Most-Requested Features Now in IEEE Xplore

Digital library offers improved search methods, timestamps, and more

8 January 2009

Three features have been added to the IEEE Xplore digital library: searches using medical index terms; date and time stamps on downloaded PDFs; and identification graphics to improve both article verification and subscriber recognition.

“These have been the most requested features by our customers around the globe,” says Prakash Bellur, senior online services manager with IEEE Product Management and Business Development in Piscataway, N.J. According to Bellur, the three features the three features made the October update one of the most popular ever.

MEDICAL TERMS To make biomedical information easier to find, the abstracts of 14 IEEE journals and one conference now include lists of medical terms established by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The index terms, known as medical subject headings (MeSH), are widely used by the biomedical community and for medically oriented research. IEEE Xplore users can now find what they’re looking for more easily when they search using MeSH.

Adding MeSH terms was the No. 1 request by library and academic customers, Bellur says. “Our users are not only assured that content is indexed according to industry standards,” he says, “but they also have a new way to quickly find the information they want.”

MeSH terms also provide a convenient way to browse the digital library. On an abstract page containing MeSH terms, you can click on a linked index term and be presented with all content that matches the term.

STAMPS AND BANNERS Another enhancement puts a digital watermark at the bottom of every page of a downloaded PDF. The watermark displays the date and time of the download, as well as the downloader’s name or the name of the subscribing institution.

That not only helps researchers with their citations, which often must include the date when an electronic resource was downloaded, it also clearly identifies that the article is the authorized and licensed copy of record, so there is no question about the material’s veracity.

The digital stamp is expected to help reduce misuse of the content, Bellur says, because articles are less likely to be illegally shared if they contain the original downloader’s name in the watermark.

The third enhancement is designed to help increase the visibility of IEEE’s institutional subscribers. PDFs viewed during an IEEE Xplore session are now accompanied by a graphic banner on the screen in a frame above the page that includes an IEEE Xplore logo and text that identifies an institutional subscriber, if there is one, by name. Since users are not often aware that their institution is paying for the right to download IEEE content, the ‘brought to you by’ message “reinforces to users that the material being viewed is paid for by a sponsoring institution, and provides recognition for the institution,” Bellur explains. “Increasing the visibility of a department or library can help institutions justify funding for online subscriptions to IEEE Xplore that are often requested by their users.”

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