Feb 22, 2007

How can I search the holdings of HMCA?

The main HMCA search engine scans the information in the study descriptions, the abstracts that summarize the main points of each HMCA collection. Searches can be performed on complete study descriptions or can be restricted to study titles, ICPSR study numbers, or names of principal investigators.

A successful search, using one of the methods described below, displays the title, name of the principal investigator(s), ICPSR study number, and the latest publication date of each collection found by the search. Also shown for each match are three links labeled "description," "download," and "related literature." Clicking on "description" displays the information in the study description, while selecting "download" transfers you to a page from which the study's files can be browsed and downloaded. The "related literature" link displays the citations in the collection's bibliography of data-related literature.

One can search the holdings from the HMCA home page or from a separate search page:

Searching from the home page. Below the heading "Quick Search" you will see a text entry box, a pull-down menu, an option to search either by "words" or "phrase," and "search" and "clear" buttons. Use the pull-down menu to select the search mode: by title, by study number, by investigator, or by complete abstract (study description). Next, type the text you are searching for in the text entry box. If the text you entered contains two or more words (e.g., "Community Tracking Study," "mental health," "rural physician"), select either the "word" search option to search for any word in the text, or the "phrase" search option to search for the exact combination of words that you typed. Finally, to execute the search, click the search button. Clicking the clear button will empty the text entry box and reset all the options you selected.

To list all of the collections in HMCA, leave the text entry box empty and click the search button.

Searching from the search page. Click on "Search/Download Holdings" on the home page to display the search page, which is divided into four sections. At the top of the page, the "Search by Keyword" section offers the same search features as "Quick Search" on the home page. Just below in the "Browse by Subject" section, one can list the data collections in each HMCA thematic category by clicking on the name of the category. In the third section, the link "Recent Updates and Additions" displays a list of all studies that were revised or added to HMCA in the last 90 days. Finally, from the "Bibliography of Data-related Literature" section, one can type in keywords to search the citations in the ICPSR Bibliography of Data-Related Literature and list the studies related to each citation.