Center for Global Research Data

How to search for studies

Searching for Studies on Vivli 

  • The Vivli platform allows users to search through listed studies using three search methods, including a Keyword Search, PICO Search, and Quick Study Look-up. 
  • You can combine these tools to find those studies most relevant to your research question. 
  • Use the Advanced Search tool to refine your search results. 

This guide shows how to use all three methods to find studies to request on Vivli: 

  1. Keyword Search 
  2. PICO Search 
  3. Quick Study Look-up 

How to search:

  • Users can search for studies using the Vivli platform. 
  •  You do not need to be a registered user to search for studies, though you will need an account to complete a data request. Once you enter the Vivli platform, you should see the search window: 
Figure 1 -Search Window (home)Figure 1 – Search Window (home)

You can choose your preferred search method: Keyword Search, PICO Search, or Quick Study Look-up.

Keyword Search:

  • Use this function to search listed studies by Keyword.
  • First, click on Keyword Search; then enter the keyword(s) as shown: 

Figure 2 – Keyword Search

Advanced Search:

Use Advanced Search for a more precise keyword search, by filling out the various advanced search fields: 

Figure 3 – Advanced Search Fields

After you have added all the desired terms to the search bar, view the results of your search by either  clicking on the magnifying glass icon, clicking the number of studies at the bottom of the screen, or  simply pressing enter: 


Figure 4 – Search Results

PICO Search:

  • Search through the studies using PICO terms: Population, Intervention, Comparison, or Outcome. 
  • As you enter your search terms into the search bar, an autocomplete dropdown with suggestions will appear. 
  • Use these suggestions to better target your search to the terms that drive the search engine. 

As you enter a term into the search field, categorize it using the multicolored PICO toolbar. Click the term which will open the toolbar and select either P, I, C, or O to categorize the term: 


Figure 5 – PICO toolbar (excerpt)
  • For example, if you enter “Asthma,” you may categorize it as a “P” for Population, meaning that you want to search for studies where the population of the study consisted of persons with Asthma. 
  • When you do so, a color-coded decision tree will appear where you can further refine the term. You can also move up the decision tree to a more general term: 

Figure 6 – PICO Screen, Population Decision Tree

As you add terms to the search bar and categorize them according to the PICO elements, the number of “studies” located at the bottom of the page will update automatically: 

Figure 7 – Completed PICO toolbar

Use the Advanced Search to refine your PICO results, by clicking on Advanced Search in the top right corner and completing the desired fields: 

Figure 8 PICO toolbar, Advanced Search 

After you have added all the desired terms to the search bar, view the results of your search by either  clicking on the magnifying glass icon, clicking the number of studies at the bottom of the screen, or  simply pressing enter: 

Figure 9 – Search Results

Quick Study Look-Up:

  • Use Quick Study Look-Up to search for single studies, by NCT ID number or Sponsor Protocol ID and Sponsor name. 
  • Enter the NCT ID number in the format NCTxxxxxxxx, with no spaces. 
  • Only studies listed by Vivli Members will be available in the Quick Study Look-up. For more information, please visit our Vivli Member pages. 
Figure 10 – Quick Study Lookup / NCTID

When you find a study that fits your search criteria, learn more about the study by clicking on View Study Details: 

Figure 11 – View Study Details

Doing so will open a new window or tab; you can read about the study in more depth, to help you determine if you would like to request the data package for the study: 

Figure 12 – Study Details Window

If you have any questions about searching for studies, please contact support@vivli.org