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Search Bylaws

Search Tips

Welcome to the Help page! Here, you’ll find information on basic searching and additional features that can be found on the search interface.

Searching

You can conduct searches by entering search terms into the main search bar. The main search bar can be used to search all collections at the same time. Type in your search terms and then click the "Search" button or hit the "Enter" key.

Features

While searching, keep in mind that you have access to the following helpful features.

Automatic Spelling Corrections and "Did you mean" Search Suggestions

As you enter search terms in the main search bar, suggested topics or names will come up automatically for you to choose from. If your initial search does not bring up any results, the system will suggest alternate searches that are known to bring back results.

Narrowing Down Your Search

If you run a search and get a lot of search results, you can choose to refine your search by using the "Narrow By" options. The search results will automatically update as you narrow your search, and your results can be refined by using any combination of the "Narrow By" menu options.

Selection List

You can save items that you’re interested in to a temporary list by clicking on the "Add To List" button. If you would like to remove an item from the list, click on the "Remove" button. Multiple items can be added to the list, across different searches. To view your list, select the "My List" link or button.

Additional Search Options

Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators

You can combine search terms with the AND, OR, and NOT Boolean operators (typed out in all capitals).

Multiple search terms are automatically assumed to be combined with AND, but you can combine the search terms explicitly by typing out AND between the terms. Use AND for searching when you want results that match both (or more) search terms.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both forest and rock, in the search bar, type:

forest AND rock

To look for records that match any one of your search terms, use OR.

e.g., to search for documents that contain either forest or rock, in the search bar, type:>p>

forest OR rock

Use NOT if you would like to include one search term but exclude another.

e.g., to search for documents that contain forest but do not contain rock, in the search bar, type:

forest NOT rock

Phrase Searches

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks in the search bar.

e.g., to search for documents that contain the exact words rock in a forest, type:

"rock in a forest"

Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches can be used when you do not know the exact term you are searching for, or if you wish to look at variations of your search term.

e.g., to find results that match text or test, you can use the ? symbol and search for:

te?t

The ? symbol is used in place of a single character. To search for multiple unknown characters, use the * symbol.

e.g., to find results that match test, tests, tester, testing, or any other variation that begins with test, search for:

test*

The * symbol can be used in the middle of a term.

e.g., to find test, tempest, tenet, etc. (i.e., any words that begin with "te-" and end in "-t"), search for:

te*t

You can also use the ? and * symbols at the start of a term.

e.g., to search for test, harvest, forest, etc. (i.e., any words that end in "-est"), search for:

*est

Proximity Searches

To search for documents that have two terms within a certain number of words of each other, use the ~ symbol with a number.

e.g., to search for the terms forest and rock within 10 words of each other, search for:

"forest rock"~10

where the desired terms are in quotation marks, followed immediately by the ~ symbol and a number.

Fuzzy Searches

The ~ symbol can also be used for approximate searches, but only when a single word is being searched.

e.g., to search for terms that are similar in spelling to cat, search for:

cat~

This will bring back results that match terms like bat, rat, mat and hat, in addition to cat.

Range Searches

To perform a range search, use the [ ] symbols and the word TO (in all capitals).

e.g., if you’re searching for names that fall alphabetically between Hudson and Gibson, search for:

[Hudson TO Gibson]

You can also search a range of numbers using the same method.

e.g., if you’re searching for documents from between 2006 to 2008, search for:

[2006 TO 2008]

Boosting a Term

To give one search term more importance over another, you can use the ^ symbol followed by a number.

e.g., if you want to search for documents with both forest and rock, but forest is the more important search term, search for:

rock forest^5

which will give the term forest 5 times the value of the term rock.

Selecting Items

Selection Limit

There is a practical limit to the number of selections you can make (500 is probably too many). This is due to the fact that selection IDs are held in a cookie which grows larger as items are added. Eventually the web page will throw an HTTP 414 Error, complaining that the URI is too long, since a web page's URI includes both its URL and the content of any cookies.

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