The new search interfaces developed for the DB-ALM revised version offer the following updated functionalities:

  1. Search Strategies
  2. Modular Search Results Display

1. Search Strategies

Two different options for progressive incremental query construction, based on controlled vocabularies and classification list, are offered for each data sector (the search interfaces are now made available for the methods data sector first, others will follow soon): Free text search and Guided search.

Free Text Search

Free text search scans the entire content of all documents including titles and classification terms in a given data sector. It offers two search modalities: Auto-complete modus and Boolean operators.

Guided Search

Guided search allows to construct customised and more specific queries by selecting and combining pre-determined search parameters which include e.g.: Method Name, Topics, Models & Strategies, Area of Concern, Biological Endpoints, Experimental Systems, Status. This data retrieval option offers the Auto-complete search modality that is activated whilst typing a keyword into the relevant search fields. It assists the user to easily identify a desired search term from a displayed drop-down list of suggestions.

Guided search cannot be combined with Free text search and for the very specific queries the first is recommended. The more parameters are selected in the Guided search modality, the more accurate and precise the search results are.

For example: search expression using the Guided search modality in the Methods data sector, designed to retrieve information on scientifically validated test methods for eye irritation, with bovine eyes as experimental model.

Search parameterInputResult*
TopicEye Irritation104
Models & StrategiesEye & Eye parts20
Experimental systemBov*12
Methods StatusScientifically validated2

For example: wrong search expression using the Guided search modality in the Methods data sector. The result of the Method name search is already very specific and it is not relevant in combination with the second search term.

Search parameterInputResult*
Method Namestem cell2
Experimental Systemskin0

* The numbers represent the outcome of a retrieval procedure carried out by adding subsequent search parameters. The search was done in June 2015. The actual outcome is a subject to variation due to continuous database updates.

2. Modular Search Results Display

For each retrieved item (e.g. Method Summaries or Protocols), all related information available in the DB-ALM (e.g. Projects & Studies, Compounds & Test results, etc.) are immediately made accessible from specific buttons without requiring additional data retrieval procedures.