February 6, 2008
Web of Knowledge -- a recommendation
For Maximum Retrievals in the Agricultural / Biological / Medical Sciences, Search Web of Knowledge.
Recently the Web of Knowledge search platform was revamped, so that now, when you search "all databases", the records are automatically de-duplicated. If the record of interest is in multiple databases (as they frequently are), the default will be to show the Web of Science record for it if it is in Web of Science. In the case of a record that is present in multiple databases, there will be links to other versions of the record from the Web of Science record, in case you prefer to see the record as presented in another database.
Searching Web of Knowledge in the "all databases" searches the following resources, simultaneously:
- Web of Science, 1970-
- Biological Abstracts, 1926-
- CAB Abstracts, 1910-
- Food Science & Technology Abstracts, 1969-
- Medline (= PubMed), 1950-
- Zoological Record, 1864-
Take a look at the results of several searches run in each database individually, vs run in the Web of Knowledge All Databases mode. From the results, you can see that you will get more search retrievals from searching the whole Web of Knowledge database, than from searching any of the individual databases.
Recommendation: Search Web of Knowledge in the "All Databases" mode UNLESS you need to:
- Set up a email search alert. These can not be set to run across "all" the databases, so you will need to set them up in each individual database. Since Web of Science is updated weekly, it's recommended that you start by setting up topical or table of contents alerts from it. Depending on your topic, you'll want to set up alerts in other databases, too.
- Run a cited reference search. Use Web of Science -- it is the only database running under the Web of Knowledge platform that has this feature.
- Use some of the search handles that are specific to particular databases, e.g., Medline's MESH (Medical subject headings), CAB's descriptors, Biological Abstracts' Concept Codes, etc.
- Export keywords, subject headings, and other database-specific information into EndNote or RefWorks. When you export records from an All Databases Web of Knowledge search, only the bibliographic information (author, title, citation) and the abstract will be exported.
Note: Many ag / bio / medical resources are NOT included in the Web of Knowledge platform, and, for now, you will need to continue to search them individually. For example:
- Chemical Abstracts (via SciFinder Scholar)
- Faculty of 1000
- Compendex via EiVillage
- Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
Posted by Katie Newman at February 6, 2008 2:14 PM