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Search Tips's search facilities operate using boolean logic. That is to say that AND, OR, and NOT are treated as operators by default. Examples, as well as additional operators, are provided below.

Words are also automatically stemmed. Thus entering the word banking will return documents containing the words banking, bank, banks, banked, etc. In order to avoid stemming, place the word in quotation marks. Entering "banking" will return only documents containing banking.

Entering more than one term in the Keyword box causes them to be treated as a phrase. Thus searching Chairman Banks will act as if the search phrase is "Chairman Banks" and return only articles where those two words are adjacent. Searching Chairman and Banks will find articles in which both terms are found in the article, but then are not necessarily adjacent. Note also that the search engine is not case-sensitive (it doesn't matter whether you enter capital letters or not).


Operator Description Example
* Wildcard operator that represents one or more characters jog* - returns articles with jogs, jogger, jogging
? Wildcard operator that represents one character bank? - returns articles with bank, banks, but not banking, banknotes, etc.
" " Phrase "Big Banks" - returns only articles with these two words next to each other in this order.
OR Using OR allows searching of two terms at once cat or dog - returns articles containing the word "cats" or the word "dogs" or both.
AND Using AND allows searching for two terms or more in an article cat and dog - returns articles containing both "cat" and "dog." Both words are required but there positioning is irrelevant.
NOT Using NOT allow for one term while excluding another Pets not dog - returns articles containing the word "pets" except for those that also contain the word "dog".
<THESAURUS> Using <THESAURUS> before a search term searches on that term and its synonyms. <THESAURUS> altitude - retrieves documents that include the words "height" and "elevation," as well as "altitude."
( ) Brackets allow the grouping of search components (chairman and bank?) not stock - returns articles with both the words chairman and bank (or banks) but not those articles that also contain the word stock.

Additional Help

Finding Words

Most queries can be written by entering the words and phrases you're interested in, separated by commas. If you were looking for information about the Web or about using laptop computers, you could enter: web, laptop computers

This query returns documents that contain the terms "Web" (case doesn't matter in queries), "laptop computers," or both. Your results list will display a ranked list of documents, with the most relevant documents at the top of the list.

Finding a Specific Subject

The simple query returned some documents about the Web, some documents about laptop computers, and some about both subjects. If your real interest is in accessing the Web using a laptop computer, you can use the AND operator to be more specific. You could enter: web AND laptop computers

This query returns only those documents that contain both "Web" and "laptop computers" in the same document, so this list will be shorter than the results of the query written using commas. (You can enter AND in lower case and it will still be treated as an operator.)

AND is treated as an operator unless it is surrounded by quotation marks. So if you want to use the word "and" as part of a phrase, place it inside quotation marks. For example, to search for the phrase "addresses and URLs", you would enter: addresses "and" URLs

Excluding Terms

You might want to specifically exclude certain documents from your results list. For example, you might want to see documents about most Web browsers, but you're not interested in Lynx. You could enter:

web browser NOT lynx

This query returns only documents referring to Web browsers that do not also mention Lynx. If a document includes both "Web browser" and "Lynx," it will be excluded.

Using the Verity Search Language

As you get used to writing queries, you may want to ask your question in a way that leads the search engine to apply logic to the terms included in your query.

You can do this by writing query expressions that combine the words and phrases you're accustomed to using with just a few of the operators and modifiers available as part of the Verity Query Language. The most frequently-used operators and modifiers allow you to perform basic searching and proximity searching, as described below.

NOTE: In the examples that follow, operators and modifiers are shown in upper case. Queries, including operators and modifiers, are not case-sensitive. This convention merely indicates that these words are being used as part of the query language.

Proximity Searching

You can focus the search more closely by telling the search engine to retrieve documents that contain the search terms in close proximity to each other: that is, near each other, in the same sentence, or in the same paragraph. The operators used for proximity searching are NEAR, SENTENCE, and PARAGRAPH.

The NEAR operator selects documents containing specified search terms within close proximity to each other. Document scores are calculated based on the relative number of words between search terms: the closer the search terms, the higher the score. To find documents that contain the word "HTML" and stemmed variations of the word "publishing" within close proximity of each other, use this query: "HTML" <NEAR> publishing

The SENTENCE and PARAGRAPH operators are used to specify a search within a sentence and paragraph. The syntax for using these operators is similar. To find documents that contain the word "HTML" and stemmed variations of the word "publishing" within the same paragraph, use this query: "HTML" <PARAGRAPH> publishing

NOTE: Note that because the word HTML appears in all HTML documents as a part of the coding, it is excluded from a search by default. To overide this default, HTML must be placed in quotation marks. Additionally, all operators and modifiers except the reserved words AND, OR, and NOT must be surrounded by left and right angle brackets (< >). By default, AND, OR, and NOT are interpreted as query language; all other query language elements are interpreted as words unless they are surrounded by angle brackets. Some examples in this guide show AND, OR, and NOT with angle brackets, and some without. You can enter expressions either way. Both of the following examples mean: Look for documents that contain the word "future" and the word "trends": future <AND> trends future AND trends

Zone Searching

You can search in any named HTML zone, such as <TITLE> and <H1>. An HTML zone refers to a region of text within an HTML document that is defined to be the text assigned to an HTML tag. Thus, an HTML document has as many zones as the tags it contains.

You can search over an HTML zone if you have collections of HTML documents. To specify a query expression for a zone search, you need to give a zone name. A zone name corresponds to the HTML tag name. The zone name is combined with a query and the IN operator in the query expression. For example, this query will find documents whose titles have stemmed variations of the word "web" in them: web <IN> title

The query can consist of words and phrases separated by commas, and it can be a query expression using the Verity Query Language. To search with multiple words, phrases, or query expressions, enclose that portion of the query in parentheses. This query will find documents whose titles have stemmed variations of the words "web" and "security" in them: (web, security) <IN> title


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