If your Simple Search returns too many results, use one or more of the fields available under the Advanced Search option.
Advanced search options include combinations of searches
'Descending Relevance' is the default display option.
Select preferred sort order from "sort" drop-down menu list of options
Wildcards let you specify some leeway when searching for text. You use them to replace one or more letters of words so that multiple matches can be found.
The three wildcards:
characters. For example, if you search for br*n, the search will find
brown and broken, but not bangle.
example, if you search for 102?, the search will find 102A and 1025,
but not 1025A.
characters. For example, if you search for bro[oa]ch, the search will
find both broach and brooch.
You can combine wildcards to provide even more powerful searches. For example, if you search for J[oa]n*, the search will find records which
contain, amongst others, Jona, Jane, Jong, Jang, etc.
Also known as logical operators, Boolean operators can also be used to combine many terms in search text.
The three Boolean operators:
example, if you search for fish and angler, only those records are
found where both those words appear in any order in the text.
You can combine Boolean operators to provide more powerful searches. For example, if you search for:
pain and not back
The proximity operators # and ## make it possible to search for adjacent terms:
black # blue
black ## blue
The first example will find records where the term 'black' occurs immediately before the term 'blue', with only a space character separating them. The second example does the same except that the order of the terms may be reversed (i.e. it will find 'black blue' and 'blue black').
A maximum distance between terms may be specified using a numeric suffix. For example:
black ##4 blue
will find records where 'black' occurs within four words of 'blue'.
In a case like October # 1984, the number will be interperated as the maximum distance between terms rather than a term unless it is
parenthesised or single or double quoted. Another way round the ambiguity is to search for 1984 ## October!
The search has rules for working out the order in which it should evaluate expressions that use more than one operator. These rules define what is known as precedence.
For example, without precedence there are two ways to interpret the search text:
chair and wood or iron
them, or have the word 'iron'
the words 'wood' or 'iron'.
You can see that these searches would find a very different set of records. Therefore, if the search can find no brackets to show how to perform the evaluation (see below), it resorts to its rules of precedence. These rules tell it which operators to combine in which order. The order it uses is as follows:
You can override the the precedence rules by using brackets to group together terms you want to find, just as you would in mathematics.
For example, if you entered:
chair and wood or iron
as your search text, the precedence rules would evaluate the two terms separated by and first of all (because it has higher precedence), and then the or operator with the final word. The resulting matches would be interpreted as:
To change this search, you would use brackets to join together the materials:
chair and (iron or wood)
The brackets would be evaluated first (because brackets have higher precedence than anything else) and then logically combined with chairs. Now the resulting matches would be interpreted as: