Leverage OSF Search Improvements

In a landscape where open sharing of research outputs is increasingly vital, the importance of research search and indexing capabilities has become even more critical. Over the last few months, OSF has made a number of improvements to content discovery that add many ways for users to interact with the platform. These include robust filtering options that support many use cases, from systematic reviews to institutional reporting. 


Tip 1- Filter by funder

The infrastructure for identifying organizations like funders has improved significantly in recent years, and OSF is at the forefront of best practices. Reliably discovering funded content can be extremely valuable as researchers are developing their own proposals or are seeking appropriate collaborators, as well as reporting trends. It takes seconds to apply these filters, and you can add more filters to further limit the results.

First, you can search for terms in the search box or proceed directly to the filters.

The ten options within each filter are displayed in the dropdown and a “See more” button will open a modal to enable searching for additional results. Displayed next to each option is the number of results that will appear once you apply that filter.

The search result cards include previews of critical information like reusability licenses, abstracts, and related materials. Speaking of which…

Tip 2- Explore lifecycle relationships

OSF specializes in providing workflows for each stage of the research lifecycle. This utility is only increased by enabling relationships across the outputs of these same lifecycle elements.

Each OSF object type has different relationships enabled. Choose one of the object types, and the filters will update to include the relevant relationships. For example, if you only want to find registrations with connected data and analytic code you will add both filter options. 

Tip 3- Search for researchers

We’ve also improved our user search on OSF. Search for a researcher by name, and results will include possible user matches as well as content from those matched contributors. In addition, a new “Creator” filter allows for even more specific user matching.

Tip 4- Make your own work more discoverable 

You can take advantage of these new features to make your work more findable and cited more often. Adding robust metadata like your funder, resource type of your content, a license, and connecting lifecycle resources will significantly increase the likelihood that your content will be found while 500k+ monthly visitors search OSF, as well as indexed in other community services. More information about adding metadata to your OSF content can be found on the OSF Support Center

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