Each article (or reference) of  the database is characterized by a large number of fields making up a record. Some of those fields are browsed during the search process. Those fields are called "searchable fields". The seven "searchable fields" are as follows :

-title of the article 

-original title : if the article was originally published in a language other than English, title in that language.

-qualification statement : if available, statement produced by the ESPA scientific committee to briefly describe the reference and highlights its scope, methodology and interest. Rather than being a rating, it serves as a guideline to help you appreciate the content and specificities of the reference in no time.

-authors : list of all authors appearing in the source document. Note that the format is 'Last Name'   'Initial of first Name'    'Initial of middle Name' (if present)

example : David Edward Johnson will appear as Johnson DE

-affiliations : name of the institutional organisation (university, laboratory, company,...) the author was affiliated to at the time the paper was published.

-source : title of the journal in its abbreviated form followed by publication date, volume, issue, pagination.

-keywords : set of words taken out from the source document when provided, possibly completed or created by the scientific committee.

Example: if you enter the term "water", the search will look for it in all the seven above-mentioned fields, e.g. title, source, keywords, etc and retrieve a reference in case one at least of those fields contains the term "water". For example, you will get a match if of the authors is named "Water" or/and the title contains the word "water". 

Note that terms can be either entered in full or truncated.

Example: if you enter the term "hydro", you will get a match if words such as "hydrotherapy" or " hydromineral" are among the "searchable fields".


The search interface will allow you to select one of the three search strategies options :

ALL OF THESE TERMS: you may enter one or several terms. A successful retrieval occurs only when all the terms are found in the "searchable fields".

Example: if you enter "spa therapy", the reference "Evaluation of spa therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthitis" will be retrieved whereas neither the reference "spa resorts in Europe" or "The interest of mud-bath therapy" will be retrieved.

THIS EXACT TERM OR  EXPRESSION: a successful retrieval occurs only when the exact sequence of terms entered is included as such in the "searchable fields". This strategy will return more specific results. It is well suited to a more focused approach, provided that you know or suspect the exact formulation of terms making the "searchable fields" of the article(s) you are looking for.

Example: if you enter "balneotherapy vs paroxetine", there will be no match if the expression recorded in one of the "searchable field" is "balneotherapy versus paroxetine".

AT LEAST ONE OF THESE TERMS: a successful retrieval occurs if one of the terms belongs to the "searchable fields". This strategy is of special interest to identify all references pertaining to a specific subject that may not be described as such.

Example: if you enter "efficacy effectiveness efficiency", you will get articles dealing with the evaluation of spa therapy or any other intervention. Suppose you had entered "efficacy" only, you would have missed those articles in your interest area that are described with "effectivenes" or "efficiency" but without "efficacy".

Note that entering only one term will retrieve the same results with any one of the three search strategies.



NONE OF THESE TERMS: this function is especially useful when the term(s) you picked up for the search has(ve) a broad or a double meaning. Excluding term(s) will prevent the retrieval to be embroiled with unwanted references. To activate this function, you must click the box and then enter one or several terms.

Example: if you are interested in the articles dealing with "osteoarthritis" in all its locations except the back, the click the box "none of these terms" and enter "back'.

Note that if two or more terms are entered, excluded references are those containing all the specified terms.

PUBLICATION DATE: the set of results of any type of request can be restricted by specifying a date. In this case, the references published before a specific date (i.e. before the 1st january of the year) or after the date or within a time interval, will be displayed.

Those two functionalities "NONE OF THESE TERMS" and "PUBLICATION DATE" can be combined.



Results are introduced with a magnifying glass icon.

Results are displayed according to their publication date : the most recent ones appear at the top of the list. In the case results are retrieved under a "AT LEAST ONE OF THESE TERMS" strategy, references are displayed according to their relevance, those containing all of the search terms coming at the top of the list.

Each retrieved reference is featured through its main characteristics. Among those, the information on "availability" is of major interest. It can be of two kinds :

- abstract : a summary of the article but no full text made available within the ESPA e-library.

-full text : you can either have access...

* to the full text directly diplayed on the page

* to the PDF file of the article with original layout, charts and figures

* to the publisher's site where you can get access to the full text by clicking the "FIND IT ONLINE" button. Usually, several purchase options will be proposed to you where you can either buy or rent the article.



The recently added references are listed under this section.



Those are the references the data base management team wants to put a special emphasis on. The reason why a reference appears under this section may be of several kinds : article of special interest or recently published, frequently loaded reference,...