How does the CMF search work?
The CMF Clearinghouse search function allows you to search the database for CMFs related to your topic of interest. On the homepage, you enter your search term (e.g., rumble strips) in the text box and select an option in the pull-down menu as to what field you want to search. If you are new to the Clearinghouse, you may want to leave it on the default option of “Countermeasure Name” to get a more focused set of results. Here what the other options mean:
- Countermeasure Name – only the countermeasure name field will be searched.
- Study Abstract – only the study abstract field will be searched. The abstract is a paragraph or two of text summarizing the study that produced the CMF.
- Study Citation – only the study citation field will be searched. This may be useful if you want to search a particular author’s name.
- Single CMF ID – only the CMF ID field will be searched. This is intended to allow you to jump straight to a particular CMF if you know the ID number.
- All Fields – all of the above fields will be searched. This will provide the fullest set of search results, but many of them may not be closely related to your topic of interest.
Once you click “Search CMFs”, you will be taken to the page of search results. The search results page will show you how many CMFs matched your search term and you will be provided with filters on the left side of the screen to narrow down the results to fit your particular scenario.
My search resulted in too few or no CMFs. How can I find what I'm looking for?
There may be several reasons that you are getting too few or no CMFs in your search results. Here are some things to try:
- Use fewer search terms ("rumble" instead of "edgeline rumble strips").
- Use search terms that refer to a countermeasure name instead of the setting or the crash problem ("roundabout" instead of "urban intersection " or "angle crash").
- Use the pulldown menu on the search page to search in all fields instead of just the countermeasure name.
If you have tried these options and are still not finding any results, it is likely that the CMF Clearinghouse does not contain any CMFs for that search term. This reflects the fact that the safety research field still has many topics and countermeasures in need of good quality, crash-based research. For a list of such topics, see the CMF Most Wanted List (http://www.cmfclearinghouse.org/most_wanted.cfm).
My search produced too many results. How can I narrow my search results?
If you're overwhelmed by a huge list of results, try the following things to narrow your search:
- Use the filters on the left side of the search results to narrow your selection to fit your situation. Perhaps you are only looking for CMFs for urban areas. Simply expand the "Area Type" pulldown and filter your search to display only urban CMFs.
- Re-run your search with more search terms. If you searched for "lane", try something more specific, such as "lane width".
What if I don't know exactly what countermeasure or CMF I'm looking for, and I just want to see what the Clearinghouse contains?
The Clearinghouse search tool is designed so that a blank search (i.e., no search term) will return all CMFs. You will find that the expandable search results will assist you in getting an overview. You can expand a category to view all the countermeasures covered in that category, and then expand any particular countermeasure to view all the CMFs that address that countermeasure.