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Online Help

How to use the search facility

Enter a word (keyword) or multiple keywords in the search box (seperate multiple keywords with spaces only) then click "Find". The search engine uses boolean "or" logic by default. This means that it will match documents containing any of the keywords you enter. Use the "advanced" options to apply a different logic to your search.

Use the wild-card ("*") to find variations... For example, suppose you wanted to match any variations of the word "secretary" entering that keyword would only match EXACT instances of itself. However, you can use wild-cards to broaden the scope of the search; entering "secretar*" would match on "secretary", "secretaries", "secretarial", etc. Wild-cards can only be used at the beginning or end of keywords (prefix or suffix). Multiple wild-cards can be used in your search query. Using wild-cards does not impact on the speed of the search in any way.

By default, searches are not case-sensitive. For example, searches for "george washington", "George Washington" and "gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN" will all yield the same results.

Getting the best results

Use the "advanced" options whenever possible as these will enable you to refine your search.

Be specific with your keywords where possible... using wild-cards increases the range of potential matches considerably (adding "noise" to the results).

Stop Words

The search engine ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "the", as well as certain single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. These are called "stop words" and are common to most search engines. The search engine will indicate if a stop word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page within the summary.

If the stopped word is necessary, you can defeat the mechanism by conducting a search with "phrase" logic, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search. Furthermore, when you are using wildards in your search query, stop words are ignored if the wildcarded word matches them, that is - a search for "th*" will match on "the", "there", etc.

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