How to search BioStudies database

Use the Search box available in the top-right corner of every page. Enter any words that describe studies you are interested in. As you start typing, a drop-down list will appear suggesting terms that match. For terms that are in EFO (Experimental Factor Ontology - an EMBL-EBI resource providing systematic descriptions of biological samples and experimental variables), a button will be provided enabling expansion of more specific terms. Search terms are retained in the search box, where they can be refined (see the Advanced search section below).

The search results page is a list of matching biostudies sorted according to relevance. You can also change the sorting by using the Sort by selector. If there are many results, they will be split over multiple pages. Links at the top of the results allow you to change the number of studies displayed per page as well as the current result page. Clicking on the title of a study takes you to a more detailed page about that study.

Within the results any matching terms are highlighted. Yellow highlighting indicates exact matches, green highlighting indicates synonyms, and peach highlighting indicates more specific matches (e.g. "carcinoma" as a more specific term for "cancer"). These more specific terms are from EFO.

Advanced search

Each word in the query is treated as a separate term (unless surrounded by double quotes), and by default every result has to contain all the terms. This behaviour can be modified by using boolean operators and brackets; e.g., Leukemia AND ( mouse OR human ), or cancer AND NOT ( human ).

Queries containing star or question mark characters are treated separately. A star character will match any combination of zero or more characters, e.g., leuk*mia will match to leukemia and leukaemia, as well as leukqwertymia. A question mark character will match any single characters, e.g., m?n will match both man and men. Queries that include wildcards are not expanded.