There are several ways of searching Dimensions: with keywords, DOIs, by inputting abstracts/long text or direct filtering. 

Keyword search

Searching with keywords is easily done in Dimensions, simply by typing into the text box at the top of the page, and then pressing enter. This will then search for any document which includes all of the keywords entered.

Boolean operators

Keywords can also be combined using boolean operators, and these must be input in ALLCAPS:

OperatorHow to use
ORIf either term is found then the item will be returned. For example, green OR blue will return any item that has either 'green' or 'blue' within it.
ANDBoth terms must be present, so a query of green AND blue will only return items where both terms are found within a single item.
NOTExcludes items that include this term. So green NOT blue means all items with 'green' in them will be returned unless they also have the word 'blue' as well.

Please note that NOR, XOR, and NAND are not supported.

Term modifiers

Term modifiers can be used in combination with keywords and / or boolean operators to create more complex queries. The following modifiers are available:

ModifierNameHow to useAvailable in...
()ParenthesesIf you enter green AND blue OR purple it will return any items that have both green and blue plus any items that have purple. But if you enter green AND (blue OR purple) then it will return any item that has both green and blue or green and purple.All Dimensions versions
" "Double quotesIf you put text in quotes it will find an exact match only. "green blue" will return only items which include that exact phrase. Items which include “blue green” or where both words are found in separate places, will not be retrieved. Please note: an asterisk within double quotes will be ignored.All Dimensions versions
?Question markThe question mark can be used as a wildcard for single characters. For example, the search string te?t would match both test and text.Dimensions Plus and Analytics only
*AsteriskThe asterisk is a very useful feature that allows you to look for word stems. If you enter green* it will look for any words that start with green, such as greenery, greener, Greensmith etc. Be careful with this, as ill considered use may return grants for unexpected reasons. For example, a search of plas* hoping to find 'plastic', 'plastics' 'plasticity' etc. will also bring back 'plasmodium' etc. Please note: an asterisk within double quotes will be ignored.Dimensions Plus and Analytics only
" "~Proximity searchThis looks for terms that are within a specific distance from one another, with 'distance' referring to the number of term movements (i.e. number of words in between as well as word order) needed to match the specified phrase. For example "apple pie delicious"~3 will search for the words 'apple', 'pie' and 'delicious' with a maximum distance of 3 term movements:
  • "apple delicious pie" (distance: 2)
  • "apple extra words here pie delicious" (distance: 3)
  • "apple some words pie separated delicious" (distance: 3).
However, it will not match
  • "delicious apple pie" (distance: 4)
  • "apple too many extra words here pie delicious" (distance: 5)
  • "apple some words pie further separated delicious" (distance: 4)
Dimensions Plus and Analytics only

Spelling variations and lower/upper case lettering

Both American and British English spelling exist in Dimensions. In most cases, searching for one variant will also bring back results for the other, e.g. a search for aging will also return results including 'ageing'. If you should come across examples where this isn't the case, please let us know via the 'Send Feedback' option in the 'Support' menu at the top.

Boolean operators need to be capitalized, however for other words capitals are not considered, and will return the same results whether or not letters of a keyword are in upper or lower case.

Advanced search*

*Available in Dimensions Analytics only

Selecting the "Advanced" option in the search box allows you to build a more complex search by asking Dimensions to suggest terms and concepts co-occurring with the keywords you're looking for. You can start by either using one or more keywords or phrases to perform a search and then refine your query using "Advanced", or - with the search box empty - simply click on "Advanced" to start building your query by entering one or more search terms in the pop-up window and then clicking "Recalculate concepts" on the right-hand side for further suggestions. Click on "Add" to add a term or phrase to your query; by default, this will be done using Boolean AND, but you may change the operator to OR or NOT and/or use additional term modifiers (see above). Finally, select if you'd like to search in the full text or title and abstract only and click "Search" to run the search.

DOI search

You can also search Dimensions directly for a DOI of a document. Simply select "DOI" from the options in the search box, and then paste the DOI of interest (DOI URL or DOI only, but without quotation marks) and press enter. Entering the stem of a DOI for a certain journal can also be used in this way in order to retrieve publications from a certain journal (although this can also be done using the "Source title" filter on the left side). 

For example, a search for the DOI will return the individual publication (as will a search for 10.3389/frma.2018.00023) whereas a search for the stem (or 10.3389/frma) will return all publications with the DOI stem for the journal. You can also search for more than one DOI at a time. Simply use the boolean OR between DOIs (but do not use "" around the DOIs you are searching for, eg. 10.1038/ncomms10584 OR 10.1093/cercor/bhu196).

Abstract search

You can also search for documents which are similar to an abstract or other longer piece of text. Simply select "Abstract search" on the right side of the search box, paste the text into the search box, and then press enter. Dimensions will then return all documents which are highly similar in scope to the text that was input. This type of search can be extremely useful when trying to identify publications or grant funding based on a specific topic which would otherwise be hard to define through keywords alone.

Filter search

Searches do not require the use of keywords or entered text of any kind, and can instead be directly undertaken using the filters on the left side. For example, a combination of filters can quickly and easily produce results for searches such as "all open access papers classified as 'Artificial intelligence and image processing' published in 2017, with one affiliation at University College London". (Not all filters are available in all Dimensions versions).

Search for an article using a PubMed ID

If you know the identifier from PubMed that you want to find in Dimensions, you can use this to directly search in Dimensions using the format 'pmid:xxxxxxx' e.g. by simply entering pmid:31489056 into the search box and pressing enter.