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The latest issue of Open Access Now is now available online. From the very interesting article Fingerprinting the Literature...

Grivell likes to think of E-BioSci as a discovery tool, and he emphasizes the differences between E-BioSci and more conventional bibliographic service such as Entrez-PubMed (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed). "PubMed simply indexes everything. When you do a search you are actually looking up an entry in the index and that points you to a number of abstracts," explains Grivell. Of course, one can do more advanced searches using several keywords and Boolean terms (such as 'AND' and 'NOT'). "But every term is equally weighted and it's black and white - it's there or it's not there," says Grivell. "We deliberately took a different approach. Here, the concepts are derived from the article itself. We take out the words and use them to generate the fingerprint that forms the basis of the search. The search process itself is very interactive. The user can look at the fingerprint and modify the weight given to each concept. In that way you can change the focus or sharpen a search. You may end up with something that is similar to that which conventional searches produce, but there are always the additional unexpected results in there, which people may have missed."

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