Full-Text Searching on MGI Query Forms

This help document describes the MGI search engine that matches words and phrases and allows Boolean connectives between those searches for words and phrases.

See also:

What is a full-text searching?

In full-text searching, the system takes the term you enter, looks for that text in all database records of the appropriate type, and returns a list of all records containing the term in the search string.

Note: If you enter more than one term, you will get back records that contain either term. See Which Boolean operators are allowed? How do they work? Is there a default operator?.

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Which fields on MGI query forms support a full-text search?

The following MGI query forms support full-text searches:

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What database records are searched? What does the search return?

The system takes the text you enter in the phenotype/disease box on the query form and searches the following MGI database records:

The phenotype/disease box is located at the top of the query form in the Mouse phenotypes and models of human disease section (beneath Enter any combination of phenotype terms, disease terms or IDs).

The Human Disease Vocabulary has a flat structure and the Mammalian Phenotype (MP) Ontology is hierarchical. Thus:

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Which Boolean operators are allowed? How do they work? Is there a default operator?

 Four operators are allowed: AND, OR, NOT, or AND NOT in all-uppercase. By default, a space between terms is interpreted as an OR.
 The format is:

term OPERATOR term ...

   Examples:

If you enter...the search tool returns...
heart AND defectEntries for heart defect but not for heart by itself or for defect by itself. Both expressions must appear in any matching terms.
heart OR defectEntries for either heart or defect.
heart defectEntries for either heart or defect. (Same results as heart OR defect, above.)
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How do I construct a query using multiple terms?

By default, the search tool interprets a space between terms as OR. Therefore, if you want results for something containing term1 and term2 and term3, be sure to enter AND between the terms.

  • When diseases names contain multiple word, numeral or letter designations, enclose expressions that go together in quotation marks; for example, entering insulin resistance returns over 7000 matches whereas entering "insulin resistance" returns over 300 matches.

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    What if a term contains commas?

    Commas between terms (or within terms) are ignored. Therefore, if the term itself contains a comma and you want to search on the exact phrase, enclose put the entire term in quotation marks (example: "cyclin B1, related sequence").

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    Does case matter?

    The MGI search engine is not case sensitive. Terms may be uppercase, lowercase, or any mixture of the two. Boolean operators, however, are the one exception. Operators must be upper case. A lower case and is ignored.

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    What are the rules for full-text searching?

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    How do I use quotation marks?

    See Are there examples? for additional entries and results.

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    Are there any restrictions on full-text searching?

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    Are there examples?


    If you enter...you'll get results for...Why?
    hearing hear, hearing Word stemming.
    spinal cord Anything containing either spinal or cordImplicit OR operator.
    "spinal cord" Anything containing the phrase, spinal cordQuotation marks.
    spinal OR cordAnything containing either spinal or cord OR operator.
    spinal AND cord Anything containing both spinal and cord AND operator.
    spinal, cord Anything containing either spinal or cord OR operator. System ignores extraneous punctuation.
    spinal AND (cord OR column) Anything containing both spinal and cord or column AND parentheses, OR.
    spinal and cord Anything containing either spinal or cord Implicit OR operator. Lower case boolean operators are ignored.
    "abnormal spinal cord morphology Anything containing abnormal OR spinal OR cord OR morphology Missing quotation mark. System ignores extraneous punctuation.
    MP:0001463 Anything annotated to the term, "abnormal spatial learning" MP:0001463 is the ID for the term, "abnormal spatial learning."
    MP:0001463 AND NOT Alzheimers Anything annotated to the term, "abnormal spatial learning" and is NOT an Alzheimers disease model. AND NOT operator.

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    What happens if my query returns no results?

    If your query returns no results, the resulting report:

    The probable causes are:

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