Two pieces of information are necessary to effectively use the PLOS Search API. First, being familiar with the search fields used to index documents allows direct searching of specific article sections. Second, understanding construction of valid Solr queries using these fields will enable the development of search scripts in the programming language of choice. Example queries can be found on PLOS Solr Query Examples.

The PLOS Search Fields are mostly self explanatory, though some names have special suffixes:

  • Fields ending with _date require a beginning date/time and an end date/time
  • publication_date:[2009-12-07T00:00:00Z TO 2013-02-20T23:59:59Z] searches the range Dec 7, 2009 to Feb 20, 2013 and, because of the requested timestamps (between the T andZ), includes content published during either of those days

Useful PLOS Solr Search Fields

Note: The full PLOS Solr schema definition can be found here.

PLOS Search Field Name Description Note
id DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Extended for partial documents
everything All text in the article Includes Meta information
title Article Title  
title_display Article Title For display purposes only
alternate_title Alternative Title  
author Author Can have multiple values
author_display Author For display purposes only
author_without_collab_display Author For display purposes only. All the authors except for collaborative authors
author_collab_only_display Author For display purposes only. Collaborative authors only
abstract Abstract section  
abstract_primary_display Abstract section For display purposes only. Primary abstract only
introduction Introduction section  
materials_and_methods Materials and Methods section  
results_and_discussion Results and discussion section  
conclusions Conclusions section  
supporting_information Supporting Information section  
reference Reference section Can have multiple values
body Most sections of the article Without Abstract or References
publication_date Publication Date Requires start and end date
received_date Received Date Requires start and end date
accepted_date Accepted Date Requires start and end date
journal Full Journal Name  
volume Volume  
issue Issue  
article_type Article Type  
subject Subject Area Can have multiple values. The most recent version of the taxonomy is posted on the plos-thesaurus github site.
subject_level_1 Subject Area Can have multiple values. Contains only the top level subjects. The most recent version of the taxonomy is posted on the plos-thesaurus github site.
eissn electronic (ISSN)[]  
pissn print (ISSN)[]  
elocation_id Electronic Location Used by Pub Med Central
journal_id_pmc Journal ID at PMC Used by Pub Med Central
journal_id_nlm_ta Journal ID at NLM Used by the National Library of Medicine
journal_id_publisher Publisher of this Journal Short identifier
publisher Publisher of this Article Full name
pagecount Total number of pages Not all articles have page count
editor Editor Can have multiple values
editor_display Editor For display purposes only.
affiliate Affiliate Can have multiple values
author_notes Author Notes  
competing_interest Competing Interest Statement  
financial_disclosure Financial Disclosure Statement  
counter_total_all Total views, all time  
counter_total_month Total views, last 30 days  
timestamp Time of last index  
copyright copyright-statement copyright information
figure_table_caption Figure and table captions  

Article Types

  • research article
  • correction
  • synopsis
    Selected research articles are accompanied by a synopsis
    written for a general audience to provide non-experts with insight into the significance of the published work.
  • perspective
    The Perspective section provides experts with a forum to comment on topical or controversial issues of broad interest.
  • review
    Review articles synthesize in narrative form the best available evidence on a topic.
  • editorial
  • pearls
    Pearls provide concise, practical and educational insights into topics
    that span the field.
  • essay
    Essays articulate a specific perspective on a topic of broad interest to
  • policy forum
    Policy Forum articles provide a platform for health policy makers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.
  • correspondence