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Help: Search

Quick Search

Simply enter your search query in the box and click the 'Search' button. This will begin a search of all journal articles and will search the header and abstract information. If you wish to conduct a more specific search, please click on the Search channel in the main navigation and use the specific criteria on this page.

Advanced Search


Input of search terms

Display options

Search results


Searching article headers and abstracts

We have provided 3 text entry boxes in the 'Search article headers and abstracts' section to enable you to refine your search. Each of the text entry boxes can be used to limit your search to a particular field in the article header or to search the whole header.

Limit which fields to search (article headers and abstracts only)

If you simply enter your search terms in the first text entry box, every field in the article header will be searched, as this is the default. To limit your search to a particular field, select the appropriate option from the drop down menu to the right of the text entry box. The options are as follows:

  • Abstract/Title - Select this to search the abstract and title, This is the default for the first text entry box.
  • Author - Select this to search for author names. Author names are stored as given so you might find that a search for John Smith will fail, whereas a search for J* Smith or just Smith will succeed.
  • Affiliation - Select this to search in the author affiliation field.
  • Abstract - Select this to search in the abstract field. This includes PACS numbers and keywords where relevant, plus the full text of any articles that have been published in the article header, such as editorials and summaries.
  • Title - Select this to search the full title of an article
  • Keywords - Select this to search in the keywords field. At present, only a couple of journals have content in this field.
  • All fields - Select this to search the whole article header, including the fields above.

Example 1. - Searching just one field

To search for the string 'bondi mass' in the title of an article, use the first text entry box only. Enter 'bondi mass' and select 'Title' from the drop down menu. This is shown below.

Typical search entry boxes

Example 2. - Searching across multiple fields

To identify all articles containing 'laser' in the abstract or title AND written by author 'smith', who studied at 'faculty of engineering', enter 'laser' in the first text entry box, 'smith' in the second box and 'faculty of engineering' in the third. In this example, no changes are required to the drop down menus, as the default order is Abstract/Title, Author, Affiliation (as required). See below.

Typical search entry boxes

Searching the fulltext

To search across the full text of our articles, ignore the first 3 text boxes in the 'Search article headers and abstracts' section and use the text box entitled 'Search full text of articles'. This defaults to an exact phrase search of our PDFs, so if the phrase you enter appears in a PDF, then that PDF will be listed on the search results page. Once the results list has been generated and you want to see where your search terms appear in the PDF, open the PDF and use the Acrobat search tool (binoculars) to locate them.

A full text search of 'dark matter detection' is shown below.

Typical search entry boxes

Search a journal, subject category or EJs collection

You can choose from 4 search options:

  • All journals
  • Specific journal(s)
  • Journals in a subject category
  • EJs Collections

Search year range

By default, all available years will be searched. You may limit this selection by choosing to search between two specific years.

Input of search terms

General information

Searching is case insensitive, so that a search for structure or STRUCTURE will find all articles containing 'structure', 'Structure', or 'STRUCTURE'.

The AND, OR and NOT operators are also case insensitive; hence stress AND function is interpreted in the same way as stress and function.

Automatic stem searching

The search engine currently defaults to stem searching. Therefore a search for Structure will find "Structure", "Structural", "Structures" etc. Likewise a search for Structural will find 'Structure', 'Structures' etc. To switch off stemming, enclose your search term in double quotes (as for phrase searching). So a search for "Structures" will find instances of "Structures" only, and a search for "Structural" will find instances of "Structural" only.

How to search for several words at once

The system can search for several words at once and by default will treat the words separately. So the search electronic structure is treated as electronic AND structure. To search for an exact phrase, you should use double quotes, e.g. "electronic structure".

How to search for authors

Enter just an author surname for best results. To search for authors in the form 'First name(s) Surname' or 'Initials Surname', select the 'This exact phrase' option; however, you will only get results precisely matching your search terms. If you are not sure of the spelling of a name, use wildcard characters (see below). Wildcard characters can also be used to search for authors with accented letters in their name.

How to use AND, OR and NOT

The operators AND, OR and NOT can be used to define the relationship between search terms. For example:

  • electron AND proton finds articles containing both "electron" and "proton".
  • electron OR proton finds articles containing "electron", "proton", or both.
  • electron NOT proton finds articles in which the word "electron" appears, but the word "proton" does not.

How to use parentheses

Parentheses can be used to structure searches. For example:

  • (stress OR strain) AND function
  • waveform OR (harmonic AND oscillator)

To search for a group of characters containing parentheses, e.g. a PII, the group must be surrounded by double quotes.

How to use wildcards

The character "*" can be used as a wildcard taking the place of several unspecified characters. This allows you to broaden a search. Thus electro* finds articles containing electro, electron, electronic, electromagnetic etc.

Limit to results of previous search

The "Limit to results of previous search" option only appears if you have already performed a search that session. Checking the box limits the new or modified search to the results generated in the previous search. Verity query language is displayed next to the box to describe the terms of the previous search.

This feature can be used to search across fields and/or to reduce the number of returned results by changing the search terms one at a time. For example, you could search for articles about 'dark matter' and then perform a second search, limiting it to the previous results, to search for a specific author.

Display options

The display options alter the format of the results page(s):

  • Results per page: You may limit the number of returned results per page from 10 to 100
  • Display in Abstract/Summary format: Choose whether you want to display the title and author(s) (summary), or the title, author(s) and abstract (abstract) in the search results. When selecting abstract format, the article's abstract text is displayed on the search results page.
  • Sort results: Sort by Date, Author, Affiliation or Relevance by selecting the appropriate option from the drop down menu.
    Search results are sorted in reverse date order by default, with the latest articles displayed first on the list.
    To change the default ordering, use the last drop down menu to change the ordering from 'natural' to 'reverse'

Search results

Linking of author names

Every author name for each record in a search results listing is linked. Following a link will start a new search based on that author's name. e.g. 'T Matos' will start a new search and give results for all of the papers that T Matos has published within our Electronic Journals service.

Export/e-mail search results

This facility allows the records in your search results list to be individually selected and exported in a variety of formats to your mailbox, your online filing cabinet, a disk or your browser. More information on export/e-mail search results is available.

Search history

Search history builds a list of your search activity in one session, with the facility to save any of these searches to your account for future use. E-mail alert profiles may also be created from the saved searches in your search history. More search history information is available.

See also:

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