PubMed “relevance sort”

On October 22, a new option was added to PubMed:  Relevance sort.   This option is available from the Display Settings menu under Sort by.

The relevance sort is based on an algorithm that analyzes each PubMed citation that includes the search terms.  A “weight” is calculated for citations depending on how many search terms are found and in which fields they are found. In addition, recently-published articles are given a somewhat higher weight for sorting.

Easy access to the relevance sort will also initially be provided under a New feature discovery tool.

Screen capture of PubMed Summary results with Sort by Relevance feature discovery tool.

Users may either choose Relevance from the Display Settings Sort by menu or click the Sort by Relevance link in the New Feature discovery tool.

Screen capture of PubMed results sorted by Relevance.

The update to the sort by selections is combined with a new feature that retains the most recent sort by selection for subsequent search results until a different sort order is selected, or after eight hours of inactivity on the system.

Results for My NCBI users signed in to their account with a modified default sort order will be displayed in the modified order until a different sort order is selected. A “Relevance default sort” selection in My NCBI PubMed Preferences will be added after the initial implementation of this new feature.

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