Concept Search: Exploring a General Idea

Because of the richness of language, a topic or idea can be described with a wide variety of words or expressions. For this reason, a conventional search may be too limiting when you want to research a broad topic area. If other records discuss the desired topic but do so in terms other than those included in your query, they may not be retrieved.

Rather than formulating an all-encompassing query, you can perform concept searching.

In a concept search, PLWeb Turbo first generates a list of terms that are statistically related to the words in your query. This list is similar to the operation of the Relate Advisor. Those words that have a significant degree of co-occurrence with your query words are deemed related within the context of the current database. If you are searching a virtual database, related words will be identified for all open databases.

After generating the aforementioned list, the concept search operation then performs a conventional search using the original query words as well as the related terms. You will find that many of the records retrieved, while perhaps not having occurrences of your original query words, will nonetheless contain information that is relevant to your search interests.

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