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LIS-MEDICAL  December 2018

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Subject:

Re: Science Direct interface

From:

Darren Flynn <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Darren Flynn <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:10:22 +0000

Content-Type:

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text/plain (1 lines)

Sorry didn't forgot to add them to the examples below but adding the relevant parentheses didn't appear to affect the # of results.



Darren



-----Original Message-----

From: Darren Flynn

Sent: 12 December 2018 08:44

To: 'Vickers Roy' <[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask]

Subject: RE: Science Direct interface



Hi Roy,



I had a conversation about this with a colleague last week.

There does appear to be some serious issues with the new Science Direct interface. Alongside the issues you've raised there are additional ones that (I think) she'd identified and spoken to Elsevier;



1. Wildcards and truncation not supported - so simple keywords like nurs* cannot be used and have to have each variation included 2. The interface doesn't support more than 9 Boolean operators. I've tested this thus;



nurse OR nurses OR nursing OR doctor OR doctors OR dentist OR dental OR medical OR medic

4,648,630 results

nurse OR nurses OR nursing OR doctor OR doctors OR dentist OR dental OR medical OR medic AND diabetes

4,648,630 results

nurse OR nurses OR nursing OR doctor OR doctors OR dentist OR dental OR medical OR medic AND diabetes AND blood

4,648,630 results



This appears to me that the interface processes the first 9 operators/keywords and ignores anything after.

This combined with the lack of truncation /wildcards makes a complex search incredibly problematic not only can you not use multiple operators but also you need to 'waste' additional keywords with variations.



Darren





Darren Flynn

Academic Liaison Librarian: Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Operating Dept. Practice, Paramedic Science, Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Lanchester Library: Coventry University Tel. 07557425548



-----Original Message-----

From: UK medical / health care library community / information workers <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Vickers Roy

Sent: 11 December 2018 15:38

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Science Direct interface



Hello everyone,



This is my first post to this list.



I’m not sure what the list will make of this. I have some observations to make about the recent changes to the Science Direct search interface. If I am missing some benefit, please feel free to put me right. For those who use it often - I know it’s been like this a while, but I have only just got round to posting this.



The content in Science Direct, has always been great for health subjects, but the recent changes have made it more difficult to use it for systematic health searches. The current advanced search itself feels actually very limited. There are no additional lines to run a population, intervention, comparison and outcome. Some sections will always be missing off the screen. Some of the search boxes are confusing. It’s not made clear how ‘Find articles with these terms’ differs from ‘Title, abstract or keywords’, and both get vastly different results.



A search using the PICO framework has to be compressed in to a single search line. This makes it really hard to add in a search that may have been written and produced results in other databases that support complex multiple line searches.  If the search is long and complex, not  all of it will be on-screen, and so a check for mistakes is not easy. The workaround previously available (expert search) seems to have disappeared. This all (to my eyes)  has implications for the reliability and robustness of any searches conducted in Science Direct if users start to simplify searches to get round this.



If a complex search run in several other databases cannot be reliably replicated in Science Direct, then a selection bias may be introduced into the search that skews the sensitivity and the specificity of the results found. This may have implications for systematic reviewing, and clinical searching generally, where users have to apply the principles of evidence-based practice to their searches.



I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this. Is it just me…? Am I missing something…? I don’t mind being told.



best wishes,



Roy Vickers

Academic Support Librarian (Health & Society) University of Salford



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