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Harrell Library provides review of new Web of Science search interface

The database Web of Science, available to Penn State College of Medicine users through Harrell Health Sciences Library, recently announced that it will be launching a new interface sometime during 2021.

There is currently a functional beta version that is already accessible from within the current version by clicking the button on the top right of the homepage. Those who are regular Web of Science users should be sure to check out the new interface before the official migration to the new platform. The new interface will provide a modern look and intuitive language regarding search functionality. For example, “Documents Search” replaces the old “Basic Search.” The recently released “Author Search” feature will also be included on the new interface. The “Cited References” search was slated to come soon in the beta version.

The search results also offer an improved display, without removing the familiar “Refine results” column on the left side. Further, both the search history and article’s reference links are more prominently displayed. The vendor, Clarivate, is promising is the ability to export citation in .ris format, making it easier to utilize bibliographic management software products like Mendeley or Zotero. Since Clarivate also produces EndNote, fully integrated citation exporting into all versions of EndNote already exists.

In all, the Harrell Library team notes that the new interface offers some welcome tweaks to the old interface, without creating a learning curve for experienced Web of Science searchers. However, some of the familiar functionality has moved to a different place on the page, so it may take a little getting used to. Those who need assistance searching Web of Science should contact their department’s library liaison.

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