|April 1, 2004 [posted]|
|Entrez Programming Redesign Improves PubMed®|
he Entrez programming software used by PubMed was recently enhanced to improve and make consistent the way in which PubMed interprets users' queries. Samples of these improvements follow with examples of actual PubMed queries, which were previously unsuccessful, but will now retrieve citations.
The Details screen reflects PubMed's improvements. The Query translation box on this screen (see Figure 3), which shows how terms from the query were translated, no longer displays terms not found in the database. These will continue to appear under Phrase(s) Not Found. If the search query has other errors, e.g., the parentheses are unbalanced, or a search tag has been used incorrectly, a notice of this will display on the results screen, "Syntax error in query. See Details." (see Figure 2.) On the Details screen, under User Query (see Figure 3), look for one or more characters in another color, which indicates the query needs to be reviewed. For example, if a parenthesis is highlighted, the query should be checked for the balanced use of parentheses.
For more information about how PubMed interprets queries, see Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators in PubMed Help. Note: Controlled terms (i.e., MeSH terms and journal titles or abbreviations) should continue to be entered following the guidelines provided in Help.
By Annette M. Nahin
Nahin AM. Entrez Programming Redesign Improves PubMed®. NLM Tech Bull. 2004 Mar-Apr;(337):e4.