CASE STUDY: Dr. Karel Hruska



Dr. Karel Hruska

For Dr. Karel Hruska, Web of Science® within ISI Web of Knowledge does more than save time; it opens doors to new, productive means of research. Thanks to ISI Web of Knowledge product upgrades, Web of Science users can, for the first time, analyze the number of papers dedicated to a specific topic, allowing them to easily spot developing trends.  Identifying these trends gives researchers insight into emerging fields of science and the leading researchers in these fields, and lets them trace the history of particular fields of study.

Dr. Hruska, from the Veterinary Research Institute Brno, Czech Republic, first attempted to spot veterinary research trends using Web of Science several years ago. At that time, he found it an arduous task.  "I tried to write an analysis of published papers," said Dr. Hruska, "but it was very time consuming and difficult to conduct research, arrange the search results into spreadsheets, and then order them. I never finished."

Thomson Scientific responded to this challenge with an upgrade, creating the Analyze Tool. Available in Web of Science and other resources within ISI Web of Knowledge, the Analyze Tool is a revolutionary feature that boasts two powerful advancements — first, it refines a search by organizing search results, creating subsets of identified items of interest; second, it mines search summaries for valuable information, easily identifying hidden trends and patterns within particular areas of research, and displaying the results in an easy-to-read graphic format.  Using the Analyze Tool, Dr. Hruska was able to quickly group and review organized results by author, publication year, journal subject, category, institution, document type or source title.

Through his work at the Veterinary Research Institute, Dr. Hruska endeavors to protect human health by studying infectious and noninfectious diseases in animals. In 2004, Dr. Hruska focused his studies on volumes of papers dealing with the relationship of Mycobacterium avium subsp.  paratuberculosis (MAP) to Crohn's Disease. Dr. Hruska compiled key data for a comprehensive analysis of relevant journals. By searching for articles with the phrase "PARATUBERCULOSIS AND CROHN*," Dr. Hruska accessed 1,032 indexed papers dealing with MAP and Crohn's Disease published in a 10-year period by 2,519 authors. He then sorted and mined the search results using the Analyze Tool.

The result: Dr. Hruska's first "analysis of publications" paper appeared in the August 2004 edition of Veterinarni Medicina. In his paper, Dr. Hruska determined that the number of papers linking MAP and Crohn's Disease is increasing. Therefore, he infers, the bacterium is increasingly suspected of having involvement in Crohn's Disease. Because the disease affects cattle and other ruminants, such research impacts all aspects of the dairy and beef markets- from farmers to consumers."Without the upgraded Web of Science, such analysis could not be done" said Dr. Hruska.

A History of Innovation

The Analyze Tool is just one milestone in a long history of meeting challenges — in fact,  revolutionizing research comes naturally to Thomson Scientific. They've been doing it since 1955 when Dr. Eugene Garfield, now chairman emeritus of Thomson Scientific, penned "Citation Indexes for Science: A New Dimension in Documentation through Association of Ideas."  Ever since Dr. Garfield first envisioned and, in his paper, outlined the tools that allow researchers to expedite their research process, Thomson Scientific has dedicated itself to bringing these innovative solutions to the libraries and now more than ever — the desktops of its users.
Researchers at thousands of institutions worldwide use Thomson products to evaluate the impact of their work; spot scientific trends; and trace the history of modern scientific thought. Countless researchers agree-evaluating research trends by any criterion is crucial to the advancement of science. And the analytical capabilities provided by the Web of Science and Analyze Tool are unmatched by any other cited reference database.


"The Analyze Tool empowers Web of Science users with the ability to track the evolution of research.  Before the Analyze Tool, determining seminal papers and tracking the evolution of research were cumbersome processes. The Analyze Tool gives us these, and therefore gives us better direction about how to proceed with our research...It's easy. I love this tool. I love being able to do so much with it."

Peggy Dominy, Information Service Librarian for Science, Drexel University, Philadelphia