browsing, the icons will revert to the unchecked icon, so it is advisable to finish browsing before accessing your collection if you want to take advantage of this marking feature. You may add as many articles as you wish.








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