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Numeric Search: Work faster, Open Up New Lines of Investigation on Compendex/Inspec

on Thu, 01/05/2017 - 23:51

By Marilynn Larkin

Research projects that involve building an 11 km tunnel through an urban area…a new way to produce high-strength steel that might be patentable…a design for an airport surface communications system that needs compliant radio communications technologies….

What’s the fastest way to get the information you need to complete your engineering projects? Numeric search – an easy-to-use feature that overcomes the major obstacle to identifying relevant research based on numeric data.

Enjoy the power

Historically, trying to locate relevant research using numeric data has been hampered by the diverse ways in which these values are expressed in the scientific literature -  different formats, numerical ranges and special symbols.

Now, thanks to a complex numerical data indexing algorithm derived from in-depth analyses of the way numeric values are typically used by authors in engineering, physics and related disciplines, Engineering Village can standardize numerical values across Compendex and Inspec.

Specifically, you can do things like searching different measurement criteria (e.g., Celsius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin) simultaneously and/or recall values that lie within a specified numerical data range.

The system also performs automatic unit conversions. For example, if a record contains a specific temperature expressed in Fahrenheit, you can retrieve it even if you search in Celsius or Kelvin.

You can also:

  • Disregard order of magnitude when searching for numeric units; a search using kilometers, for example, will match numerical data expressed as meters.
  • Search for numerical data that lies with a specified range of values—for example, a frequency range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz to retrieve technology that operates within the UHF band of frequencies.
  • Use the numeric filter to refine search results containing numeric values, ranges and property types, narrowing your results by 62 different physical and chemical properties.
  • Combine searches containing numeric data, keyword and/or controlled-term indexing using either Quick or Expert Search.
  • Use standard Engineering Village functions to edit your searches by combining or removing specific numeric data.

Include your numeric search queries in your Alerts and Saved Searches. Here are just some of the common data types that can be searched across Compendex and Inspec:

  • Absorbed dose (Gy)
  • Age (yr)
  • Apparent power (VA)
  • Capacitance (farad)
  • Electric current (ampere)
  • Electrical resistance (Ohm)
  • Energy (joule)
  • Equivalent Dose (sievert)
  • Frequency (hertz)
  • Power (watt)
  • Radioactivity (becquerel)
  • Time (second)
  • Voltage (volt)


In the example below, more than three-quarters of the results were previously not retrievable by searching keywords alone


This screen shows a set of search results from sources covering research in petroleum, well drilling and related fields.  The results have been filtered via numeric criteria (greater than or equal to 3000 feet), as seen in the numeric filter box, highlighted in the top left-hand corner.  This allows the user to quickly limit their results to ultra-deep wells using numeric data. Authors will commonly not use dimensional terms, such as the keyword “deep”, if they have specified it numerically.  











Learn more

Webinar - Tuesday, January 31st: Join Matt McGarva, Product Manager, Engineering Village, as he demonstrates the power and ease of numeric search to find previously undiscovered data across both Compendex and Inspec databases. Sally Fell, Product Manager, Engineering Village, will also highlight recent enhancements and a peek at what’s coming in 2017.


Want to try now?

To help everyone — even those new to Engineering Village — make the most of the power and sophistication of numeric search, Engineering Village includes a unique tool that can guide you through the search-refinement process step-by-step. Login to Engineering Village and give it a try.