Keyword Searching
Contents


Introduction
Keyword searching in ClassWeb enables you to locate records with particular words and phrases anywhere in a record. There is also support for proximity searching and boolean language operators.

Note: ClassWeb does not use "stop lists" to exclude certain common words from the keyword index. Therefore, words like "and", "or", "a", "an" and "the" are all searchable.


Truncation
Truncation support is the default setting for all ClassWeb searches. It means that any search terms you enter are the truncated version of what you are looking for (i.e. rail will match railroad and railway). Some systems refer to this as a stem search. If you do not want to match alternate word endings, you can change this setting on any search screen by clicking on the Search tips and options link and checking the Exact match box before you run your search. Like so:

Exact match (don't perform a truncation search that returns alternate word endings).

When truncation support is enabled, it affects every word in a keyword search (including each word in a phrase).

Note: ClassWeb does not make special allowances for words that have different spellings from what you type in. For example, the search term salary will not match the word salaries, even in a truncation search. The solution is to search for the common root of all of the words you want to find. So, for example, you might use salar to match salary, salaried and salaries.


Wild-Card Characters
Two wild-card characters are supported by ClassWeb: the asterisk (*) and the question mark (?). An asterisk matches zero or more characters and a question mark matches exactly one character. Placing an asterisk after each of your search terms is equivalent to running a truncation search.


Basic Keyword Search
In its simplest form, a keyword search is run by inputting one or more keywords into the Keyword input box and either pressing Enter or clicking on the Search button. By default, only those records that contain all of the words specified in the input box will be returned as a match. The matching words may be located anywhere in the record.

You can also search for those records that have any of the words you specified. This is done by clicking on the Search tips and options link and checking the box that says any matching term (OR search) before running your search. Like so:

Find all matching terms (AND search) or any matching term (OR search).


Advanced Keyword Search
To run any of the searches in this section, you must turn on the Boolean search features of ClassWeb. This is done by clicking on the Search tips and options link and checking the box that says bollean search. Like so:

Run a simple or boolean search (requires quotes around your search terms).

All boolean searches require a little more effort on your part. Every word or phrase must be surrounded by quotation marks and if you input more than one word or phrase, you must include one of the following boolean operators between each word or phrase:

Operator Meaning
and Every element of an AND condition must be true for a record to match.
or Any element of an OR condition can be true for a record to match.
near Two words/phrases that are within twenty words of one another will match a NEAR condition.
near[X] Two words/phrases that are within "X" words of one another will match this NEAR condition. "X" must be a number greater than zero.
far Two words/phrases that are at least twenty words apart from one another will match a FAR condition.
far[X] Two words/phrases that are at least "X" words apart from one another will match this FAR condition. "X" must be a number greater than zero.
before The first word/phrase must be no more than twenty words before the second word/phrase to match a BEFORE condition.
before[X] The first word/phrase must be no more than "X" words before the second word/phrase to match this BEFORE condition. "X" must be a number greater than zero.
after The first word/phrase must be no more than twenty words after the second word/phrase to match an AFTER condition.
after[X] The first word/phrase must be no more than "X" words after the second word/phrase to match this AFTER condition. "X" must be a number greater than zero.

A boolean search is input as a series of words or phrases connected by boolean operators. You may use parentheses to insure the proper meaning of your search criteria. In general, a boolean expression is evaluated from left to right. However, the OR operator has a lower prececence than any of the other operators and sometimes requires parentheses to achieve the proper results. If in doubt, use parentheses.

Advanced Keyword Search Examples

Search Terms Result
"judgement" and "lien" Locates records with both words "judgement" and "lien" somewhere in the record.
"diaries" or "papers" or "manuscripts" Locates records with any of the words "diaries", "papers" or "manuscripts" somewhere in the record.
"decorative arts" and "colonial" Locates records with both the phrase "decorative arts" and the word "colonial" somewhere in the record.
"sound recording" near "victrola" Locates records with the phrase "sound recording" withing twenty words of the word "victrola".
("hudson river school" or "luminist" or "late romantic") near[40] ("naturalistic portrait" or "narrative scene" or "genre painting") Locates records with any of the phrases "hudson river school", "luminist" or "late romantic" within forty words of any of the phrases "naturalistic portrait", "narrative scene" or "genre painting".

Keyword Inner Workings
Almost every field in a record is included in a keyword search. The only exceptions are the MARC fixed fields (fields 001 through 009) and indicators.

All of the keyword data from each record is combined into a single document with a space inserted wherever there was a subfield boundary. This creates something similar to a word processing document without any paragraphs or page breaks. Words are then separated out wherever a space is found and this psuedo document is then indexed.

Because each record is treated like a single document, keyword searches will match phrases and proximity expressions that cross field boundaries. If you are unsure why a record matched your search criteria, you may have to look at a tagged MARC display see why. This is the closest view to how the database "sees" this record for the purposes of a keyword search.

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