Getting the most out of Sciety Search

We have added some basic suggestions underneath the search boxes on Sciety to get you started...

3 months ago   •   3 min read

By The Sciety Team

Helping you to find preprints that are interesting to you has always been central to the goals of Sciety. While evaluation and curation have been evolving and give you great trust indicators from a diverse range of groups, we know that the more traditional method of searching by keywords is still very useful. This is why we have been working on Sciety Search recently, growing it from a simple keyword search of the preprint literature to a tool that surfaces all Sciety has to offer.

We have added some basic suggestions underneath the search boxes on Sciety to get you started, but since the tool is powered by EuropePMC it can do much more than searching for single terms. It offers advanced ways to narrow down your search terms using special ‘operators’ so that you can include or exclude words, group words together or search with a wildcard.

For example, we’ve been working with a group of biophysics researchers recently and an interesting protein family in their field is called tmem120. Members of the family include tmem120A and tmem120B. To easily find all preprints related to this area of study they started using the wildcard operator (*) and can now search for tmem120* like in this example https://sciety.org/search?category=articles&query=tmem120* . This returns results related to “tmem120” and any additional characters.

This team has also created a search query that covers almost all of the field of membrane biophysics. It is a good example of how powerful Sciety search can be when you combine the advanced search operators. A popular search on Sciety is for COVID-19 and with 3 new groups all evaluating articles in this area, it helps researchers and practitioners find evaluated content quicker. We also have a more complex COVID-19 search that exhibits some usage of advanced operators.

An example Sciety search using advanced terms

Why not create a similar search for your field? You can share the search with colleagues by sending them the URL from the search results page and it will perform the search each time you load the page. This is also a great way to check the latest preprints in your field and find those that have evaluations - a good reason to come back to Sciety regularly by bookmarking the page.

EuropePMC have a useful guide to their advanced search and any query you build using these techniques can be used on Sciety and EuropePMC: http://europepmc.org/help#mostofsearch. Of course, on Sciety, you get the added advantage of also finding and seeing which preprints have received evaluations.

We will soon be exposing more Sciety specific content in the search results, so you’ll be able to find users to see which groups they follow, lists they have created and articles they have saved. We will return lists in search results too when we allow users to create multiple, named lists in the coming weeks. We have also heard that saving searches as lists would be a useful feature so are exploring this further.

Please try out https://sciety.org/search and let us know if you build some interesting queries. Any ideas you have to improve the experience and ways you can use Sciety as a tool in your daily workflow, are greatly welcomed. You can also subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear of new features, or join our focus groups and help us test new functionality. If sharing on Twitter, tag us by using the hashtag #scietyfeedback.

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