These search tips are designed to provide information that can improve the quality, ease, and efficiency of searching the ISPOR Presentations Database.
What is the ISPOR Presentations Database?
The ISPOR Presentations Database is a searchable archive of more than 60,000 citable research abstracts of podium and poster presentations from ISPOR conferences. These abstracts have been published in the Society’s flagship journal Value in Health since 1998. Recent noncitable session presentations from the Society’s conferences (eg, plenaries and other sessions) are also included in the database.
What is the controlled vocabulary for this database and how can I best use it?
ISPOR’s taxonomy, or system of classification using tags, includes 2 levels—topics and subtopics. Abstracts are tagged with at least 1 subtopic. To search using the taxonomy, use the topics search bar or the in-search filters. A keyword search using taxonomy terms is still just a keyword search, and may return more results than desired. The full taxonomy can be found here. Primary taxonomy categories include:
- Clinical Outcomes
- Economic Evaluation
- Epidemiology & Public Health
- Health Policy & Regulatory
- Health Service Delivery & Process of Care
- Health Technology Assessment
- Medical Technologies
- Methodological & Statistical Research
- Organizational Practices
- Patient-Centered Research
- Real-World Data & Information Systems
- Specialized Treatment Areas
- Specific Diseases & Conditions
- Study Approaches
What are the search bars I see on the home page is and how can I best use them?
The database is searchable using 7 search bars (the “Subtopic” bar is hidden when no selection is made in the “Topic” bar) that are additive to refine results returned. There is no option available to expand a search—all selections automatically return results as if “AND” was used.
- Disease/Disorder—choose from options in a drop-down menu. These options are the subtopics in “Specialized Treatment Areas” and “Specific Diseases and Conditions” from the taxonomy.
- Topic—choose from options in a drop-down menu. These options are each of the topics in the taxonomy. Select a topic to reveal the “Subtopic” bar.
- Subtopic—choose from options in a drop-down menu. A topic must be selected first for the “Subtopic” bar to be revealed. The subtopics on the list are determined by whatever topic is selected
- Conference—choose from options in a drop-down menu. These options reflect individual ISPOR conferences. The list is comprehensive dated back to May of 1998.
- Authors—text search. The best way to search for content by an author is to search by last name only. Capitalization does not affect results, nor does name order. Searching a term other than a name in this box returns results with that term included in the author’s affiliations.
- Keyword—text search. The main open-ended search bar returns results that have that term in the abstract box or authors box, but not the tags box. Boolean search syntax terms can be used as standard in this search bar.
- Citable—pick from 3 options: all items, citable items, and noncitable items. Noncitable items include content from live discussions and panels held at ISPOR conferences.
Are there options for in-search filters and sorting?
There are multiple options available to search, filter results, and to refine a search after the initial search terms are queried. These are available in the sidebar. Filters are displayed by number returned, from high to low. There is no option available to expand a search—all selections automatically return results as if “AND” was used.1
- Relevance, or
- Conference Date
- Oldest to Newest
- Newest to Oldest
- Topics and Subtopics
- Content Type
- Diseases—includes the subtopics of topics “Specialized Treatment Areas” and “Specific Diseases and Conditions” from the taxonomy
How do I best use search filters and sorting?
Filters are displayed under their respective category headings, in top-down order by the number of search results they return. This is true for all filters, even those under for the “Conference” filter heading, where filters are labeled with chronological information. Additionally, only 1 filter can be selected at a time, ie, simply selecting a filter queries the search. The order in which filters are selected does not matter—the same results are returned regardless of the filtering pathway.
What search syntax does the database support?
The database supports common Boolean and other common search syntax in both the “Author” and the “Keyword” search bars.
- To perform Boolean searches, use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) placed in ALL CAPS. Note that a hyphen (-) symbol is understood as NOT—just ensure that there is a space between the first word and the hyphen. For example, to search for research not in Spain, use: “research NOT Spain”, or “research -Spain.”
- To perform a wildcard search, use the (*) or (?) symbols. For example, to search for "test" "tests" or "tester", you can use the search: test*. To search for “cardiovascular” “cerebrovascular” or “endovascular”, search: *vascular. To search “term” “team” or “teem”, use “te?m”.
- To perform a fuzzy search, use the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a single word term. For example, to search for an author with a name similar in spelling to "Laura", use the fuzzy search: laura~.
- To perform a search for a particular phrase, put quotation marks around the phrase. For example, to search for “diabetes care”, use the quotation marks in your search. A search for diabetes care (no quotes) is the same as a search for diabetes AND care.
- The database supports using parentheses. For example, “(diabetes AND care) AND (continuous glucose monitor OR wearables)” returns different results than “diabetes AND care AND continuous glucose monitor OR wearables”.
What common search syntax is not supported?
The database does not support the following search syntax.
- Field codes—these are codes adjacent to a search term which defines the term by type of field (author, country, journal, etc).
- Proximity/adjacency operators—these are codes used to find 2 words within a certain number of words distance from each other in a document.
Can the database handle systematic review search methods?
The database is not designed for systematic literature reviews. Among the features it does not support that can be valuable to the systematic reviewer are:
- Keeping a search history or otherwise saving searches1,2
- Exporting search strategies1,2
- Downloading or otherwise exporting search results en masse to a reference manager1,2
are multiple options available to search, filter results, and to refine a search after the initial search terms are queried. These are available in the sidebar. Filters are displayed by number returned, from high to low. There is no option available to expand a search—all selections automatically return results as if “AND” was used.1
What is the best way to perform an author search?
Use the “Author” search bar and search using only the last name for the most comprehensive list. Results can then be narrowed using in-search filters. A search using the “Author” bar is actually a keyword search of the author section of any given item. For example, searching “James” returns results from authors named James (first or last name), as well as authors affiliated with the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy in Cincinnati, Ohio. This can be useful when looking for results from a specific place, organization, or university. Also, the tilde “~” can be used if the correct spelling of a name is unclear, eg, “Muhamad”, “Mohamad”, “Muhammad”, or “Hamad”.
Can I export search results? What about citations?
No, search results are not exportable. Citations are not automatically generated.
Can I save my search history or search strategy?
No, these are not functions that the database supports.
Can I download full-text PDFs?
PDFs are downloadable where available for posters or presentations.
Which items have downloadable PDF materials?
Some abstracts include accompanying material that is downloadable, when the authors agree to share this content. When accompanying downloadable material does not exist, the author(s) may have purposefully chosen not to add it into the database. For example, downloadable information may have been excluded as it could contain information that is proprietary or could describe research results that are only preliminary.
How can I search the database for PDFs?
Currently there is no option available to return only items that have PDFs attached, nor does any search consider the contents of any PDF.
Can results be tagged with more than 1 topic or subtopic?
Yes, results are frequently cross-listed by multiple topics or subtopics.
Can I choose how many results I see on each page?
This is not a function which the database currently supports. Each page displays up to 10 results.
Why do some tags, listed by the same name under different filters, return different results?
There are only a few tags, that return a few items, that belong to multiple filters and are not consistent across these filters. An example of this is the tag “Veterinary Medicine”, which when selected under the “Specialized Treatment Areas” topic filter returns only 1 result, while when this is selected under the “Diseases” filter, returns 4 different results. This is an artifact of how authors tag the content. It is still the case that tags are almost entirely unique—just be aware that “Veterinary Medicine”, “Alternative Medicine”, and “Personalized and Precision Medicine” are “double-listed”. To capture all items with these tags in the database, users should search using both the corresponding filters under the “Disease” heading and the “Topics and Subtopics” heading—or the “Disease/Disorder” bar and “Specialized Treatment Areas” in the “Topic” bar.
For Additional Information...
- Cooper C., Brown A., Court R., & Schauberger U. (2022). A Technical Review of the ISPOR Presentations Database Identified Issues in the Search Interface and Areas for Future Development. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 38(1), e29, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266462322000137
- Bethel, A. and Rogers, M. (2014). A checklist to assess database-hosting platforms for designing and running searches for systematic reviews. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31, 43–53. DOI: 10.1111/hir.12054