Did You Know? 5 Things About BIOSIS

The BIOSIS family of products focuses on research information in biology and preclinical biomedicine and includes:

  • Biological Abstracts (BA): Unsurpassed coverage of the biomedical journal literature
  • Biological Abstracts/Reports, Reviews & Meetings (BA/RRM): Non-journal publications in biology and biomedicine including books, conferences, patents and more
  • BIOSIS Previews (BP): Combined content of BA and BA/RRM to provide an all-encompassing biological and biomedical research resource
  • BIOSIS Citation Index: BP content plus the citations included from the original publications to allow use of Web of Science’s renowned citation analysis features.

 Researchers, institutions and commercial companies have come to rely on BIOSIS content as a primary research information source.

 Do you know the value BIOSIS could bring to your research?

1.     Unparalleled coverage of the research literature

BIOSIS provides the broadest coverage of life-sciences publications from more than 5,000 international journals, plus books, conference proceedings, patents and more. This content is evaluated and consistently indexed to provide a high-quality, comprehensive resource for life-science research across over 90 years of scientific discovery. With more than 25M records growing at over 800,000 per year, BIOSIS is the only life-sciences database to integrate these varied sources across such a time span with unified indexing.

BIOSIS graph

2.     Precise and complete searches using BIOSIS unique indexing

BIOSIS’ relational indexing allows precise and complete searches by placing author terminology in the context of a Term Type field in the record. This allows distinction between homonymous terms such as Turkey (the country) and Turkey (the bird) by searching for a term as a specific Term Type (Geopolitical Location vs Organism) or allying the term to a particular controlled classifier.

 The Web of Science search system works in tandem with the BIOSIS item structure to allow precise searches based on word or phase indexing of search terms. Coupled with the controlled vocabulary, this allows distinction between concepts with similar names but very different meanings, which are otherwise difficult to filter in a search. For example zebra, zebra finch, and zebra fish.

3.     Ease of search using author terminology

The key term included in the indexing of a particular concept is selected by BIOSIS editors to reflect author terminology. Where the article also specifies alternative terms for the concept, these may also be captured as variants. This process allows use of the author’s terminology in searching and the ability to reflect the published article and contemporary research concepts, aligned to a contextual term type with, in many cases, a controlled/standardized classifier.

 4.     Controlled vocabulary to allow complete retrieval

Controlled vocabulary is also applied to a number of term types including the Geopolitical Location field. Where controlled vocabularies have been developed to support a particular term type, classifiers may be applied to all key terms gathered in the item. Each time a term is used, the classifier is applied. So for example, every time a geographical concept such as “California” is determined to be a key concept in the article, “California” is selected as a key term in the Geopolitical Location Term Type, and the classifiers “USA,” “North America” and “Nearctic region” will be applied to allow searching at country, continent and zoogeographical region level, even though these terms may not be mentioned in the title and abstract.

 A future blog will focus on organism searching, as this is a key area for the life sciences. For the Organism Term Type, there are a number of different applications of controlled terminology such as the addition of Taxa Notes terms like “Crustaceans” which will retrieve all items where a crustacean animal is the focus. This feature avoids the need to enter search terms for all crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp etc.) and their scientific names individually.

5.     Frequent updates to keep you up to date with the latest research

The BIOSIS content is updated frequently - weekly in the case of BIOSIS Preview and BIOSIS Citation Index to deliver a current and up-to-date view of published scientific research.

 Future blog posts will provide more detailed information on searching particular types of information to make best use of the BIOSIS relational indexing, bringing together the value of BIOSIS content with the power of the Web of Science platform.

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