Center for Global Research Data

How to Search for Studies

  1. Navigate to the Vivli platform. To initiate the search, click “search” on the top of the home page. You can also initiate the search by clicking on Find Studies in the upper right-hand corner of the main navigation. 
  2. In the search engine you should see a multicolored toolbar with the following terms: Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome (PICO). These are the “PICO” terms and this is one of the main ways to optimize how to use the Vivli search by submitting a PICO-based search query. Each PICO term represents a unique element of a clinical trial that you may use to find those studies most suited to your research needs. For example, Population characteristics include age, sex and main inclusion criteria. The Advanced tab allows you to specify criteria pertaining study design, sample size, sponsor type, country of study sites and range for start date and completion date.  
  3. As you enter your search terms into the search bar, an autocomplete dropdown with suggestions will appear. You can use these suggestions to better target your search to the terms used to drive the search engine.  After you enter a term, you can categorize it according to the PICO elements. For example, if you enter “Asthma,” you may categorize it as a “P” for Population, meaning that you wish to search for studies where the population of the study consists of persons with Asthma. When you do so, a color-coded decision tree will appear where you may further refine the term, if so desired. (Please note: The criteria are AND’ed by default. You can use OR and parentheses to overwrite the default behavior.)You may also move up the decision tree to a more general term.
  4. After you have added all desired terms to the search bar and categorized according to the appropriate PICO element, you can search listed studies by clicking on the magnifying glass icon or by simply pressing enter. This will update the number of “studies found in your criteria” which is located in the bottom of the page. When you click ““studies found in your criteria”, it will take you to the results of your search.  
  5. Under the results, you may review the summary of the studies listed. You may click “view details” tab to find more information about the study. If your search does not result in any studies, you may initiate a new search. For more information about optimizing your search, see our search video 

THE ABILITY TO REQUEST A STUDY WILL BE POSSIBLE WHEN THE PLATFORM IS LAUNCHED AND FULLY FUNCTIONAL BY JULY 19. For now, we look forward to receiving your feedback on using the search and how we can improve it in advance of launch.  

Here is what an example search using PICO would look like: 

  1. To retrieve studies that evaluated the effect of Salmeterol in asthmatics using Peak expiratory flow rate, start by typing “asthma”. Click on “asthma” and in the popup window click on P (population). The term “Asthma” turns purple.  
  2. Type “treated with Salmeterol.” Click on “Salmeterol” and in the popup window click on I (intervention). The term “Salmeterol” turns blue.  
  3. Type “assessed with Peak expiratory flow rate”. Click on “Peak expiratory flow rate ” and in the popup window click on O (Outcome). The term “Peak expiratory flow rate” turns green.