How to get the most from your search

Information and tips to help you get the most from your search on AER…

What do the different content types mean?
Many of the content types on AER are “grey literature” including Annual Reports, Bulletins, and Miscellaneous (you’ll find lots of content in this category). Grey literature is usually not peer reviewed, Conference papers are sometimes peer reviewed, if published in a journal. You can find a guide on how to interpret and use grey literature here.

What does peer review mean?
Peer review is the evaluation of scientific articles by other scientists who are experts in the field. It is an essential part of the scholarly publication process in journals. During peer review, the article is checked for its scientific validity If you want to find out more, there’s a guide to peer review here:

Can I search by a term that isn’t included in the drop-down filters?
Yes, you can enter any word or phrase in the free-text search box and you can combine this with the drop-down filters to narrow down the results.

How do I tailor my search?
You can use boolean operators such as AND, OR, NOT in the free text search box. If you want to search for a specific phrase you can use quotation marks e.g. “Indigenous knowledge”. 

Can I save a custom search?
We don’t currently have a save search option within AER, but if you create a tailored search you want to come back to then you can bookmark or save the web link (URL) and come back to it any time to view new content within the search parameters.

Can I get notifications for new documents in topics I’m interested in?
Yes. Register on AER (if you’re a BES member, you can log in with your BES details) to sign up for alerts and choose from a selection of interest areas.

What does “Published online” mean?
This refers to the date that the document was archived, the year the document was written may be earlier than this.

Why can’t I filter by journal name?
AER is focused on searching across a broad range of content types, and while this does include journal articles and plain language or “lay” summaries of journal publications, there are already a number of indexing sites that focus on journal articles and therefore we haven’t included journal categories as key filters. If you are looking for content from a particular source, you can include the name in quote marks in the search box to search for the specific title.

Why are some journal articles still behind a paywall?
The majority of content is completely free to access, but we have included some BES journal articles which are still within the 2-year paywall. This is to allow us to showcase a wider range of content while AER is still in the early phases. All journal content from the BES is free to read after 2 years. If you’re a BES member you can access subscription journal content through the “My BES” page.