We have given MathSciNet some upgrades.
As of January 3rd, 2017, MathSciNet will be running on new software, which has allowed us to add some great new features, with more to come in February 2017. This post provides some highlights of how MathSciNet is bigger, better, faster, more.
And please visit the AMS Booth at the JMM in Atlanta to see demonstrations of the new features of MathSciNet, as well as to meet some of the Editors from Mathematical Reviews. There will be free access to MathSciNet at JMM!
Sorting Search Results
Lists of search results will be sortable in a number of different ways, including chronologically, reverse chronologically, and by citations.
Here are the results of a search for publications with Anywhere=(fundamental lemma), sorted three different ways:
Classic sort: Newest First
Sorted by Number of Citations
Attention: Search works differently now
Previously, searches in MathSciNet assumed you were looking for a phrase. Now, searches in MathSciNet insert Boolean AND between terms by default. Thus, the search
will return all items where the word fundamental and the word lemma both occur somewhere. They need not be adjacent.
will search for the phrase fundamental lemma anywhere in our listing of the item. The two words will need to be adjacent to each other.
Here is what the results of the second search, for “fundamental lemma”, look like:
Notice that the number of matches has dropped from 2510 to 512, which is to be expected.
Here are the results sorted by citations:
Refining Search Results
Lists of search results will now include facets that allow users to filter and refine searches. These are the choices listed in the sidebar on the left. The possible refinements here are item type, author, institution, primary classification, journal, and year. Returning to the example just listed (searching for the phrase “fundamental lemma”), we can refine the search by choosing an author:
These matches are based on the author identification (author disambiguation) that goes into creating the Mathematical Reviews author database. (See Who Wrote That? for more on our author identification.) The numbers in parentheses tell how many matches there are: 14 matches for Báo Châu Ngô, 13 for Yuval Z. Flicker, 13 for Jean-Loup Waldspurger, and so on.
Clicking on Laumon, Gérard produces
Notice that the refined results are still sorted by number of citations. The choice of sorting follows along with the refining process.
In this screen shot, notice that the first two items have a light blue background:
That is because the two items are related. Indeed, they are Parts I and II. We gather them together, even though they were published as two separate books. Indeed, they have one joint review, written by Jonathan David Rogawski.
We can further refine the search by making a choice of Primary Classification.
We see that there are just two choices: Number Theory (MSC=11) with 6 items and Topological groups, Lie groups (MSC=22) with 4 items. Let’s look at the 4 items with primary classification Topological groups, Lie groups:
Notice that the results are still sorted by “Citations”.
Another way to refine these results further is to enter a new search term in the “Search within results” box. This adds the new search term and looks for it anywhere in our record for the item: Author, Title, Journal, Review Text, etc. This example is left as an exercise to the reader…
Displaying the Results of an Author Search
The results of an Author Search now display with more information. Let’s use the Fields Medalist Wendelin Werner as an example, pretending that we don’t remember his first name. Navigating to the Authors tab, we enter “Werner” in the search field.
The results look vastly different now:
There is plenty of extra information to help choose the Werner we were actually looking for. In this case, there are 503 matches. My screen shot only allows us to see the first 9, sorted by Profile Name. Note that the search is looking for “Werner” either as a first name or as a family name. By default, the results are listed alphabetically by Profile Name (the name that appears in the Author Profile). We can re-sort by Citations:
There are five matches with over 1000 citations. Only one of them has last name Werner. We can also see that this Werner started publishing at around the right time to have recently won a Fields Medal. Clicking on Werner, Wendelin brings us to his Author Profile page on MathSciNet
An alternative way to have found Wendelin Werner, assuming we knew something of his mathematics, would have been to refine by Primary Classification. That is to say, to select the classification in which he has published most frequently. In Werner’s case, that is Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes (MSC=60). Note that 38 of these authors have this class as their most frequently occurring MSC.
Selecting Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes yields
Note that, again, the sorting by Citations has followed us as we have refined the search. Wendelin Werner, the Fields Medalist, is now the top result. Clicking on his name leads us to his Author Profile page
These are just a few highlights of what can be done with the new features of MathSciNet. You can watch a demo video of some of the sorting and faceting improvements. (The video was made when the new features were still prototypes – so some things will look slightly different.) But, the best thing is to try them out — after January 3rd!
More to come
And keep watch for more new features that will come later in February 2017:
- Search Result Alerts: Users will be able to log in and create email alerts that will send them any new results for queries that they create. This will allow users to be notified when, for example, an author’s citations count changes, or a new issue is added to a journal.
- Autosuggest for Journals and Author Search Boxes: MathSciNet’s journals and author search boxes will now suggest useful search strings for journal titles and author names.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Erol Ozil. He is the head of IT at Mathematical Reviews and is the mastermind behind these new features. To begin with, he set the stage for the upgrades by initiating the change in our search software. He then did an amazing job of getting the changes coded in the new environment. As database experts know, this requires restructuring the underlying databases to take advantage of the new code. There were a thousand issues, both large and small, that came up along the way. Erol dealt with them all.
Thank you, Erol.