Advanced Search Tips
MedWorm Standard Search Options and Defaults
When wanting to improve your query results on MedWorm, first see if the MedWorm standard options can help. Make sure to select the correct radio button next to the query box: All Words / Any Words / Exact Phrase, and also to select what type of data you would like to return in the check boxes: news / consumer / journals / organizations / info / blogs / podcasts.
Note that by default the 'All Words' option is selected, and all types of data except blogs and podcasts will be returned, unless you are searching from within the blogs section of MedWorm, in which case blogs are the default data searched. This is to avoid confusion between authoritative medical data and blog data which should not be considered as reliable for medical purposes.
Note also the default results order. If you run a search on just one word, or alternatively run a query using either the 'All Words' or the 'Exact Phrase' option, results will be returned via date order with the most recent records to be published at the top. If however you search on more than one word using the default 'Any Words' option, results will be returned in relevance order, with the most relevant items first.
When subscribing to an RSS feed from your query, make sure to always check the results in date order, by clicking on the By Date tab at the top of your results, before subscribing to the feed. This will enable you to verify that your query is pulling out relvant results every time, since you will not want to subscribe to a query that is too general and pulling out a lot of irrelevant data for your purpose.
After running your query, consider making use of the 'Filter' functionality by clicking on the Filter tab at the top of your results and then selecting which data you want to view by specialty. This is a great way of quickly drilling down to the records that are most relevant to your area of expertise.
Advanced Search Using Boolean Operators
Sometimes when you want to run a very specific query the MedWorm search options are not sufficient. In these cases you can make user of boolean operators:
+, -, "", *, ( ). These operators are explained below.
Note that when using boolean operators on MedWorm, first make sure that the default 'any words' search option is selected.
+ The plus sign can be used before a word that must be included in the results.
- The minus sign can be used before a word that must not exist withint the results.
" " Double quotation marks may be used around an exact phrase that you wish to include in your query.
* The asterisk will serves as a wildcard and may be used to suggest any number of unknown characters within a word.
( ) Brackets may be used for phrasing a query. For example, when used in combination with the + before the brackets it specifies that at least one of the words within the brackets must exist in the results.
Query examples using boolean operators:
+(typhoid,"enteric fever") +vaccin*
The above query looks for records about Typhoid Vaccinations. It will return records where either the word 'typhoid' or the phrase 'enteric fever' exists, as well as a word starting with 'vaccin' (vaccine, vaccination, vaccination).
The above query returns records related to Ovarian Cancer, and will return any record where both words starting with 'ovar' (overy, ovaries, ovarian) and also words starting with cancer (caner, cancers) both exist.
coeliac* celiac* -(plexus artery trunk territory)
The above query is effective in returning results that are related to Celiac's Disease. It checks for either the English or the American spelling, and excludes records that contain any of the words in the brackets (plexus, artery, trunk, territory). The excluded records are those related to the anatomy containing either the word Coeliac or Celiac which are not usually related to Celiac's Disease.
Need help with your queries?
Please use the form below to get in touch with Frankie who would be delighted to help with any complex queries that you would like to run on MedWorm.