How to use the search function

The guidance for posting on www.ClinPsy.org.uk and any comments on the forum, suggestions for improvements, etc. Also information about our e-magazine, Aspire, and how to contribute or download your copy.
Locked
User avatar
maven
Site Admin
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:00 pm

How to use the search function

Post by maven » Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:10 am

It really is very helpful if people can search before posting new topics, to avoid there being lots of separate discussions on the same topic. We have tried to collate some of the most frequently recurring topics into the Wiki, but it seemed timely to add a little advice on how to get the best out of the search function.

How to search

1.) Look for your own content
If you are a logged in member you can click 'your posts' in the grey boxes just below the black header bar to see what you have written, and click on each to see what has been added in reply. The little box with an arrow after the person's name in the 'last post' column will take you to the end of the thread, or the orange box with an arrow before the name of a topic (which only appears if there is content you haven't read) takes you to the first thing that was added since you last read that thread.

2.) Look for what is new since you last visited
Click 'view new posts' at the top left, just above the orange bar, to see what has been added since you last logged in. The little box with an arrow after the person's name in the 'last post' column will take you to the end of the thread, or the orange box with an arrow before the name of a topic (which only appears if there is content you haven't read) takes you to the first thing that was added since you last read that thread.

3.) Look in the wiki
See if something useful has already been written on the topic in the wiki. We've tried to divide it into meaningful categories, and to give each thread a descriptive title, but if you can't find what you are looking for, you could try a wiki-only search. To do this select the "category" of "wiki" at the bottom left-hand corner of the search screen, and type in a keyword to search for. You can view you search results as either the thread titles or the post contents depending on which of the buttons at the bottom left you pick.

4.) If you are looking for advice or discussion on a specific topic, try to think what the key words relating to this topic are. Try them in the search without ticking any other options, and if you get too many results try selecting the option for "search for all terms" instead of the default option of "search for any terms".

For example, if you want to find out if the difference between counselling and clinical psychology has been debated then seaching "counselling" might get you 431 threads which mention counselling, but not all of them will relate to counselling psychology. Adding "psychology" and clicking "all terms" might narrow this to 262 threads which mention counselling and psychology, many of which touch on counselling psychology as a profession. Adding "clinical" to the search (with "all terms" still selected) could narrow this again to 181 threads that all touch on the topic of counselling and clinical psychology and might be worth a browse if you wanted to read quite extensively. Adding the word "difference" will narrow this still more to 17 very relevant threads that all relate to the difference between counselling and clinical psychology (though this particular search will now bring up this thread as well, and the numbers will gradually change over time).

5.) If you are looking for a particular thread that you remember having seen before, try searching either words you can remember (using "all terms") and then scanning the list, which should be sorted by date, so if it was a recent thread it should be near the top. You can search just the title if you can remember a key word from the title by checking the radio button of 'search within' to select 'topic titles only' or just the first posts of topics if you can remember something from the OP. Otherwise if you can remember the author of the thread, or any post in it, you can add their name to the "search for author" box along with any words you can remember them using in the top box. If you remember which section of the forum it was in you can select that with the drop-down menu called "forum" at the bottom left of the search panel. You can also click the option at the bottom left of the search panel to show the actual post, rather than the topic name (and there is another option if you want to see more of the post than the default 200 characters).

So, for example, if I remember that Miriam once posted something on formulation that I want to read, a search for "formulation" with the author "miriam" narrows the search to 18 threads. Opting to see the post rather than the topic title then shows me which is the thread I was looking for.

General tips on searching
  • the search function is your friend, get to know it well to get the best from it
  • it is courteous to search existing threads to see if you can add to an existing topic before starting a new one
  • why not start by reading the wiki, and then browsing the sticky threads at the top of each relevant forum section (particularly if you are new to the forum and want to ask about something that must affect a lot of people)
  • search for the key words relating to the question/issue
  • try to find words that are less common that relate to the topic, or try different combinations of words with the "search for all terms" option or use the name of the poster in your search
Don't forget that you can view all the posts since you last signed in by clicking "view posts since last visit" on the index page (it is just above the main box, on the right hand side, below the button to sign in or out). This is the easiest way of keeping track of recent events on the forum, though if you don't check in every day there might be a lot of new posts on the list as the forum contents grows very rapidly!

Happy searching!
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest