Search Help

AVAILABLE SEARCH INTERFACES

Journal sites. Our journal sites -- Science, ScienceNOW, Science Signaling*, Science Translational Medicine, and SAGE KE -- provide three kinds of search interfaces.

  1. Each page on the site includes a quick search box in the upper-right-hand corner, with a pull-down menu that lets you select the publication to search. This interface provides a simple full-text search of the content.
  2. Local search boxes can be found on selected pages, providing additional search options appropriate for that context, as well as a link to an advanced search.
  3. A full suite of search options is available in the advanced search page for each publication, with options including search by full text, author, section, or subject, support for Boolean and date-range searches, and more.

 

Other search gateways. In addition to searches of Science publications, selecting "Search HighWire journals" lets you run a detailed search across all journals published by HighWire Press or any subset thereof.

Our Science Products area includes a searchable database, ProductInfo, that lets you filter product information by category, product name, keyword, or page number of an advertisement in the print Science.

Finally, on ScienceCareers.org, you can not only search for content, but can also probe our databases of top jobs in science and science policy, of biomedical grants and funding opportunities, and of upcoming scientific meetings and career events via the site's arsenal of custom search tools.

The remainder of this help page provides additional information and tips for searches of the content of Science, ScienceNOW, Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, and SAGE KE.

* Note: Searches of Science Signaling include those articles published under the former title Science's STKE.

SEARCH RESULTS

Our search-results pages for Science and ScienceNOW include a number of enhancements to maximize your search productivity.

  • You can get a quick reminder of your search terms and parameters by clicking the "Show Query Details" link at the top of the page.
  • Clicking the "Modify Search" link lets you jump back to your search and change the date range, search strings, or other parameters.
  • Search results are returned in relevance-rank order, but "Sort by" links on the results page let you quickly toggle between that order and date-ranked (reverse chron) order.
  • Buttons at the top and bottom of each results page let you save the search parameters for future use or set up e-mail alerts to notify you when new content is posted that matches your search.
  • Search keywords are highlighted in the search result, to give a quick reading on the nature of the item in question.

 

In Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, and SAGE KE, search results are sorted by section/content type, with the most relevant (or recent) results from each section displayed in the results page.

MAIN SEARCH OPTIONS

Here's a quick rundown of some main search options on our journal sites.

  • Search by citation. If you know an article's volume and page number (from a print reference note, for example), enter it directly into the appropriate search box to retrieve a direct link to that article. If you know only the page number, you can enter just that in the search-by-citation area and get a (possibly short) list of all articles in the journal with that page number. Entering only a volume number provides a (not terribly useful) list of everything published in that volume.
  • Search by DOI. You can also search by the Digital Object Identifier of a particular article or item, if you have seen that information in a published citation.
  • Keyword search. Keyword searches can be performed on full text, on title and abstract, or on title only. The default setting brings results containing any of the search terms entered. You can force a search of the exact phrase using the "exact phrase" radio button or using quotation marks around the search term.
  • Author search. In the "Author" field, enter the last name of the author, followed (optionally) by the first and middle initials. Author searches can be tricky: If the author's last name is a multipart string, such as "de Castro" or "O'Leary", for example, you should search the full multipart last name. If the name includes characters beyond those used by the standard English alphabet (such as letters with accents, umlauts, or other diacritical marks), you may need to use wildcards to get results.
  • Limiting by date. You can search the entire date range for each of our publications (the default), or can limit keyword and author searches to a specific range of publication dates.
  • Limiting by section or subject. On Science, Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, and SAGE KE, a set of checkboxes lets you limit search results to only those in a particular section of the journal. Science search results can also be limited to articles from within a particular subject collection.

BOOLEAN SEARCHES

Basic useful Boolean terms include AND, OR, NOT, and ( ). These terms are used to connect the words in a search. They can be used by themselves or in combination to specify your search terms. Although Boolean terms can be used in the "Author" field (with last names only), they are most commonly used in keyword searches.

Words within a keyword field are assumed to be connected by ORunless otherwise specified. The ORconnector is not often used since it is the default expression between terms. However, it can be helpful in organizing a complex query.

The ANDconnector limits the search results to articles that contain all of terms that are connected by AND. For example, a search for human diseaseswill return all articles that contain the term humanor the term diseases-- retrieving, in practice, articles as diverse as human evolution and avian diseases. Inserting an ANDstatement -- human AND diseases-- ensures that only articles that mention both humanand diseaseswill be returned.

The NOTterm can be used to exclude articles containing certain terms. For example, if you wanted to search for articles about the gene called sosthat did not deal with Drosophila, the search would be constructed as sos NOT drosophila. For more complex searches, these operators may be combined with one another, optionally using parentheses to group terms to avoid ambiguity in a complex query. For example, ("signal transduction" AND (phosphorylation OR kinase)) NOT xenopusfinds only articles which use the phrase "signal transduction" and either the word phosphorylationor the word kinase, but do not mention the word Xenopus.

(Note: On Science and ScienceNOW, Boolean ANDsearching can also be accomplished using the "All of these words" radio button beneath the relevant search field. Should you choose instead to use Boolean terms such as ANDexplictly, it does not matter if you select 'any' 'all' or 'phrase' in the radio buttons; all produce the same result when combined with Boolean operators.)

CASE SENSITIVITY

Searches are case-insensitive as long as lower-case letters are used; upper-case search terms will retrieve only articles where the upper-case term is used. For example, a search for thrombinwill return all articles containing the term, but a search for Thrombinwill generally return articles where Thrombinis the first word in a sentence. In general, you should use lower-case in all of your searches unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise.

STEMMING, WILDCARDS, AND SPECIAL CHARACTERS

Our search uses a "stemming" mechanism to find words similar to the ones you enter. For example, a search on transcriptionmay turn up articles containing similar words such as transcriptand transcribed. These additional words may not always be highlighted in the text. To disable stemming, force an exact match by enclosing each individual term in quotation marks.

In some cases, stemming may not be enough, and you may wish instead to use a wildcard search. For example, a search for child*will return articles containing child, childcare, and children; a search for phospha*will return articles containing phosphataseand phosphate.

Wildcards can also be used to truncate words before non-English characters such as an umlaut (ü) or an accent (é). In many cases these characters cannot be searched natively; thus, if you're having trouble finding an article by an author named Grundström, for example, try searching for Grundstr*in the author search box.

SEARCH ERRORS

There are two reasons that you may not get any articles back from your search: an error within the search engine itself, or a lack of articles matching your search criteria.

If your search was executed properly but did not return any articles, the message "Your search retrieved zero articles." will be displayed at the top of the screen, along with some suggestions for narrowing your search. In this case, the search can be redefined by broadening the search terms or by the use of wildcards with search terms or author names for which you are not sure of the exact spelling. (It's also possible, of course, that we just don't have any articles matching your particular query.)

When an error in the search engine itself occurs, you'll see the message "There was a problem with our search system." This most commonly means that too many articles were returned. This will happen if a common word (for example, andor the) is used. Single letters not included in a phrase will return similar errors. Finally, note that parentheses and quotation marks come in sets: if only one is used, an error will result. Ensure that you are not using too-common words and that you've closed quotes and parentheses in your search string. If the error still can't be resolved, let us know: