Just published the following video on Youtube, which complements last week’s piece on the topic of How to debug and optimise Boolean strings. As always, comment & feedback welcome.

Struggling with complex Boolean searches? Editing Boolean strings is inefficient & error prone.

With 2dSearch you can visualize your search in 2D, then drag & drop blocks to optimise and refine. Use automated query suggestions to refine your search. Works with Bing, Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, TRIP, Epistemonikos and more. When you’re done, you can save & share your own collection of search templates and best practices.

Think outside the search box: https://www.2dsearch.com/


We are hiring for the following position which combines UX and AI in an applied R&D setting. It offers the opportunity to shape the development of a new AI product within a grant funded academia/industry partnership. Further details below – ping me if you’d like to know more.

EIRA Project – User Experience contract opportunity

The University of Essex has a current opportunity to contract a User Experience specialist to work for one of our EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) companies, Profusion Media. During this contract you will also work closely with key academic staff at the University.

Details of contract opportunity:

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Just published the following video on Youtube, Twitter et al. Sharing here for completeness!

Not seeing the results you expected? Debugging complex searches can be a frustrating experience. Don’t waste time editing Boolean strings: find and fix errors the visual way. Visualise your search in 2D, switch parts on & off, enable and disable terms…experiment and optimise, then save and share.

Think outside the search box: https://www.2dsearch.com/

You may have noticed on this blog that I’ve been busy with a number of things just recently, but I’m pleased to report that we’ve been continuing to add useful features to 2dSearch, and one of them in particular deserves a shout out here.

As you may know, many professions need to perform searches that are comprehensive, accurate and repeatable, using strategies that search across multiple databases with platform-specific syntax and operators. For example, a recruiter looking to fill a particular data science role may want to search LinkedIn, Stackoverflow, Github, and other social forums to find suitable candidates. Likewise, a clinician or information professional performing a systematic literature review may need to search numerous databases such as PubMedEmbaseWeb of SciencePyscINFO, and more. In each case, their search query has to be manually ‘translated’ to the syntax and user interface of each database. All of this is tedious, error-prone, and inefficient.

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IRSG logoJust in case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which came out on this week. As usual, lots of good stuff, with a mix of conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates in the world of IR. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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I am delighted to announce publication of our latest open-access scholarly paper ‘Rethinking ‘Advanced Search’: A New Approach to Complex Query Formulation‘, which has just been published in the proceedings of the 41st European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) in Cologne. This work is a collaboration with Jon Chamberlain and Udo Kruschwitz of Essex University, and accompanies our demo at the event.

The paper focuses on the application of query visualisation to structured searching and in particular the challenges associated with the recruitment profession, and hopefully complements some of the more opinion or design-oriented posts on this site. I’ve appended the abstract below. For free access to a copy, visit the ECIR website.

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They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But occasionally, an opportunity comes along that represents a uniquely valuable proposition, with no expectation of anything in return (apart from your time and attention). One such opportunity is the Search Insights Report.

This document embodies the collective expertise of a group of eight search implementation specialists working in Europe and North America. The report is a response to those from analyst companies such as Gartner and Forrester which show little understanding of the world of enterprise, e-commerce and larger-scale web site search from an implementation perspective. The objective was to share vendor-independent experience that they have gathered in a wide range of projects over the last decade, and I am honoured to have been invited to offer my own views as a guest contributor.

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