How to Modify a Search ClinicalTrials.gov Online Training on Modify Search - opens new window

Contents

Modifying Searches

The Search Results page displays a list of studies that fit your search terms. You can modify your search if the search results do not include the studies you are looking for.

On the Search Results page, click on Modify this search to open the Advanced Search form. On this page, you can:

  • Make new selections and/or add terms to narrow a search and get fewer results
  • Delete selections and/or terms to broaden a search and get more results
  • Change any selections and/or terms to do a related search

For more information, see How to Use Advanced Search and the Advanced Search Field Definitions.

Practice

If you typed carcinoma (another word for cancer) in the Conditions field on the Advanced Search form and clicked on Search, the Search Results page would appear. To modify that search, click on Modify this search at the top of the Search Results page. This opens the Advanced Search form, where you can:

  • Change the contents of the current fields for your search:
    • Your original search term, carcinoma, appears in the Conditions field on the Advanced Search form.
    • To search for studies involving breast carcinoma, add breast to the Conditions field and then click on Search.
  • Make selections in new fields:
    • Click on Modify this search again.
    • Under the Locations heading on the Advanced Search form, select "United States, New Jersey" from the State 1 dropdown list.
    • Click on Search. This search will display a list of all studies involving the condition breast carcinoma that are located in New Jersey.
  • Add terms in new fields:
    • Click on Modify this search again.
    • Type radiation in the Interventions field on the Advanced Search form.
    • Click on Search. This search will display a list of all studies involving the condition of breast carcinoma and the intervention of radiation that have at least one study site located in New Jersey.

If your new search returns no results, the search was too specific. To broaden your search, remove one or more search terms or selections and try the search again.

Notes on the Recruitment Field

  • If you mark the Include only open studies checkbox on the Search Results page, the Recruitment field on the Advanced Search form will have "Open Studies" selected.
  • If you mark the Exclude studies with Unknown status checkbox on the Search Results page, the Exclude Unknown status checkbox on the Advanced Search form will be marked.

Search Term Highlighting

The words you type in the Advanced Search form fields will be highlighted in the text. Search words will be highlighted in pink, and synonyms for search words will be highlighted in yellow. For example, if your search words are heart attack, the words "heart" and "attack" will be highlighted in pink wherever they appear in each record. Synonyms for heart attack, such as myocardial infarction, will be highlighted in yellow.

Highlighted search term and synonym

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This page last reviewed in May 2015