Author Topic: How to better search the forum and elsewhere for POIS information  (Read 3549 times)


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The poiscenter forum has many boards and posts.  In order to find information on a specific topic, it is better to use the search functions. Following are some tips to get better results. 

First, on all poiscenter pages, there is the search box, usually found at the top right of the screen.  You can use it for a simple search.  However, it is important to know that, in order to search the whole forum, you must be on the forum homepage search box, so be sure to hit the "home" button first, and then type in your search.  Otherwise, when viewing topics, filter search results to just that topic. The same applies to boards as well - when viewing a board the simple search field will filter the search to just results in that particular board. 

In addition to the search box, there is also an advanced search function, that you can reach through the shortcut called "search" on the shortcuts bar of the homepage, or if you prefer, use this link: .  With this advanced search, you can add criteria to refine your search.

Using simple or advanced search methods, you can still use search modifiers. These are powerful special characters that modify the way in which SMF ( the forum software) handles your search string.
  • Phrase search - use double quotes (") around your term ("search term") to search for the search term as a phrase instead of individual words. You will then have only results with the exact phrase or expression you have put inside the double-quotes.  With no quotes, you get all the posts with any one of the terms or all of them, which is often too many posts.
  • Excluding terms - use a minus sign in front of terms you would like to exclude from the search result. For instance, "search -term" will search for "search" but not "term". The minus sign must have a space prior to it.
More search modifiers may be found at Google's help page. Not all of them may be useful in SMF at the present time.

Another useful method is to use search engines ( like Google or else) to search on the forum.  The way to do it is to use the following format:    antihistamines
Be sure not to place any space before or after the colon.  Replace "antihistamines" with any term you are looking for.   

And if you are being thorough, it's also worth checking the old Naked Scientist Forum ( NSF), with this same search engine method, for example: antihistamines

( you can copy and paste the above and just change the term you are searching for)

The NSF Pois thread was the first forum on POIS, ever.   In fact, it is not a forum, but a single thread on the NS forum.  This huge thread has currently over 20000 replies spread on 1010 pages. It had been created in 2007, four years before poiscenter.  There is a lot of precious information there, but without using the above method, it is very hard to find anything in it.  ( I also want to mention that poiscenter evolved from NSF POIS thread, from 2007 - 2011, and thus we have a 14 years history, as of 2021, with key admin and long term members starting anew here in 2011 in order to raise funds for POIS research - which was not permitted at NSF)
I am sure these tips will help you find faster the information you are searching for about POIS.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 04:27:53 PM by Quantum »
You are 100% responsible for what you do with anything I post on this forum and of any consequence it could have for you.  Forum rule: ""Do not use POISCenter as a substitute for, or to give, medical advice" Read the remaining part at