Understanding How Quertle Searches
To give you the most focused results, Quertle searches for relationships, not just documents that contain your query terms. For example, if your query is for "caffeine migraine", you will find documents that use both terms in a relationship such as "caffeine treats migraines". This enables you to find the most relevant documents, and not get overwhelmed by the ones that happen to use both of the search terms, but not in a meaningful connection.
Quertle also does a simple keyword search for documents that contain all of your search terms independent of whether they are used in conjunction with each other. These "Broader" results are presented on a separate tab on results page if you need them, but generally the "Focused" results are more valuable.
Constructing a Query Query Basics
Creating a query is simple. Just enter the term(s) of interest in the main search box and click Search or use your keyboard Enter key.
Quertle uses an advanced ontology of biological, medical, and chemical terms, so it is just fine to use the form you are most comfortable with and Quertle will find all the synonyms automatically. The ontology also enables recognition of multiple word phrases (such as "cell cycle") that convey a single concept.
At this time, Quertle supports only queries in English. Both American and British forms of words, such as "hematoma" and "haematoma", are acceptable.
Generally, to find the best results, your query should focus on the core concept(s) of interest, leaving additional restricting terms for filtering on the results page.
Single term queries: If you enter a single term, the relationship search (Focused Results) will find documents that have a statement that connect the search term to other concepts. This enables you to find the most important connections for the search term.
Two term queries: If you search for two objects, such as "protein1 protein2", the focused search will find documents that connect the two objects by an action, such as "protein1 regulates protein2" or "protein1 is inhibited by protein2". You can think of this type of query being shorthand for "protein1 what protein2". If you search for an object and an action, such as "MDM2 binds", you will find documents that have a specific statement about MDM2 binding to something. As above, you can think of the query as shorthand for "MDM2 binds what"
Three term queries: Extending the approach as described above, you can see that a query consisting of "object1 action object2" will allow you to find the documents that support that specific relationship.
Complex Boolean queries: At this time, Quertle does not support complex Boolean queries such as "protein1 OR protein2 bind to protein3 AND protein4".
Use proper capitalization in your queries so that similarly spelled terms, such as "AIDS" (the disease) and "aids" (the action), are not confused. You will find this to be of particular value where a gene or protein symbol is also an English word.
Power Terms (Classes of Objects)
When formulating a query, you may want to find members of a class of objects. For example, instead of the broad query "what regulates apoptosis", you may want to know about proteins specifically. To enable queries of this type, Quertle supports a number of Power Terms that represent a class of objects. For instance, $Proteins means any protein, but not the word "protein" or "proteins", allowing you to have the query "$Proteins regulate apoptosis". When you use a Power Term (for example, $Diseases), then all members of that class found within a relationship will be listed in the "Key Concepts" filter section (for example, a list of diseases). Some of the Power Terms; can be found in the link under the main search box. In the window that opens from this link, you can click on a Power Terms to add it to your query. The full list of Power Terms is available here.
Searching for Chemicals
In searching for chemical entities, you have the choice of searching by identifier number.
A variety of ID or registry numbers are recognized, including - but not limited to -
EINECS (The European Inventory of Existing Commercial Substances),
BRN (Beilstein Registry Number), and NSC (NCI's number system).
Not all IDs or registry numbers are available for all substances.
The various codes are copyright of their respective providers.
Searches that Require Special Handling Elemental Lead:
To avoid confusion with the highly polysemic term "lead", if you are looking for
documents about Elemental Lead, you should use one of the following search terms:
plumbum, elemental lead, or Pb (the latter being case-sensitive).
An ID or registry number will also work.
This will make it clear what your search means.
As you enter your search terms, Quertle will display search suggestions. These suggestions are largely based on actual relationships and entities within the documents in Quertle's index. They are not simply examples of what others have searched for.
The search suggestions consist initially of a possible entity (protein, chemical, disease, etc.) that matches what you have typed so far. For each entity, there is an icon representing the type of object and a color, which reflects the relative frequency the entity occurs in the literature. When the search suggestion is ambiguous or is constructed from common terms, the type icon and frequency color will not display.
If your search consists of an entity followed by "and", as you type the next characters the search suggestion shows possible additional entities for you to choose. The type icon and frequency color then apply to the second entity.
To execute the search suggestion, you can click on the entry or use the arrow keys to select the suggested search and then hit Enter.
To use the search suggestion as part of your search, use the arrow keys to select the suggested search you want. This suggestion then populates the search box and you simply keep typing to complete your query. This is particularly useful for the "Object and ..." suggestions provided.
Search Using an Author Name
When looking for documents that are by a specific author, you can simply add the author's name to the Author search box. If you also have a query in the main search box, adding one or more authors to the Author search box will limit the results to documents that include those authors. If you have no query in the main search box, an author-only query will find all the documents with the author(s), but no relationships will be found, only a list of documents.
To enter an author, start typing the author's name in the Author box. After you enter three characters, a drop-down list appears to allow you to pick the author from the list. Initially, the more prolific authors that match your typing are shown, so you may have to continue typing to have the drop-down list display the author you want. You may also type the name directly, without using the drop-down list.
To add additional authors, separate each author by a comma (for example, Simpson LA, Johnson JJ). When searching for multiple authors, Quertle will find documents that contain all of the names listed.
Search Using a Publication Source
When looking for documents that are in a specific journal, you can simply add the journal's name to the Journal search box. If you also have a query in the main search box, adding one or more journal will limit the results to documents that are from the selected journal(s). If you have no query in the main search box, a journal-only query will find all the documents from the journal(s), but no relationships will be found, only a list of documents.
To enter an journal, start typing the journal's title in the Journal box. You can use the full title, such as "Journal of Bacteriology" or an abbreviated form, such as "J Bact". After you enter three characters, a drop-down list appears to allow you to pick the journal from the list. You may have to keep typing to find the specific journal of interest.
To add additional journals, separate each entry with a comma. When searching for multiple journals, Quertle will find documents that contain any of the journals listed.
Understanding the Results Focused Results: Quertle's focused results are documents that contain relationships that contain your search term(s). A relationship is a subject-verb-object "fact" (with the usual caveat that just because an author wrote it doesn't mean it is correct). These relationships, presented on the Focused Results tab, provide more rapid access to the critical facts in the literature.
One document may contain multiple relationships relevant to your query. Up to five such relationships (the five most relevant) will be shown for each document. By default, the most relevant relationship will be displayed, but you can see the others by clicking "More Relationships". If you so desire, all the relationships for a result set can be expanded simultaneously by clicking the "Expand all Relationships" link at the top of the Results page.
Broader Results: Quertle also searches for documents based on keywords, giving you a broader set of documents. That is, if a document contains all of your search terms, that document will be listed - even if those search terms are not used together in any meaningful way. To access the Keyword results, click the link "View: ### documents from keyword search".
Results Display Author List
Each result entry begins with the document authors. If there are more than two authors, the list is abbreviated to show only the first and last authors. To see the full author list, click on the » icon or the ellipses (…). To collapse the author list, click on the « icon.
The publication year is displayed for each result entry. To see the full date, as provided by the document's publisher, mouse over the year and a tool tip will appear. If no tool tip appears, the publisher only provided a year for the publication date.
The journal is displayed in an abbreviated format for each result entry. To see the full journal title, mouse over the title and a tool tip will appear with the full title.
View Original Document
The original document source is provided at the end of the bibliographic information.
To view the original document either click on the document title of the source name.
Context and Highlighting
For relationship results, the sentence(s) encompassing the relationship(s) that matches your query will be displayed to provide the context for that fact. For both relationship and keyword results, the query terms will be highlighted in yellow.
View Full Abstract
To view the full abstract for any result, simply click on "Show Abstract". To close the abstract, click on "Hide Abstract". When the abstract is shown, any relationships are temporarily hidden until the abstract is closed.
Accessing the Document
Links are provided to make it easy for you to access the original document. These include:
Title Link - Click on the title of the result to see the document on the site Quertle obtained it from.
PubMed - Click on the HTML icon to go the corresponding PubMed entry.
PubMed Central - Click on the HTML or PDF icons to view the full-text article at PubMed Central.
BioMed Central - Click on the HTML or PDF icons to view the full-text article at BioMed Central.
My Library - Click the "My Library" link to access the full-text document through your institution's subscriptions.
If you do not see the My Library link, you need to log-in to My Quertle and choose your institution from the drop-down list on the Update Profile (or Create an Account) page. Don't see your organization on the list? Ask your librarian to submit a request. It's quick and free.
To enable you to find the most important relationships of documents faster, the results are initially presented in order of relevance to your query.
To sort the results by date, simply click the "Sort by Date" link. The results will now be sorted by date (most recent first). To return to relevance-based order, click the link at the top that now displays "Sort by Relevance".
On the Results page, you can select and export references for use in bibliographic management software.
To select a result for export, simply click the checkbox at the beginning of that reference.
To select all results on the current page, click the icon.
To clear all selections on the current page, click the icon.
To clear all selections from the current search, no matter what page they are on, click the icon.
You do not have to mark any references if you want to export all of the results; you will have this option in the Export dialog.
To export, click Export at the top of the results list.
You have the option to export all results (up to a maximum of 1000) or just the ones you have selected.
Note that the First 1000 is sensitive to the sort order you have chosen (by relevance or by date).
You also have the choice of export format.
RIS is a tag-delimited format used by most bibliographic software packages. Choose this if you want to import the results into your bibliographic software.
MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema) is an XML format standard created by the Library of Congress. It is a derivative of the MARC format and would be your choice if you want a text file of the results in XML format.
When you click Export, your bibliographic management software may launch automatically, if your package supports this function.
If you use Zotero, besides exporting results through the Export button, you can click on the icon in the address bar to add references on the current page to your Zotero database.
Quertle makes it easy to refine your results using a set of filters conveniently located left side of the results page. As you apply a filter, the Applied Filters section at the top left will update to show "breadcrumbs" for the filter(s) that have been applied. These breadcrumbs allow you to remove any or all of the filters easily.
Also Containing (Additional Search Terms)
Use the "Also Containing" filter to essentially add a term to your query. For relationship results, the results will be narrowed down to documents that contain the additional term anywhere in the text, in the MeSH terms, or in the Chemical List. After you apply an "Also Containing" filter, the term used will be bolded in the results display.
To limit the results to a specific type of publication, simply click the box next to the desired type(s). Click More to show additional publication types, if desired. If you select more than one publication type, the filter will limit results to any of the selected types.
The "Key Concepts" filters show the most relevant concepts found within the relationships. Click on any of these concepts to limit the results to those that include that concept. Note that the key concepts do not update with filtering, so that you can easily choose another concept from your initial result set.
The term you click on will be bolded in the results display.
The Key Concepts are broken out into sections:
Power Term Membership:
For each Power Term used in your query, the "Key Concepts" filter will display a section for that Power Term class.
In this section, the members of the class that are most relevant to your query will be displayed, in order of their importance.
Quertle has some "automatic" classes, such as "leukemia" (all forms of leukemia); these, too, will be separated into concept groups.
The full list of Power Terms includes all the special and automatic Power Terms you can use.
Concepts Relevant to "What":
If your query used "what" as part of a relationship-style query (e.g., "What causes migraine"), then
the Key Concepts will begin with the concepts specifically from the portion of the relationship that might contain the "what". This also applies if your query implies "what". For example, the query "p53 regulation" implies "what regulates p53".
This section will identify other key concepts, even if they do not belong to a defined class and even if they are not previously known to Quertle's ontology. As appropriate for your query, this section may be divided further into objects and then actions.
Create an Account
To create a MyQuertle account, click the Create an Account
link at the top right of the Home or Results pages.
Then enter the requested information.
Your password should be at least 6 characters long.
To access full-text documents for Quertle results, you need to choose your organization from the drop-down list.
If your organization is not on the drop-down list, choose "Other" and then enter your Organization's Name and Type.
When all information has been entered, click Submit.
You will then receive an email to confirm and complete your registration.
If you do not get this confirmatory email, please check your junk mail folder to be sure it is not there.
Once you have the MyQuertle email, click on "Please click here to activate your account".
That's it. Now you can log in.
If you have forgotten your password, enter your e-mail address in the Log In window.
Then enter any 6 or more characters for the password.
When these do not match your actual password, a new "Forgot Password" link will appear.
Clicking this link will cause the system to send you an e-mail with a new, temporary password.
Use the temporary password with your e-mail address to log-in.
Then, go to the My Profile tab for Your Quertle and enter your desired password.
If you have forgotten what e-mail address you used to create your MyQuertle account,
you should try the most likely e-mail addresses you have.
If you cannot figure it out, contact Quertle's Technical Support
using the feedback form.
Saving a Search
When you are logged in to MyQuertle, you will see a
Save Search+Filters link at the top right of the results.
Clicking this link will save the current search and all currently applied filters.
If you apply a different set of filters on the same search, that can be saved separately.
If the current search and applied filters have already been saved, the link will display
Search Saved in MyQuertle
Using Saved Searches
To access your saved searches, click on Your Quertle at the top right of either the Home or Results pages.
Your saved searches will be listed on the cleverly named Saved Searches tab.
Each search is shown in a row of the table, with
the search and all of the applied filters shown on the left.
To run a saved search, simply click on the .
To delete a saved search, click on the .
To get a weekly Alert, click the checkbox for any Saved Search.
MyQuertle will send you an email each week alerting you to any new documents that meet your search criteria.
If you request alerts for multiple searches, all the Alerts will be bundled in a single email.
You may stop Alerts at any time by unchecking the desired Saved Searches.
At this time you cannot change the frequency of the Alerts.
To set your MyQuertle preferences, click on Your Quertle at the top right of either the Home or Results pages.
Your preferences will be listed on the Preferences tab.
Currently, the only preference is how many results to show on each page.
Additional preferences are coming soon.
Updating Your Profile
To change your profile, click on Your Quertle at the top right of either the Home or Results pages.
Your profile will be listed on the My Profile tab.
You may update any of the fields, including your email address.
How should queries be written?
Searches on Quertle are best constructed in the form of a subject-verb-object relationship, or any part(s) of such a relationship. For example, you could write "aspirin treats headache" to find all documents about that subject. You can also use "what" for the subject or object as in "what treats headaches?" (to find documents on anything treating headaches) or "aspirin treats what?" (to find documents on what aspirin treats). Or, you can simply enter one or more terms. See Help for details.
Are queries case-sensitive?
Yes and no. For most terms, case does not matter. Some terms, however, have very different meanings when used in a particular case. For example, consider "NO" (nitric oxide) and "no" (negative), or "AIDS" (disease) and "aids" (helps). In these cases - pun intended - it is a good idea to use proper capitalization. And, for the record, font size doesn't matter.
Can I look for a specific phrase using double quotes?
No. Quertle "conceptualizes" your query to give the most relevant, and generally increased numbers of results. Quertle takes input such as "pinocytosis inhibition" and matches that to relationships, including "fluid-phase endocytosis was inhibited by" and so on. Thus, forcing a search for specific phrases is not supported. Quertle also "knows" about most things biological and chemical and will automatically recognize phrasal entities, such as "muscle contraction". If Quertle doesn't seem to understand something, please let us know.
What Power Terms can I use?
Power Terms are query terms used to represent a class of entities, such as $Diseases (representing all diseases), not the generic term "disease". The most commonly used Power Terms can be found in the Power Terms pop-up window. This can be accessed by clicking the link below the Search box. You can also view the full list of Power Terms. If there is a Power Term you think should be included, please let us know.
Can I create my own Power Term?
No. You cannot simply add a $ at the beginning of a query term to make it a Power Term,
since Quertle has to assign the members of each Power Term in the ontology.
If you want your term included, let us know.
What does the $ mean?
The $ signifies that the search will be for the members of that Power Term class BUT NOT for the term itself.
For example, the word "disease" is very common in the literature and it is not always helpful to search for that.
Instead, if you want to find actual diseases - but not "disease", "syndrome", etc. - then the Power Term $Disease is what you would use.
Automatic Power Terms (such as "neurotransmitter") do not have the $, signifying that the term, its synonyms, and members of the class will all be found.
Are MeSH terms used?
No and yes.
Relationship-based searches are looking at text written by the author for assertions that tie your search terms together.
MeSH terms are not written by the author, nor do they necessarily imply a relationship.
For example, an article on adverse effects of drugs that states "doxorubicin causes congestive heart failure" and "dofetilide causes long QT", does not imply doxorubicin causes long QT even though both would be MeSH terms.
Thus, for results found on the Relationships tab, the search does not use MeSH.
Having said that, we note that MeSH terms can be extremely useful.
So, once the documents are found to contain author-asserted relationships that match your search terms,
drilling down using the Also Containing filter does use MeSH.
MeSH terms are also used for the keyword-based searches. These results, on the Keyword Results tab, are not relationship-based and look in all the informative sections of the document (text as well as the MeSH, chemical, and gene lists provided by NLM).
How do I search for an author?
Stand up and look around the lecture hall. OK, a better answer: unlike some other sites, you should not enter the author(s) of interest in the main Search Box. Please type in the author(s) of interest in the Author Search box. As you type in an author's name, a list shows some possible matches. As you type more, the list will update accordingly. You do not have to actually pick from the suggestion list if you prefer to type the entire name. You can search for multiple authors by entering more names in the Author Search box, each separated by a comma. If more than one author is entered, the results must contain all of the names.
What if I don't see the author I am looking for in the suggestion list?
Keep typing. The list cannot show all possible matches (e.g., if you are looking for "Smith") and shows the more prolific authors that match what you have typed so far. As you type further, you should see who you're looking for. If you don't, then either that person used a pseudonym or we lost them. In the latter case, please let us know.
How do I search for a specific journal?
To limit your query results to those from a specific journal, enter the journal name in the Journal Search box. As you type in a journal name, a list shows some possible matches. As you type more, the list will update accordingly. You do not have to actually pick from the suggestion list if you prefer to type the entire name. You can search for multiple journals by entering more names in the Journal Search box, each separated by a comma. When entering multiple journals, the results will be for any of the entered publications.
What if I want to search by author or journal without any other terms?
No problem. Just enter the author(s) and/or the journal(s) and leave the main Search box empty. There will, however, not be any relationship type results listed in the "Key Concepts" filter area, but all documents by that author will show up. You can further filter to a topic of interest simply by adding a term in the "Also containing" field found on the results page.
What's the difference between Focused Results and Broader Results? Focused Results are documents that contain relationships tying your search terms together in a meaningful way (conceptual facts extracted by linguistic methods). Relationships are more than just having the terms found in the same document and are based on the context and implication of the text. The result is a set of documents that are highly focused on your query.
Broader Results are documents found by doing a keyword search for your query terms - and their synonyms - regardless of whether the words are used within the same context, or even within the same section of the document.
Why are there fewer Focused Results than Broader Results?
In most cases you will find fewer results on the Focused Results than Broader Results.
When searching for multiple terms, the Focused Results show documents that use the multiple terms
together in a meaningful way, whereas the keyword search will find more documents because the
terms do not have to be together.
Even when your search is a single term, the Focused Results results only contain documents where the
term is used in a recognizable relationship.
What is the highlighting?
The terms and phrases highlighted in yellow are your query term(s). If you have added an "Also containing" filter or have clicked on a Key Concept, those terms will be in bold. If you prefer not to have the highlighting shown, click "Turn Highlighting Off" at the top of the results. To turn it back on, click "Turn Highlighting On".
If the matching term occurs in the MeSH terms, the Chemical list, or in another part of the body of the document,
that match will be presented at the bottom of the result listing.
Why are some terms italicized?
Quertle recognizes abbreviations on a document-by-document basis.
When a relationship contains a recognized abbreviation, that abbreviation is italicized.
Can I reorder by date?
Yes. Simply click on "Sort by Date" at the top of the results list. The results will now sort by date, most recent first. To go back to relevance sorting, just click on "Sort by Relevance".
What does the date "Epub" mean?
Many publishers submit accepted articles to PubMed prior to their actual publication.
These articles have a publication date sometime in the future.
Quertle shows all such future dates as "Epub" (Electronic publication ahead of print)
so you don't run off to the library and wait for several months for the article to appear.
Can I save or export my list of documents?
Yes. You can export selected results or all of the results (up to 1000) directly to your bibliographic manager software or to a file. The Results pages are also Zotero-compliant. See Help for guidance on using the export feature.
Also Containing: You can type in additional words to be searched for in the current results set by typing into the "Also Containing" text box, then click the >> button (or by hitting Enter).
This will filter documents to those that contain the additional terms anywhere within the
informative text - title, abstract, body (for full-text), MeSH terms, or Chemical list.
The "Also Containing" filter always looks for the term you enter, all of its inflected forms (such as plurals), all of its synonyms, and all of its "children" in the ontology (for example, "rodent" will find "mice", "rats", etc.).
Published Within: Documents can be filtered by date to show only those published within defined time intervals, such as the previous 30 days. Let us know what other date ranges would be useful.
Publication Type: Documents can be filtered to show specific types of publications. Simply click on the publication type of interest. Note that clicking more than one publication type will filter the results to ANY of the selected types. To undo your choice(s), simply delete the Publication Type from the Applied Filters or click the individual entry in the Publication Type filter. Let us know what other publication types you would like to be able to filter by.
Key Concepts: One of the most useful aspects of the filter set is to limit documents to those relevant to a concept of interest. The "Key Concepts" filter section contains terms Quertle automatically identifies as key concepts in the initial results set. And when you have used a Power Term, this section presents members of the Power Terms group that are part of the identified relationships. Click on any term in the "Key Concepts" section to show only those documents containing the specific results of interest. To undo the filtering, just delete the term in the Applied Filters section.
How do I use the Applied Filters?
When you apply a filter, a "breadcrumb" is left in the Applied Filters. You can eliminate any (not just the last) filter by clicking the corresponding or by clicking the entry again in the filter section. You can also go back to a prior set of results by clicking on a breadcrumb link, which removes all filters below it. To remove all filters, click the following the Applied Filters label.
Can I apply more than one "Key Concept" filter?
Currently, Quertle does not support selecting more than one Key Concept for filtering at a time.
Here is why: Quertle is actually searching for subject-verb-object relationships (triplets), such as "A causes B".
This is how we focus our results on what is most relevant to your search.
More often than not, the relationship triplet does not contain multiple subjects (more than one "A")
or multiple objects (more than one "B").
Thus, selecting more than one Key Concept (A's, B's, or modifiers of A or B) will often leave no results.
If you believe a second Key Concept would be relevant in your filtering, simply enter that concept
as an Also Containing filter, which allows unlimited, independent terms.
What is MyQuertle?
A MyQuertle account allows you to save and easily re-execute searches.
You can also have automatic alerts sent to you each week that will show
any new documents that are found by your saved search.
Your MyQuertle account also allows you to
set your preference for number of results to show on each page
and to choose the institution - enabling you to access results documents through your library's subscriptions.
What happened to the Key Concept I saved with my search?
Key Concepts are the most relevant concepts associated with the relationships found by your search.
As new documents are added to Quertle, an old Key Concept may become pushed down in relevance and hence no longer "key".
This should be a rare occurrence, but with the rapid changes in science it is possible.
If you want to limit your search results to those contained the "expired" Key Concept,
simply apply that term in the Also Containing filter.
Why don't I see a My Library link with each result?
You must be logged in to MyQuertle and have selected your institution from the drop-down list of organizations to see the My Library link.
If your organization is not in the drop-down list (i.e., you chose "Other" and entered your organization name),
we are working to connect your institution's subscriptions to Quertle results.
You can help by asking your librarian to submit a request. It's quick and free.
Why is there an old paper in my Alert?
You may occasionally see an older document in your MyQuertle Alert.
This can happen when that document was recently added to the databases used by Quertle.
For example, if a new journal is added to PubMed and back issues are newly indexed, you may see one of those articles if it matches your search criteria.
Why am I asked to log in when I already did that?
If you choose for Quertle not to remember you when you logged in (for example, when you are on a shared computer), your session may time out.
This is to prevent unauthorized access to your MyQuertle searches and settings.
Simply log in again and, if you are not on a shared computer, consider having Quertle remember you.
Why don't some links and actions work in my browser?