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Help - Searching

Specifying a search

The default search allows you to search the information resources which have been allocated to the Health Well’s Catalogues. In an Advanced Search, you can choose to include all of the information resources in the Health Well’s central metadata cache.

Keyword Search

A keyword search searches for words or phrases in the title, description or subject of information resources. To search for an exact phrase, place text in quotation marks – for example “obesity in children”. Or, if you need to search for several keywords/phrases, separate them by spaces or commas.

Boolean expressions, or those involving AND, OR and NOT, can also be used in a keyword search.

An information resource will be included in the Search Results if every word or phrase is found in its title, description or subject. For example, if the search keywords are “child” and “cancer”, and “cancer” was found in the title and “child” was found in the description, then that resource would be included in the Search Results.

PHL/SNOMED Search (an Advanced Search option)

The Public Health Language (PHL) is a hierarchy of terms developed by the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) to describe topics you are likely to encounter in the field of public health. The PHL has been mapped to SNOMED, which greatly increases its application to clinical areas. As you go down the hierarchy, the terms become narrower in their meaning. For example, terms such as “Breast Cancer” and “Cervical Cancer” fall below the more general term “Cancer”.

All information resources in the Health Well’s Catalogues and Collections have been fully tagged with PHL/SNOMED terms. Metadata tagging of information resources in the Health Well’s central metadata cache is less complete.

Although it is more formal than searching by keyword, PHL/SNOMED searching is more efficient.

Enter the PHL/SNOMED terms you need into the textbox, separated by spaces or commas – the site will also offer suggestions automatically as you type. A PHL/SNOMED search will return all information resources that have been tagged with at least one of your selected PHL/SNOMED terms.

To select PHL/SNOMED terms from the hierarchical menu click on “Show the list of PHL Terms”. To expand the top ten terms click the plus signs (+) and then tick appropriate narrower terms. If you select a PHL/SNOMED term, then all the terms below it will be added to your search. For example, if the selected term is “Cancer”, the search results will return all the resources tagged with “Cancer” as well as information resources tagged with any terms beneath it (such as “Breast Cancer” and “Cervical Cancer”).

If you are a registered user and you’re logged in, then your previously Saved Searches will appear in the right- hand column. Click on one of these searches to update that search to include any new information resources.

Search Results page

For each information resource returned, the Search Results page lists:

  • Title of the resource
  • Part of the description
  • Type of resource (using PHRTES)
  • Copyright

In the Search Results page you have the option to

  • Sort the search results by relevance or title
  • Save the resource to your General Reading List (registered users only)
  • Save this search to your Saved Searches in your My Well page (registered users only)
  • Filter your search results

Filtering your search results

On the right-hand column of the Search Results page, you can filter your search results by removing certain search criteria or by selecting a sample of results. You can sample your search results by selecting those from a particular Catalogue, Collection, Region or Contributor.

Related  information resources

During a keyword or PHL/SNOMED search, the Health Well simultaneously searches for article summaries and news items related to your search. To see Related Resources, click on the link in the right-hand column.   


To access details (metadata) for an information resource, click on its title to view its Resource page.

Resource page

In the Resource page, you can decide if a resource is really of interest to you. The Resource page provides details (metadata) about the selected resource (creator, description, region...) If you are registered and logged in then you can save details of the information resource to one of your Reading Lists.

To view a resource, click on its title and you will be taken (in a new tab or window) to the resource.

Related information resources

In the right-hand column, you will also find a list of related information resources. To see details (metadata) of any of these related resources, simply click on its title.

Updated: February 2011

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