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Basic search

The basic Guidelines search includes several features you can take advantage of to refine the accuracy of your searches, making it easier for you to find what you need. This how-to explains the syntax options available for more targeted searching.

Automatic "AND"

By default, if you enter a string of words in the search criteria, the "and" operator is used. For example:

heart disease africa

would find any content containing all of those words.


To search for content which contains either of  your search terms, use the "OR" operator. Example:

asthma OR depression
would return results that contained either asthma or depression.



To make combinations of words required and exclude words, use the "NOT" operator. The hyphen acts as the "NOT" operator. For example,

hiv africa -children
would return results that contained both HIV and Africa, but not



Variations on a word

Results will vary based on variations of the root word. For example, singular vs plural versions of the same word. If you want to include any variation of the root word, you can add a "wildcard" to your search syntax. Two ways to do this, include:

  • Add "*" to the criteria, which allows any variation on the root. ie tree* would give results for tree, trees, treeline, etc
  • Add "?" to the criteria, which allows any variation of only one letter. ie An? would give results for and, any, ann, etc.

Search for a phrase

To search for an entire, exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotations. For example,

"Management of heart failure"

would return content that contained that whole phrase.


Additional Note

  • Searches are not case sensitive
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Page last updated: Sep 24, 2019
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