An Open-Access Platform for Transparent and Reproducible Structured Searching

Russell-Rose, Tony and Chamberlain, Jon. 2019. 'An Open-Access Platform for Transparent and Reproducible Structured Searching'. In: 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. Paris, France 21-25 July 2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Knowledge workers such as patent agents, recruiters and legal researchers undertake work tasks in which search forms a core part of their duties. In these instances, the search task often involves formulation of complex queries expressed as Boolean strings. However, creating effective Boolean queries remains an ongoing challenge, often compromised by errors and inefficiencies. In this paper, we demonstrate a new approach to structured searching in which concepts are expressed as objects on a two-dimensional canvas. Interactive query suggestions are provided via an NLP services API, and support is offered for optimising, translating and sharing search strategies as executable artefacts. This eliminates many sources of error, makes the query semantics more transparent, and offers an open-access platform for sharing reproducible search strategies and best practices.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


query formulation, advanced search, Boolean, search visualisation, professional search

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



18 July 2019Published

Event Location:

Paris, France

Date range:

21-25 July 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2019 09:28

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 03:49


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