How do I search the site?

There are many different ways to find resources on the ChiMat website. The different methods of discovering resources are outlined below.

Basic search

Basic search enables users to search the entire ChiMat resource database using simple search keywords.

The first important thing to understand about the search engine on ChiMat is that the searches that you input are matched in any part of a resources metadata. For example, entering the word 'age' would match all of the following entries in the metadata of the resource database:

  • age standardisation
  • Web pages collection
  • Management of chronic renal failure
  • Images and maps collection

Tip: If you wish to match for 'age' as a word in its own right and ignore occurrences of the word 'age' in the middle of other words, then put a space before and after the word, as shown in Example search #1.

Example search #1: ' age '

This would then return the following result:

  • Age standardisation

To find all resources related to cancer, simply enter the word 'cancer' (without quotes) in the search box and click the 'Go' button. This will return all resources that have been tagged with 'cancer' as one of their metadata items as well as any resources that contain the word cancer, for example:

  • The NHS Cancer Plan
  • Cancer ous Lumps
  • Cancer -causing agents

You may also enter multiple words to match for more than one word at a time. Do not use quotes or commas. See example search #2 below.

Example search #2: cancer tumour breast benign

Please note that in example search #2, each of these words must appear in the metadata to return a match. Example Search #2 shown above would be read in English as “Show me all the resources that have the words cancer AND tumour AND breast AND benign in the metadata”

To match a phrase, include the words in quotes. Examples:

Example search #3: “bone cancer”

Example search #4: “survival rates”

Example Search #5: “mortality from suicide”

If you wish to specifically exclude certain words or phrases from your search then precede them with a minus sign. See example below:

Example search #6: screening cancer –cervix –cervical

In English, example search #6 would be read as “Show me all the matches for resources where the metadata contains the words 'screening' AND 'cancer' but does not include either cervix or cervical”. This would return matches for screening which exclude resources tagged with cervix or cervical.

Advanced search

The advanced search facility of the ChiMat website gives the user much more flexibility in the metadata items which they may search on.

General words and phrases

In the 'All words' field the user may input search words or phrases that must appear in the resource metadata in order to be matched.

In the 'Exact phrase' field enter the phrase you wish to match on, without quotes. For example:

Cancer registration in England

To specifically exclude certain words from your search then use the 'Without words' field. See example below:

screening cancer –cervix –cervical

This would return matches for screening which exclude resources tagged with cervix or cervical.


This section contains fields that search the title and description fields of the metadata in our resource database. For example, entering 'cancer' in the title field will return results only where cancer appears in the title of the resource. The description field works in the same way but only searches the description field of the resources in the resource database.

The 'Type' dropdown box allows the user to select a resource type that restricts the results returned from your search to a particular type of resource. For example, to view only presentations in which 'cancer' appears in the title field, enter 'cancer' in the title field, and 'presentation' as the type.


The coverage section allows users to return search results related to particular geographic regions or to specific time periods to which the resource relates.

The 'Spatial area' field allows the user to search for resources matching a particular geographic area. Entering 'Cornwall' in the spatial area field would return results where the spatial coverage contained 'Cornwall'.

The 'From' and 'To' fields accept numerical dates to define a time period to which a resource relates. This time period is called the 'temporal coverage' of the resource. If you wish to restrict the results returned from your search to a particular time period then input the date range in the 'from' and 'to' fields. For example, to return all resources containing 'cancer' in the title and which refer to year 2011 enter 'cancer' in the title field and '01/01/2011' in the 'from' field and '31/12/2011' in the 'to' field.

Validates against XHTML 1.0  Cascading Style Sheet compliance  Single A Accessibility compliance