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Search Help

Tips on using search functionality to find what you need on the HSCIC website.

Contents 

Options for searching

There are two options for searching HSCIC information: website and catalogue.

If you are looking for Information Centre products such as published statistics, report, or indicators, you should use the search options within the Search the Catalogue section of the website. This will offer you more options for browsing by topic and filtering your results geared specifically toward HSCIC products.

If, however, you are looking for all information related to a topic, including general support, data collection, services, or news and press releases, you should use the search box available at the top right corner of each page on the website. You can choose whether you just want web page, or whether you also want to include the products from the catalogue in that search.

Search syntax

The search engine we use is Solr, and it allows the following functionality:

  • Boolean operators. Please separate functions with parentheses. For example: cancer OR (stroke AND heart failure). You can also use "+" and "-" in front of terms to specify terms that must be in the results and terms that must not be in results.
  • Phrase searching. Enclose your phrase in quotation marks to find documents containing a whole phrase.
  • Searching the title field. Enter title:"search terms", replacing search terms with the terms you wish to find. This will search only document titles to find your chosen terms.
  • Wildcard searching. Wildcard searching is not supported well in Solr because of how it stems words to find alternate endings. You can use "*" to indicate unlimited wildcard characters (e.g., "cor*" to bring up both coronary and corn), but results are unpredictable, and not all instances may be returned.

Using catalogue search

The Catalogue contains Information Centre products including all of our official statistics (which encompasses Experimental statistics as well as National statistics), indicators, audits, open data, and miscellaneous reports.

You can start by either entering terms in the search box, or by browsing via the various options: by topic, information type, publication/release date or by data coverage dates, or keywords. Search terms are processes through a synonym file, so if you enter "mortality", for instance, you will also get documents containing "death".

Our search engine, Solr, defaults to "OR" between terms. If you wish to use Your results list will default to the most relevant documents being presented first, but you can also sort your results by publication date (most recent first) or alphabetically by title. Note you can also determine how many results you wish to see presented on a single results page.

Once you have your list of results you can still filter by any of the browse functions, but you will also be presented with filters to allow you to narrow your results by geography or by how the data is arranged by organisation (granularity). Or, you can enter a further search term to search within those results.

If you know the name of the product you need, you might also try the Product A-Z index available on the right side of many of the web pages, which will take you to a description of that product and signpost you to useful information about publications and support and guidance related to that product.

Using website search

Website search should be used if you are uncertain of what you want, and can be accessed by entering terms in the search box located in the top right corner of every page. You can choose to either search just the web pages (including all four sections of the website other than the product catalogue) or the web pages plus the Catalogue.

Our search engine, Solr, defaults to "OR" between terms. If you wish to use Boolean operators, please separate functions with parentheses. For example: cancer OR (stroke AND heart failure).

Your results list will default to the most relevant documents being presented first, but you can also sort your results by publication date (most recent first) or alphabetically by title. Note you can also determine how many results you wish to see presented on a single results page.

Once you have entered your search terms and gotten results, you can then filter by type of information or general topic.

Saving searches to My HSCIC

If you have a search that you run periodically to get the latest information, you can copy the URL on your results page into your My HSCIC page. Just copy and paste it as a new link in the My HSCIC panel of your choice.

For more information about using My HSCIC to save your most commonly used links and searches, see our My IC page.

Sites we used to index

The HSCIC Search Tool used to index over 100 health and social care websites until October 2012. Because of the prevalence of other search tools able to provide that functionality, and a desire to concentrate on better helping customers locate HSCIC products and data, we have ceased to provide that functionality. However, for your convenience, here is a list of the sites we indexed previously.

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