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UIA database tips: Advanced search operators

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Search operators allow you to perform an advanced search by describing how your search terms are treated. They can be used with both alphabetic and numeric values. Most search fields are equipped with drop-down menus which contain the following search operators: (see also search examples)
 
Operator Description Search value(s) Searches for
is equal to Searches for the exact value specified. 1907 all entries containing the exact value "1907"
is not equal to Searches for values that do not match the value specified. Belgium all entries that do not contain the exact value "Belgium"
contains Searches for the exact word, phrase or value(s) specified.
 

Economic and Social

Economic Social

all entries containing "Economic and Social"

no entries, as there are no entries containing the contiguous values "Economic Social"

contains any word Searches for any of the words or values specified. Economic Social all entries containing "Economic" AND/OR "Social"
contains all words Searches for all multiple values specified. France Belgium all entries containing "France" AND "Belgium"
starts with Searches for all values that start with the value specified. 201

all entries beginning with "201"

If used in a field that searches on dates, this search would return all entries from 2010 to 2019.

does not start with Searches for all values that do not start with the value specified. 19

all entries not starting with "19"

If used in a field that searches on dates, this search would return all entries from 0 to 1899 and from 2000 onwards.

ends with Searches for all values that end with the value specified. 0

all entries ending with "0"

If used in a field that searches on dates, this search would return all entries containing 1910, 1920, 1930, etc.

does not end with Searches for all values that do not end with the value specified. 0 all entries not ending with "0"
does not contain Searches for all values that do not contain the value specified. Belgium all entries that do not contain "Belgium"
 
Tips
  • Some search fields are equipped with an autocomplete function to assist you with your search. You may either select an item from the list of matches or complete the search based on your search criteria. E.g. selecting one organization's name from the list will only return that organization to the result screen, while using a string such as "water" will match many more organization names and can usefully be combined with other search fields. Also, the more complete (longer) the search term you type, the faster you will get a list of autocomplete matches.

  • In order to improve your search results, it is more useful to use longer words in your searches. A good example is the subject search. Say you would like to limit your search by the German term "hund" (because subject search does take multi-language terms) -- but besides dog-related entries you will also get those classified under "thunder" or "thunderstorm", which is not useful. This is something we will address later in the development. This is valid also in other cases. You can use very short strings in the name of an organization, but a search for e.g. "can" will give you as results a pretty big portion of the UIA database, so it is not useful. The shorter the search term, the longer the search takes. Rule of thumb: try using longer words in searches.

 

 

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