“Term Clusters” in Academic OneFile…”What the Heck?”

I was searching in Academic OneFile and saw “Term Clusters” on the toolbar. I

said to myself “what the heck is that?”.  So, I experimented, and played around

with it and I have to say I’m still not sure. But I found it interesting, fun, and I

think it can be useful too. When you click on “Term Clusters” a search box

appears for a term to be entered in. When you put in a term a ring appears

accompanied by articles. The following is given on the database to describe the

ring and accompanying articles.

Term Clusters :

  • Inner rings represent popular topics related to the search.
  • Outer rings feature topics related to the inner rings.
  • Use the arrows to see more focused results.
  • Click any term to filter the right-column results. Click an article to view it.

The inner ring’s subtopics  are more germane to the topic, and the outer ring

can be described as being subtopics to the subtopics.  If you go into the Academic

File and click on “Term Cluster” you’ll see what I’m talking about. The example

given is “Alice Walker”. I put in the term “Great Gatsby” and got a ring

accompanied by 210 articles. Other topics I entered where, “World War I”,

“Korean War”, Berlin Airlift”, “Frank Sinatra”, “F. Scott Fitzgerald”,  “James

Thurber”, and the “Great Depression”. I received rings and articles for all of

these topics. Some of the subtopics didn’t apply. For example for “F. Scott

Fitzgerald”, I got “John” for John Fitzgerald  Kennedy for one of my subtopics. I

think  this is because Fitzgerald is in both names, But, I found that most topics