Term clusters, or visual search results, allow users to discover the context of their search term and uncover hidden connections. The Term Clusters tool generates a visual representation of your results by topic and subtopic based on an analysis of frequently occurring and related terms. This allows users to hone in on targeted topics, envision connections between topics, and create new paths of inquiry.
Term Clusters analyzes key aspects of results like the first 250 words of a full-text article, article titles, and subject headings. Citation only results are also evaluated.
Why Use Term Clusters?
Viewing a term cluster allows users to visualize research connections they may not have considered. For example, after running a term cluster, a user may uncover multiple topics on the inner and outer rings that can be compared to one another.
To begin a search: When users have a broad idea of a topic they want to investigate or are having trouble coming up with a research topic, they can click the term clusters search from the gold toolbar. After entering a general term,users will be presented with a term cluster that provides a wealth of potential topics.
After getting results back from a search: When a search provides a large number of results, users can click the link from the left hand sidebar into term clusters. Then users can use the inner and outer rings to hone in on more specific sets of results.
See also: Term Clusters Tip Sheet
This post was written by mheroux on June 3, 2014