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Tips for online searching

Page history last edited by Tom Johnson 12 years ago

Generic Search tips

Begin by reading all "Help" or "Advanced search tips" links:

To search all entries for a particular year, enter year: 1999 as your search terms, eg "year: 2005"

The boolean full-text search capability supports the following operators:

  • + A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every row returned.

  • - A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any row returned.

  • " A phrase that is enclosed within double quote ('"') characters matches only rows that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed. The full-text engine splits the phrase into words, performs a search in the FULLTEXT index for the words. Phrase searching requires only that matches contain exactly the same words as the phrase and in the same order. For example, "test phrase" matches "test, phrase"

  • (no operator) By default (when neither + nor - is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it are rated higher.

  • ( ) Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions. Parenthesized groups can be nested. 

  • > < These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The > operator increases the contribution and the < operator decreases it. See the example below.

  • ~ A leading tilde acts as a negation operator, causing the word's contribution to the row relevance to be negative. It's useful for marking noise words. A row that contains such a word is rated lower than others, but is not excluded altogether, as it would be with the - operator.

  • * An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it must be appended to the word.

     

 

 

Research sources for Sophisticated Searching

  • Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask

  • Essay: Resource of the Week: Court Records Free Reference and Directory

    • The Guide to New Mexico Courts

      CourtReference.com was created to assist you in identifying which courts handle different types of cases in each state, and then to provide information on how to get those records. In many cases, our database provides links to online free court searches provided by the courts or state agencies. Since there is often no online search option ( free or otherwise ), we have also provided links to each court's website, where available, and address and telephone number for each court.

  • UC Berkeley:  Finding Information on the Internet: A TUTORIAL - Table of Contents

    This tutorial presents the substance of the web searching workshop (current schedule) offered by the Teaching Library at the University of California at Berkeley. We call the workshop "Research-quality Web Searching" to reflect our belief that there is a lot of great material on the Web - primary sources, specialized directories and databases, statistical information, educational sites on many levels, policy, opinion of all kinds, and so much more - and tools for finding it are steadily improving.

 

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