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NIDDK Reference Collection – Detailed Search Guide

The NIDDK Reference Collection is a database of health education materials published since 2000 and produced for patients and health care professionals. Publications described in the database include fact sheets, brochures, journal articles, book chapters, and audiovisual materials. Each item in the database includes an abstract—a brief description of the contents of the publication. The entry also tells how to obtain the publication. Keywords are assigned to each publication to help in searching the materials.


Users can search the entire database or narrow their search to one of the six subfiles

Digestive diseases
Endocrine and metabolic diseases
Hematologic diseases
Kidney and urologic diseases

By using the Detailed Search, users can narrow their request to search in the title, abstract, descriptors, or author fields. They can also search by publication date; format type, such as journal article, book/monograph, book chapter, brochure/pamphlet, fact sheet, audiovisual material, aid/kit, or newsletter article; or language. Results can be sorted alphabetically by title or by publication date.

The search function ignores common words such as articles (a, an, the), prepositions (at, by, from, in, to, with), and conjunctions (at, because, but).

Boolean Logic

You can use three basic commands (AND, OR, AND NOT) to expand or limit your search results.

AND Operator

Search terms used: Enuresis AND Female
Using AND between multiple search terms will bring up results that have both terms in the publications retrieved. In the example below, the search retrieves publications containing both Enuresis and Female.

Example of the AND search operator

OR Operator

Search terms used: Latinos OR Hispanics
Using OR between multiple search terms will bring up results that have either term. OR expands the number of search results by returning publications in which either keyword or both keywords are present. In the example below, the search retrieves publications containing either Latinos or Hispanics.
HINT: Use the OR operator for keywords that are similar or are synonyms.

Example of the OR search operator

AND NOT Operator

Search terms used: Hemodialysis AND NOT Male

Using AND NOT between multiple search terms will result in publications that have the first keyword but not the second keyword. AND NOT limits the number of responses you retrieve and helps eliminate a lot of false or poor hits. In the example below, the search retrieves publications containing only Hemodialysis and not Male.
HINT: NOT can only occur after AND. There is no “OR NOT” command.

Example of the AND NOT operator

Combining Search Operators

To create precision results, different Boolean operators and quotation marks can be combined.

For example:

Vomiting AND Nausea AND NOT Pregnancy
Enuresis AND Bedwetting AND NOT Children
Celiac AND Drug Therapy
Drug Therapy AND NOT Aspirin


You can truncate search terms to expand the search in a focused way. Use an asterisk (*) at the end or in the middle of a full or partial word to retrieve all variants of the word in a publication.

For example: Gastroesophag* will retrieve publications containing both Gastroesophageal and Gastroesophagus.

Order of Results

Search results are displayed in reverse chronological order, showing the publication title, bibliographic information, and abstract for the most recently published items first. Users can click on “Full Record” to see additional information, such as the author, keywords assigned, and availability information, including price. A printer-friendly version of each item is also available.

Page last reviewed: July 2008

View NIDDK Publications | NIDDK Health Information | Contact Us

The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
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