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Quick Tips: Understanding Search Results
The format and display of search results is the same for Basic and Advanced searches.
- Use the tabs to filter results by journal articles, ebook chapters, and pamphlets.
- Use the sorting options to view search results by relevance, oldest items, or newest items.
- Use the “Display” option to view more results on a single page.
- Change the “Show” option to “All Content” to see results across all content on JSTOR, not just the content licensed/purchased by the library.
- Select citations from the search results and use the "Export Selected Citations" feature to email or export citations in a variety of formats.
Relevance on JSTOR is a combination of many things. Key elements include:
- More unique terms in the text result in higher scores when searches contain those terms. For example, the keyword “epistemology" gets a greater boost than “university” because it is less common.
- Phrase matches are boosted higher than just keyword matches. A search for "the quick brown fox" will assign higher relevance to a document containing the exact words "the quick brown fox" than a document containing "the brown fox is quick."
- More recent content is given a slight boost.