refbase offers to save any of your queries for easy later retrieval. In addition, refbase will store the following display options with your query:

  • name (and order) of displayed fields
  • number of records displayed per page
  • sort order of records
  • if links and/or SQL query are displayed
  • view type (i.e., web view or print view)

This means that you can use the 'save query' functionality to save custom views.

Example 1

Say, you regularly find yourself scanning the abstracts within your own literature. To save a custom view for that purpose, perform the following steps:

  • Login and click on the 'My Refs' link in the upper right corner. This will show all records belonging to your own literature data set.
  • Adopt the column view to fit your needs, i.e., use the 'Display Options' form to hide, say, the publication, volume and pages fields and show the abstract field instead. You may also want to increase the number of records being displayed per page.
  • Now click the 'save' link in the header line that says "x-x of xxx records found matching your query (save | RSS)".
  • You'll see a form containing your current query. If you want, you can further refine your query or any display options here (like suppressing the 'Links' column or choosing 'Print' view for display). If you're done, give your query a meaningful name and click the 'Add Query' button.

You can now always access your saved query from the drop down of the 'Recall My Query' form on the main page. Note that the items in the drop down are sorted by history of usage, i.e., most recently chosen queries will be always at the top of the list.

The forms in the header of your search results list (i.e., 'Show My Group', 'Search within Results' and 'Display Options') will respect your current view settings. By this, you can perform a search within your own literature or display a different group but still have, say, the abstract field displayed instead of the default set of columns.

Example 2

Another use of the 'save query' feature might be the quick access to hidden fields (or fields not shown in the drop down menus) that you would otherwise need to type in manually using the SQL search form.

As an example, refbase offers hidden fields that store information about when a record was created/modified and who did create/modify the record. To save a custom query/view that displays modification info for all records that were edited today, perform the following steps:

  • Click the 'save' link in the header line of any search results page or call the query_manager.php script directly using the URL field of your browser.
  • Select the displayed SQL query and replace it with this one:
SELECT author, title, year, location, modified_by, modified_date, modified_time FROM refs WHERE modified_date = CURDATE() ORDER BY modified_date DESC, modified_time DESC
  • Adopt the display options as desired, name your query (e.g., 'Edited Today') and click the 'Add Query' button.

Selecting this query (from the drop down of the 'Recall My Query' form on the main page) will give you an instant overview of who edited what during the day.