An abstract search is a search which is defined by pasting an abstract (or other piece of complex text) instead of using individual keywords.

How can I do an Abstract search?

To do an abstract search, click in the main search box, and then click on “Abstract search” on the right side. This then changes the search box to Abstract search function, saying “Paste your abstract here”. Copy and Paste and abstract into the search box, and then press “Enter” to search. The results are then displayed in the same way as with a keyword search. 

How does the Abstract search work?

When searching using an abstract, the system examines the contents of the abstract for its key terms and phrases, and a search concept is then created from these. This search concept is then used to search the database for similar publications.

When is an Abstract search useful?

An abstract search can be useful when an area of interest is hard to define by keywords only, or when a very specific area of research is the interest. Using an abstract which has a high level of technical detail and is very specific is more likely to give a small number of accurately matching results.

Why do I only see approximate numbers of results in an abstract search?

Abstract searches rely on complex weighted combinations of automatically identified noun phrases to identify higher similar documents, and due to the complex processing required for this, it is not always possible to immediately provide a precise number of results from a search. Therefore a range is indicated instead. The rounding rules are as follows:

  • # results 1-9 —>  "< 10"
  • # results 10-1000 —> rounded to the nearest multiple of ten
  • # results 1001- n —> ">1,000"