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For Librarians - Library Zone | LibraryZone

Refining Results in SpringerLink

Continuing our feature of tips and tricks for using SpringerLink, in this issue we explore how you can help patrons refine their search results to pinpoint the exact information they need.
During the development phase of SpringerLink, we conducted extensive user studies to observe typical user behavior when searching for content. In these studies, we found that users search initially across all content available to them and then focus the results until the desired set of articles is found. Given this, we developed new SpringerLink to include intuitive functionality that makes this process that little bit easier. Here, we point out some examples of how SpringerLink can help users refine search results:
Taking a typical search example, we typed “novel drug delivery system” in the search box on the home page. The results display 31,488 potentially relevant article
To begin to focus these results, we can add a few additional words to the current search query “in breast cancer”, so the search is now “novel drug delivery system in breast cancer”. Immediately, you will notice that the results have reduced to 6,892:
What SpringerLink has effectively done is allowed us to “search within” the results set, without leaving the results screen or performing a new search. But 6,892 articles is still a large results set, so let’s refine it even more.
One way to do this is to uncheck the “Include preview only” box:
By default this box is checked, This means that a user will automatically search across all content that is available on SpringerLink.
Unchecking the box limits the search to just the content that the user’s institution subscribes to – and as is shown in our example, the results have been reduced now to 546 articles:

Quick tip:

You can quickly identify whether or not your institution has access to particular articles by looking out for the yellow padlock symbol:
If this is displayed next to the article title, you do not have access.
You can further refine results by using the Facet boxes displayed on the left hand side of results page:
Selecting a link in the Contents box lets you narrow your search by content type.
The Discipline and Subdiscipline boxes let you refine the search by discipline. The number displayed next to each discipline indicates how many of your results relate to that term. By default, the disciplines with the highest number of results are automatically displayed.
To view all disciplines/subdisciplines, select the “see all” link:
To further refine your results to those articles that are relevant for that discipline, just click on the term, for example “cell biology”.
By doing this, SpringerLink adds the AND operator to the search query, so continuing with our example above, it has now become “novel drug delivery system in breast cancer AND cell biology”.
Another great way to help your researchers check that their search terms are going to locate the right content is to look at the “Published In” menu. If the menu displays journals that the researcher would expect to see in their results list, then it is a good indicator that they are using the right search terms to locate the most relevant articles:
For more great information about how to search SpringerLink, the Search Help pages give great tips for using Operators, Phrase Matching, Language and Stemming and more. To access the menu, click on the icon located next to the Search box.
Next issue we will focus on different types of content available in SpringerLink.
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