Twease (Third-party PubMed Tool)

Created at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine (Weill Medical College of Cornell University) by Matthew J. Wood, Kevin C. Dorff and Fabien Campagne, Twease is a…

..web-based tool to search Medline at the abstract level (available from http://twease.org). Twease indexes each word of Medline and provides features that can transparently expand your search to help find the information you are looking for.

Twease searches are also partially case sensitive. Short terms are case sensitive, while longer terms are not. For instance, TnT is different from TNT (TnT often stands for Troponin T while TNT often stands for trinitrotoluene). For more details on Twease’s case sensitivity, see the Case Sensitive Searches tutorial page.

Finally, Twease can automatically discover common abbreviations for search phrases (e.g., “protein kinase C” will discover PKC, PK-C, aPKC, etc.) and rewrite queries to use these abbreviations. This feature is available through the Slider (on the top right) and the Advanced pane.

I like the way you can save an individual references to a list that can be exported to BibTeX or EndNote.

Still, I’m not entirely clear on when Twease would actually be preferable to PubMed’s native interface. Would I pretty much save it for when I need to write a query that uses abbreviations or case-sensitive terms?

The Twease project home page includes sources, binary and other information.

4 thoughts on “Twease (Third-party PubMed Tool)

  1. To answer the question at the end of this post, the search technology offered in Twease is very different from PubMed.

    Twease is recommended when searching for articles about a specific subject. For instance, when searching for articles about a protein-protein interaction, we found Twease results to be three times more precise as PubMed in the top 20 hits.

    The text snippets shown by Twease also make it easy to see how a retrieved abstract matches the query. Precision of those snippets, also called passages, was evaluated in the TREC genomics track and found to be among the top 20 research systems evaluated (see http://trec.nist.gov/pubs/trec15/papers/weill-cornell.geo.final.pdf).
    To the best of my knowledge, none of the systems in the top 20 are publicly available for searching Medline, except for Twease.

    Finally, Twease offers query by example, which is not found in PubMed. When references are collected (see Saved References above), clicking on the “Related articles” link will query for abstracts that look like the ones collected, as a group.

    In summary, evaluations suggests that Twease works well to find abstracts and passages relevant to a user query, but Twease also offers innovative features not found in other Medline search engines. Hope that answers your questions, if not, please feel free to write anybody in the Twease team. We’ll be glad to provide a preprint that describe these points in greater detail.

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