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Search Help


On or off-campus Lane Search streamlines your access to:

  • Articles available in PubMed
  • Journals, books, and tools uniquely available from Lane Medical Library
  • Lane Medical Library classes, events, research and subject guides, discussion groups and everything on our website

Whether you want to cast a wide net, or find a specific article, Lane Search is the place to start.

Using Lane Search

Lane Search offers:

  • Enterprise search technology delivers blazing fast results
  • Customized relevance ranking engine shows the most pertinent results first
  • Multiple "Sort by" options to order results
  • Advanced filtering options to show different subsets of results
  • Multiple sources searched simultaneously, including more than just article citations

Sources Searched

  • The complete PubMed database of more than 30 million articles
  • Lane Library's full catalog of ~300,000 books, journals, databases, statistics and much more
  • Lane Library's website: classes, tutorials and subject guides
  • SearchWorks: a subset of journals, books and databases of biomedical relevance from Stanford Libraries.

Relevance Ranking of Results

Results are returned in relevance ranked order based on a ranking score calculated for each result. Factors contributing to ranking score calculation are, most to least:

  • Search term word(s) found in title
  • Search term word(s) found in a description, abstract or elsewhere in the citation
  • Publication date
  • Resources from Lane Library's "core" collection
  • Items published in English

We strive to keep Lane Search current with the latest article data from PubMed. The National Library of Medicine generally makes updates to PubMed available everyday at noon Eastern Time; Lane Library processes updates by 7AM Pacific Time the following day.

Finding an Article with a DOI and Other Identifiers

Journal articles will often have a persistent identifier (PID) called Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to identify and locate its digital presence regardless of changes to its location on the internet. The DOI consists of a string of numbers, letters and symbols that can be found in the article summary page near the top or bottom, or within the article itself, for example, 10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.043. Since 2011, the recommended format for DOIs is an active link that starts with http:// or https:// that you can paste into a browser to get to the publisher’s page for the article. You can turn any DOI into a URL link by adding before the DOI, for example, .

Lane Search allows you to search for an article by a DOI (you can copy and paste the DOI or active DOI link into Lane Search). Other persistent identifiers that Lane Search recognizes, include ISBN for books and PMID for PubMed articles. To search for an item by a DOI in Lane Search, you can copy and paste the DOI or active DOI link into the search bar.

Article record in PubMed with the PMID and DOI highlighted

Building Better Searches

Boolean operators are a set of commands that can be used in almost every search engine, database, or online catalog to provide more focus to a search. The most basic Boolean commands are AND and OR. In Lane Search, you can use Boolean commands to combine search terms, and narrow or broaden a set of results.

Narrow Results with AND

Use AND in a search to narrow your results. It tells the search engine to return results that contain ALL the search terms in a record.

Example: asthma AND exercise

Note: Both the words asthma and exercise must be present in every search result

In Lane Search, the AND is implied when a string of words is searched without Boolean commands. For example, asthma exercise respiratory symptoms is translated to asthma AND exercise AND respiratory AND symptoms . The words may appear in any order through a record in the results. Use phrases to make the results more specific and show up in the results as you expect them to be. For example, asthma AND exercise AND “respiratory symptoms.”

Broaden Results with OR

Use OR in a search to broaden your results by connecting similar concepts (synonyms). It tells the search engine to return results that contain ANY of the search terms in a record.

Example: cancer OR neoplasm OR tumor

Search Order

Search engines follow and execute the commands in the order you type them. Be aware of the logical order in which words are connected when using Boolean operators:

  • Databases usually recognize AND as the primary operator, and will connect concepts with AND together first
  • If you use a combination of AND and OR operators in a search, enclose the words to be "ORed" together in parentheses

Example: hypertension AND (pregnant OR pregnancy)

Note: This search will return results that contain 1) hypertension and 2) either pregnant or pregnancy .

Other Search Commands

  • Phrases can be used to keep words in the exact order. This is useful for searching for titles or phrases. Example: “Health services for persons with disabilities”
  • Parentheses can be used to enclose search terms and their Boolean operators to specify the order in which they are interpreted by the search engine. Search commands enclosed in parentheses will be performed first before moving on to the other search terms. This is also called nesting. Example: (“teaching hospital” or “academic medical center”) AND (“clinical guideline” or “practice guideline”)

Note: This search will return results that contain 1) either teaching hospital or academic medical center and 2) either clinical guideline or practice guideline .

This is not a comprehensive guide on searching. For more information on constructing searches and searching databases, please refer to the Literature Searching Guide .

Filter Results

Search filters allow you to quickly narrow your search results based on commonly used criteria. Select options beneath “filter results” on the left side of the results page to narrow results based on:

  • Source e.g. PubMed, Lane Library catalog, SearchWorks (select biomedical materials from Stanford Library), and Lane Library website
  • Resource type e.g. article, book, book chapter, journal, image, and over 20 other types
  • Article type e.g. review, systematic review, clinical trial, randomized control trial, case report, multicentre study, and more
  • Journal title
  • Year