Guided walkthrough: Faceted Search 4

We’re happy to see people using our Clinical Collections tool.  Clinical Collections allows you easy access to the vast amounts of clinical trials data housed in We’ve enhanced the user experience to data so you can find and group trials in ways you can’t through the native interface, by using targeted search and filtering.

When building Clinical Collections, we aimed to enable clinical researchers to better understand the existing research and accelerate their own research.  This can come through identifying comparable trials, designs and operational plans such as country participation.

Utilizing faceted search and filtering

Once you find a set of data that match your initial search, our Clinical Collections tool adds several layers that allow you filter the 125,000 or so trials down to the exact subset of trials that pertain to your exact needs.

To illustrate how to use faceted search, this guide will be an annotated walk-through of the search and filtering process.

In this instance, let’s start with an initial search for Tuberculosis-related trials.

Initial Search

As you can see, the tool is already giving suggestions as I type in the tuberculosis search term. Related searches such as Pulmonary medical conditions and meningitis pop up to help you refine your search from the get-go.

My initial search for Tuberculosis resulted in more than 546 items, which is great for showing the depth of the database we’re pulling from, but not very useful if you’re trying to find a particular group of trials.

Tuberculosis Studies

Now, it’s time to utilized the faceted search, which includes amazing filtering tools that allows us to narrow down the data set based on several search criteria, including:

  • Condition
  • MeSH Intervention
  • Phase
  • Study type
  • Primary Outcomes
  • Eligibility (Gender)
  • and many, many more.

Each facet is listed in the left hand side of the trial view page. As you can see, there are a lot of facets and some facets have hundreds of items inside each one.  We’ve included a keyword search inside each facet to help you find a specific facet quickly and easily.


As you can see in the screenshot directly below, I’ve chosen two facets, including Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and paired it with the MeSH Intervention of Emtricitabine and have narrowed the search trials down to the 3 items.

From here I can click into each study and see detailed information for each, can see the original data on by clicking the CT logo next to each study.

If I want, I can go reset everything and go back to my large set of 546 trials by selecting “Reset All Filters” at top.

narrowing down

Wrapping up

As you can see, the filtering and search tools we’ve built into the Clinical Collections tool is a very powerful way to fine tune your Trials data searches down to the exact subset you’re looking for.

Please walk through the Clinical Collections tool and let us know what insights you glean!  Do you have a tip to share?


  1. Pingback: Clinical Collections: Using map view to drill down « lillycoi

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