Your monitor should be set to a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels; for optimum viewing, 1024 x 768 pixels is recommended. For Windows users, click the Start button, choose Settings/ Control Panels/ Display/ Settings, and move the cursor under the Desktop Area to the right until the appropriate resolution appears. For Macintosh users, select the Monitors control panel from the Apple menu and select the appropriate screen resolution from Options.
If you are using Internet Explorer 5, go to the Tools menu and choose Internet Options. Click on Accessibility at the bottom of the screen. Click in the box for "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages." Then go to the View menu and from Text Size choose a more legible font size.
If you are using Netscape 6, open the Edit menu and choose Preferences. Under the Appearance category choose Font. You can select both a serif and sans serif font and size as your defaults. Then select "Always use my font settings, overriding what web pages specify." You can also adjust the readability of fonts by typing in a number in the field next to "Font display resolution." 96 dots per inch (dpi) is the standard; you can choose a larger value.
If you are using an earlier version of either browser, consult the Help menu for information on changing font size.
Some line art (figures) are in scalable vector graphic (SVG) format. Download the latest version of the Adobe SVG Reader.
In an SVG figure you can zoom in (hold down the control key and click on the figure) or zoom out (hold down the control and shift keys and click). You can also pan the figure by holding down the alt key and clicking and dragging the figure. Alternately, you can right-click on the figure and a menu will appear with these commands. If you click once in the figure and activate Scroll Lock on your keyboard, you can use your up/down and right/left arrows to move the figure.
Non-line art figures such as photographs or x-rays include a rollover toolbar. If you rollover the upper lefthand area of the figure, a toolbar will appear which allows you to save, print, or email the image, and open your Pictures folder.
Is Boolean searching supported? Can I use "OR", "AND", or "NOT" operators?
Yes, Boolean searching is supported. Also + and - can be used at the beginning of words as a shortcut for "AND" and "NOT" ("heart + lung" is the same as "heart AND lung").
Can I use a wildcard such as an asterisk (*)?
Yes, you can substitute the asterisk for one or more characters at the end of a word; your search term should be at least three characters long in order for the wildcard search to be effective.
Can I use parentheses to group words?
Use parentheses for word grouping; use quotation marks to find all documents containing an exact phrase.
What is a structured search?
Clicking on the Structured Search option allows you to limit your search to specific sections within a module, such as Diagnosis or Therapy.
What is the "score" found on the results page?
The score shown with search results represents an inverse ratio of the number of pages on this Web site and the number of occurences of the search term or terms found on those pages. The more frequently a term is found across the entire Web site the lower the score; a less frequently found term will have a higher score. If you search using a relatively common term in conjunction with a relatively uncommon term, the score will be higher because of the uncommon term, but you will generate more hits because of the common term.
Why can't I find the exact search term within the results?
When you view the pages returned by your search, you may wonder why these particular pages have appeared. It is likely that one or even all of the terms in your search phrase are absent from the most highly scored pages. There are several reasons for this.
1. The pages of PIER have been tagged with additional keywords, such as clinical categories, synonyms, and terms commonly found in relevant case descriptions.
2. Your search phrase is first sent to a thesaurus, which adds synonyms and other variants of the terms in your search.
3. The pages listed in the results may not be the actual pages that contain the terms that match your query. With typical queries, the result list will include page after page within the relevant sections of topics. You are then required to flip back and forth between the results list and the individual pages, whose connections to each other will remain unclear. With PIER, you will always be taken to the top page of the relevant section, from which you can more easily navigate to the content of interest.
Searching PIER is different from searching most medical information resources. If you are experienced with searching massive, relatively unstructured collections like Medline, your initial strategy for searching PIER may backfire. When searching Medline, you learn to compose extremely precise queries in order to reduce the quantity of returned results, and to increase the likelihood of finding something relevant among the mass of matching but irrelevant results.
Because all PIER modules of any type use the same highly structured organization and are written as crisply as possible, we can make the search process much less burdensome. Your queries will be simpler, the result returned will be more relevant, and deciphering the results will be easier. When searching within disease topics, you will be able to limit your search to specific clinical areas such as diagnosis, therapy, prevention, etc. By default, much of the content, such as reference citations and drug information, is excluded from the basic search. If you wish to include this material, you may.
From the PIER home page you can search the entire Web site, or limit your search to a Topic type, such as Diseases, Screening and Prevention, Complementary/Alternative Medicine, Ethical and Legal Issues, or Procedures.
Each PIER module includes a selection of additional material categorized as Clinical Information, Educational Resources, and Patient Information. Included are links to full-text articles or abstracts, book chapters, and Web sites.
On the PIER home page and the home page for each module is a What's New box, containing new information about the entire site or new references for the specific module.