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Advanced searching


In this tutorial, you’ll learn tips for advanced searching in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

The basic search on the IEEE Xplore homepage allows you to search metadata only, which is all the elements of the AbtractPlus page, except for the reference list. The article title, author names, publication title, index terms and abstract are all included in this basic search.

If you need to do more complex or targeted searching for your research, click on the Advanced Search link under the main search box.

This page allows you to do fielded searching in IEEE Xplore. Here you can select to search both the full text and metadata by clicking on the second radio button.

For the best results, you should have a very specific search in mind when using this option, since this searches millions of documents—some hundreds of pages long.

For each box, you can choose a specific search field. The drop down menu to the right shows all available fields, with the most popular options listed first.

You have the ability to move a search term to the top of the list by clicking on the upward arrow to the right of the drop down menu.

There are also some very simple Boolean operators to the left: AND, OR, or NOT.

The default in IEEE Xplore gives you three search boxes, but you can add more by clicking Add New Line.

Below the search boxes, in the gray area, are parameters for refining your search. You can refine results by publisher, content type, subject area and publication year.

Let’s say we want to find a specific document and we know acoustic tracking is in the title. Type acoustic tracking into one of the search fields and select document title from the drop down menu.

We also know there is a word that only shows up in the full text: zooplankton. Type that into a search box and select Full Text & Metadata from the drop down menu.

Click the orange search button and you’ll see that we get a very specific and small results set.

Notice that acoustic tracking is in each document title. If we clicked on one of these articles, you’d see that zooplankton does not appear in the index terms or abstract, but does in the full-text document.

Learn more advanced searching tips in the Command Searching in IEEE Xplore tutorial.

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