Advanced Search, Boolean Operators & search-result ordering
1) Currently there isn't any "Advanced Search" option to search by specific fields such as "Authors", "Year", "Journal" etc, much like in the Web of Science search. While it is possible to use field codes such as "Author:", etc, this would make searching a lot more user friendly
2) I would like to have the ability to use BOOLEAN operators for searches (like AND, OR).
3) Lastly, it would be nice to have more options with how searches are ordered. For example if I search "nanoscale", I get a list of all documents containing the word nanoscale. However this listing is haphazard. It would be nice if files having the search term in the title are given higher weighting, lumped together and show up at the top of the search ("A Mendeley PDF rank", much like Google's Page Rank =) ). If you eventually incorporate Abstract fields, then maybe give the next weighting to files with the word in the Abstract and subsequently list PDFs which contain the term in the body of the PDF text (maybe sorted in descending order of frequency of appearance of the search term).
I think these would make the Search functionality absolutely awesome! Thanks for all the hard work on this great app!
1) This is currently possible, although not very intuative: you can find more searching options here: http://www.mendeley.com/faq/#advanced-search However, we realise this is not very intuative and are looking to improve this in a future version.
2) The boolean operators such as AND/OR work as expected in Mendeley 1.6, although there are improvments in 1.7 (to be released later in 2012).
3) This has been logged with our Developement Team for a future version.
Robert Knight commented
Mendeley has support for restricted searches to certain fields and you can also use basic boolean operators (and, or). See http://www.mendeley.com/faq/#advanced-search for details.
Of the three issues outlined in the original report - (1) and (2) are done, (3) remains to be done - along with improvements to the automatic ranking of results.
Regarding (1) - search within sticky notes is still on our TODO list.
Hi, what's up with the effort to improve searching? Major issues:
1. There is no searching in annotations (those yellow sticky notes). Why is that? What's the point of making a note if your thought gets lost in the shuffle?
2. There's no way to find data reliably. With a large library (and that's the point, right?), you couldn't possibly get accurate search results just by typing a term or two into the search box.
So, is there any motion on this? It's been years in the making...
I'd love to see option to search by author as a wildcard. Say, I don't remember exact spelling of an author but am sure it starts with Pu. It would be very nice to be able to search using: Author:Pu*
Oleksandr Voznyy commented
I'd say that the 2 major problems plague 90% of the requests below:
- make AND default for searches like 'author:name keyword' (VERY EASY to fix but very required)
- SORT (or post-filter) after the search is done. The decision to make the search results Google-like was made a long time ago and I believe that table-view search results were available at some point. So rolling it back should not be a big issue. Additional metadata matches still can be shown in the "Title" column.
Providing a filter field above each column would be even a better option, but that would much more time to implement. Moreover, search and then sort is probably a faster option for most of the users.
Jelle Fresen commented
I'd also like to be able to search on the type of the entry. For example, I know I had a book, but I forgot the title, I'd like a list of all books by searching for type:book, or if I want to manually verify the correctness of the meta data of all reports, I'd search on type:report.
Aaron Newman commented
I second the motion to allow sorting of search results by author, year, etc. as well as more intuitive search syntax. Also the ability to filter search results by additional fields such as year, journal, etc..
Searching through annotations is a must !
Md. Iftekhar Tanveer commented
I think the 3rd point mentioned here is the greatest drawback of Mendeley. If I search for, say "Title: Active Appearance Models Revisited", it is supposed to show the file with title "Active Appearance Models Revisited" at the beginning of the search results. However, currently in the top it is showing all the other files which just merely cited this document. It is not good. There should have a good ranking system to display the search results.
Daniel Heidt commented
I wish I could vote for this more as well. The ability to search multiple fields and SORT the results (in my case chronologically) would make this program so much more powerful and useful. Also, limiting the table display to a "Year" column seems silly - why not a month and day as well? At least give users the option to display these fields if they are included in their entries.
James Hokanson commented
Too bad I can't vote for this more! The one field search is too complicated for me to use. Point 1 is especially important to me.
Thanks to those who pointed out Author:name is what I need to use instead of Author: name (with a space)
please add an option in the program to allow the user decide if they want the search results returned as a table or as citations by default
Please fix the sort button so that it works on searches. When I search for an author, and then go to view => library as table, and then click on the year column (to sort), it doesn't appear to sort on the year as I would have expected it to. Similar lack of function is observed by clicking on any of the columns (0.9.8.1).
I really love what I've seen so far from Mendeley as well as its future plans but it drives me crazy that what I consider to be fairly basic features still don't seem to work. Thanks.
Correction : boolean search might provide different results from one computer to the other, even when query is performed on the same database. Strange behavior!
Boolean search is definitively limited and leads to erroneous results. This urges me to go back to endnote...
Definitely need to be able to search through the annotations
Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio commented
also, I would like to search by pubmed ID (PMID)
David S. commented
Wow, just found the little drop down menu for title/author etc and am wondering why I never noticed it before. Ignoring my last two comments, I'd also like for the search function to search through your annotations you've placed in the text, in addition to to what's in the notes box.
It would be nice to be able to search JUST tags too. Also the Author: code doesn't work for me. it searches all fields.
Janus Hansen commented
I just want to second what others have said here:
"author:Nielsen" finds papers by Nielsen.
"author:Nielsen freshwater" finds any paper including the word freshwater.
"Nielsen freshwater" finds papers including Nielsen AND freshwater the word.
Pointless and counterintuitive.
I also second what Robin says about having an option to search what I wrote in the notes and comments. I have certain questions and follow-up action items that I tag in there and want to be able to find them all.
Has anyone else had issues with advanced searching? If I use a field search (i.e. tag:shoulder tag:-knee), then it seems to work well. However, If I don't put a tag in front of a search term, (because I want it to search every field) it doesn't seem to combine search terms properly. For example, searching for "shoulder tag:knee", will return everything with shoulder in it (even if it wasn't tagged w/ knee) and not the stuff tagged with knee (even though default should be AND).
How about search in abstract, title, and/or text as well?