Better Research through Technology

Let’s pretend you just searched one of our databases and are looking for a peer-reviewed article.  You have a list of results on your screen, but now you have to figure out which article is the right one.  Typically, you should look at article titles, read  abstracts, and examine subject terms to find a suitable article.

I think scientists working for the national laboratories (e.g. The Argonne National Laboratory here in Chicago) have made this process much easier.

Look at the sample search for “harmonics” below:

Notice how each article has a Word Cloud associated with it.  Word clouds emphasize the words that show up most in an article, so the more often a word repeats itself in an article, the larger it appears in the cloud.  By looking at the word clouds you can instantly tell which articles will be most useful.  Obviously, I would have looked at the second article in my search for “harmonics” because my keyword is heavily emphasized.

Would this technology be useful to you?  Like this Blogpost on our Facebook page.

Try a sample search yourself:

  • US Department of Energy: Information Bridge (NOTE: the target audience for this database is scientists in the physical sciences (i.e. Physics, Chemistry), but don’t let that dissuade you from trying out their database!)

Make your own Word Cloud using Wordle.

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