Q. What is 2dSearch?

A. 2dSearch is a tool for creating, editing and sharing search strategies.


Q. What is a search strategy?

A. A search strategy is a structured method for searching a database. It combines the key concepts of your search question in order to retrieve accurate results. Search strategies are typically used to find documents, but can also be used to find people (e.g. via their social profiles). Some search strategies are referred to as ‘Boolean strings’. 


Q. Who is it aimed at?

A. 2dSearch is aimed at anyone who wants to solve complex search problems. These include ‘traditional’ information professions such as scientific research, legal research and patent search, and also emerging sectors such as media monitoring and recruitment/sourcing. 


Q. What makes 2dSearch different?

A. Instead of a one-dimensional search box, concepts are expressed on a two-dimensional canvas. Relationships between concepts are expressed using drag and drop. This eliminates many sources of syntactic error and helps make the semantics transparent. 2dSearch also offers automated query suggestions and support for the sharing of templates and best practices. 


Q. Is 2dSearch free to use?

A. Yes. 


Q. How do I log in?

A. You can authenticate using your Google account or create a new one specifically for the purpose. 


Q. Can I save my work?

A. Yes. Once you have logged in, you will have your own file space for saving search strategies. 


Q. Can I share my work?

A. Yes, you can create a sharable link to any of your search strategies.


Q. What is the connection with Bing?

A. 2dSearch is a way of querying databases, but not a database in itself. We have chosen to integrate with Bing as it provides good support for Boolean queries and broad coverage of the web.


Q. Is Bing the only search engine I can use?

A. At the moment, yes. But in due course we will be rolling out other database integrations, and 2dSearch can be customised to search proprietary databases (for further details please contact us).


Q. Are you trying to replace librarians and information professionals?

A. Not at all. We would hope that 2dSearch would become a valuable complement to traditional library databases and methods, by providing enhanced ways to review, share and optimise search strategies. 


Q. WHAT is the IP status of 2dsearch?

A. We have patents pending on the visual approach and the query suggestions algorithm. However, we remain committed to working closely with the scientific community and publishing as much of our work as possible in open access scholarly publications (for further details see our R&D page).