General search engines have shaped the expectations and preferences of the generations that comprise the majority of the workforce: Millennials and Gen Zers. And, just as they’ve conditioned Millennials and Gen Zers to shop and socialize in new ways, these search engines have also impacted the way these generations think about their work. Simply put, modern researchers who grew up in the era of Googling everything approach their research differently than previous generations.

Let’s explore how these contribute to five key requirements for a modern R&D search tool.

1. Search Across Databases

In the name of efficiency – and based on their experience of the hyper-connectedness enabled by the Internet – young researchers expect intelligent discovery. Just as they hate toggling between applications and screens, they don’t want to search multiple databases separately. Instead they want a streamlined, seamless search experience that connects them to the information within multiple databases.

2. Search Full-text Articles

Modern researchers want to arrive at insights as efficiently as possible. That’s why they prefer to search full-text articles over abstracts. Full-text articles provide detailed descriptions of methods and protocols along with complete study results, which is often not present in the abstract. Searching over all of a given text provides them with richer information with which they can potentially identify critical patterns and insights.

3. “Pre-Assess” an Article’s Relevance

Too often, a scientific article appears relevant to the researcher’s work when reading the citation and abstract, only for the researcher to be disappointed after investing time and resources in obtaining and reading the full text. These days, we are accustomed to seeing previews of information and products before deciding whether to invest the time to investigate at more deeply. For instance, think of the option to see a “quick view” of an item for sale on a site like Amazon, or to read the summary of a Google search result before clicking though. The latest generation of researchers wants the same option to “pre-assess” portions of the full text of a potential article before deciding to further explore it.

4. Domain-Specific Search Filters

R&D professionals routinely call upon simple keyword searches or more complex Boolean queries when using domain-specific databases. While this satisfies their basic research needs, the limitations of keyword search can negatively affect both precision and recall.

The search filters in many search engines are imperfect, making it time consuming to narrow down the list of potential articles. But due to the imprecise nature of keyword searches, researchers worry about missing relevant content if they use terms to narrow a search. Keyword searches are literal; computers find terms wherever they appear—even if part of a larger phrase or used in a different context. This is effective if the researcher knows precisely what they are looking for, but can lead to irrelevant results otherwise – especially when words have multiple meanings. For example, a keyword search on ‘GSK’ might return articles mentioning ‘glycogen synthase kinase’, along with ones about the company ‘GlaxoSmithKline.’

Modern researchers expect the tools they use to serve their needs, and that means a search tool designed around semantic search that takes into consideration the researcher’s intent to get at the contextual meaning of terms.

5. Trusted Results

Today’s researchers are keen to use cutting-edge technologies, and trust that they can access the content they need – and that the information will be trustworthy in and of itself. The double-edged sword of our content-rich world is that it introduces questions of credibility. In a digital world in which virtually anyone can publish information, how reliable are the many information sources researchers encounter on a daily basis? Further complicating this issue is the prominence of Predatory Open Access journals that have sprung up over the last decade. With little to no peer-review and often unethical business practices, these journals present additional challenges to researchers requiring more scrutiny and verification of their sources.

Modern R&D researchers want to be certain their information sources are credible so they can focus on surfacing insights and coming up with innovative ideas rather than vetting information sources.

Make the Most of Your Researchers’ Time

When researchers spend too much time searching for information instead of analyzing it and making decisions, organizations suffer from lower productivity, slower innovation and delays releasing new products to market. To address these challenges, Copyright Clearance Center offers several ways to deliver a search experience that meets the needs of modern R&D researchers.

With RightFind Insight, scientific concepts are brought to the forefront of literature through the semantic enrichment of 110 million citations and 13 million full-text articles in the RightFind catalog. Through tools like full-text keyword previews, synonym type ahead, and instant document enrichment, users spend less time weeding through irrelevant search results.

RightFind® Navigate makes it possible to unify data sources within an open integration ecosystem and equip researchers with contextualized discovery so they can find the right information at the right time. That means different types of content – such as scientific literature, patents, internal documents and presentations, and market reports – are all available to search and access in one place.

If you’d like to learn more, check out:


Author: Keri Mattaliano

Keri Mattaliano is a Director of Corporate Solutions for the RightFind Suite in CCC’s Corporate Business Unit. Keri develops go-to-market strategies, conducts market research and competitive analysis, creates customer personas, and develops product positioning and sales training and tools to drive demand for our products. Keri started with CCC in 2011 and has had roles in customer service, account management and client engagement, including managing the client services team in Cologne, Germany in 2014 & 2015. According to the Master’s degree from Rutgers University that her dad framed, she is a librarian, however, she has never worked in a library.
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