Search allows user to find information within the showcase repository based on the text used to describe the contents. It is able to find five different types of information:
- Data-Fields - the description (name) and notes are searched, as are any data-codings (including ther individual terms within them) used to represent the data-field's values.
- Data-Codings - the names and descriptions of Data-codings, plus all the individual terms they represent, are searched.
- Categories - the names and descriptions of Categories are searched;
- Resources - the names and descriptions of Additional Resources are searched;
- Publications - the title, abstracts, authors and journals are searched.
- Returned datasets - the names and descriptions of data are searched.
Results are ranked according to the goodness of the match, so that results from text containing an exact search term appear higher than partial matches. For instance, if work was searched for, then the title "Work history" would appear above "Working age".
Entering a purely numeric value will find items which have that as their ID. Thus entering 31 and searching for Data-Fields would return Data-Field 31 as the highest match.
Selecting the option "also match on similar terms and synonyms" uses an internal dictionary to extend the search to words which are similar in meaning to the terms entered. For instance if work was searched for then items containing the word job would also be listed, and if acetaminophen was searched for then items containing the word paracetamol would also be listed.
To search for a phrase which includes spaces, surround the phrase with quotation marks. For example "day of the week" would only find items matching the entire four-word combination and not items which (e.g.) only contained week.
When multiple search terms are entered, results are ranked higher according to the number of terms they include.
Extra options are available when searching for Fields, and the results can filtered according to the values selected for
- Stability - how 'fixed' are the data-field contents;
- Value type - what type of variable represents the data-field;
- Item type - the nature of the data;
- Strata - what the scope/domain of the data-field is.
To find genetic information use the Genomic Search function.