What’s new in Medline Plus?

MedlinePlus (www.medlineplus.gov), the authoritative online consumer health resource from the National Library of Medicine, has many great new features to help you locate appropriate materials that meet the unique needs of your community. The site, which debuted in 1998 with 22 health topics, now boasts over 800 topics and many new enhancements:

Enhanced Searching

MedlinePlus has new search capabilities to improve your searches. Results now have relevancy rankings and are sorted into two subsets: collections and clusters. “Collections” help you narrow your search by displaying results in 7 content areas. “Clusters” organize your search results into groups based on the most frequent words in the top 200 results.  The “remix” button displays the next cluster. You can target your search with phrase searching and Boolean logic.  “AND” is the default operator, for everything else use OR, NOT, -, +, and the wildcard *. MedlinePlus was designed to be user friendly, providing a variety of search mechanisms to meet different search styles. Many elements are repeated throughout the site helping users learn to search quickly.

SEARCH TIP: Do you want to know what the hot topics are in MedlinePlus? Just click on the Search Cloud link on the lower right sidebar from the homepage—this displays the top 100 search terms entered into the MedlinePlus search box. The cloud is updated every weekday, with results appearing in alphabetical order and the larger the text size, the more often the term has been searched. Place your cursor over the search term to find out the exact ranking.

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