What is a figures and tables search?
Proquest indexes figures, tables, charts, and graphs of publications separately from the articles in which they are published. In other words, you can search the captions, geographic information, and any other metadata attached to an image. It’s not a feature for every article, and not every object is indexed, but it’s a useful feature in many of its scientific databases.
What is Georef?
Georef is a geoscience information resource published by the American Geological Institute. It’s a database of article abstracts and references related to earth sciences topics, including geology, hydrology, paleontology, and climate. It is available by subscription through a number of different vendors, including Proquest.
Who cares about this?
Figures, tables, and graphs are extremely important in scientific communication. Illustrations and maps are particularly valuable in geosciences for synthesizing and visualizing earth systems data. Often, a figure may be the only information a researcher needs from a document. The figures and tables search is a shortcut.
How does it work?
Proquest puts the Figures and Tables search next to its advanced search options. The keyword search operators are the same as a regular Proquest search, but there are a few special field tags that are useful for geoscience figures and tables:
- CAP = caption
- FIGT = figure/table type
- LOC = geographical terms (e.g. “wisconsin,” “italy”)
The general keyword search looks at the figure caption, subject terms, and figure/table type.
Results show metadata for both the figures and the article it came from. It also tells you whether a full-size version of the image can be viewed in the record. A figure or table record shows the object, the metadata associated with the object, the full-sized object if available, and links back to the original document.
You can save the image to a PowerPoint presentation, which will export the full-size image (if available), the article citation, and caption.
Carolyn Bishoff, Earth Sciences/Physics/Astronomy Librarian, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, firstname.lastname@example.org
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