Basic science journal searching made easy with Quertle

Quertle is a search engine offering an innovative approach to basic science searching. Quertle’s creators realized that often molecular biology searching is focused on subject-verb-object relationships (triplets), such as “A causes B”.  They’ve captured millions of these relationships in order to enhance searching PubMed and other US government databases and documents, news, whitepapers, and posters.

At the heart of effective Quertle searching is the use of Power Terms.  Power Terms are short cuts that encapsulate whole classes of terms for which you might want to search.  For instance, I can use the Power Term $Genes to stand in for any gene name or $Proteins for any gene product.  I can even be more specific and use $ProteinKinases or $SignalingProteins.

Here’s a search that you can try in Quertle:

$Protein $Action $Disease inflammation

On the left of your results there’s a list of filters.  Narrow your results by adding terms, limit to recent years of publication or publication type, choose specific key concepts with a relationship to one of your search terms, or add other general concepts. Export your results in RIS format for import into your favorite citation management software. You can even register with Quertle to save your favorite search filters to apply to future searches and access the Health Sciences Library’s fulltext journals.

If you’ve found PubMed’s approach to searching frustrating when searching in the domain of molecular biology, then Quertle might be the discovery tool for you! Ask Us if you’d like to investigate Quertle with a librarian to see if it meets your searching needs or to learn more about the many search tools that provide an alternative PubMed.

[Lynne Fox, Education Librarian]