Tips on How to Search the Technical Library

The Technical Library has a powerful search engine that uses a number of operators that can be used to refine your search results.  The following are a few tips to help show you how to get the best results.

The Default Search:

By default the Technical Library search form uses the “ALL” operator to find your results.  This means that each keyword is searched for individually but not in any specific order.  Most relevant results are returned first.

For example:

Petroleum Basin Queensland = “Petroleum” “Basin” “Queensland”

In this search the engine will look for those 3 keywords in any title, content or meta data from any file in the library.  The files that match best are returned first.  NOTE that the order is irrelevant.

The – Operator:

Adding a – to any word forces the search engine to exclude that keyword specifically.  By default the engine includes all search terms in it’s search function but by using the – operator we can tell it to find search results that do NOT include the specified keyword.

For example:

Taranaki -Basin = “Taranaki” NOT “Basin”

In this search the engine will EXCLUDE those results that include the word “Basin”.  If most results from a regular search for “Taranaki” seem to  include the word “Basin” you can use this operator to return all results for “Taranaki” that do not include results for “Taranaki Basin”.

The * Operator (Wildcard):

Adding a * to a word tells the search engine to match against any characters from that point in the word.  This is useful when searching for a word when you are not sure of the spelling, or for multiple suffix ending possibilities.

For example:

Hunt* = Hunter OR Hunting OR Hunted OR Huntington etc

It specifies all the preceding characters as the match phrase and allows for any combination of characters from that point to return a positive result.

The Phrase Match Operator:

By checking this option you are telling the search engine to include ALL keywords in the exact order they appear.  This can be helpful when searching for Article Names or other specific information if you know the exact phrase to search for.

For example:

Petroleum Basin Queensland = “Petroleum Basin Queensland”

This is distinctly different to the regular search where the engine would interpret the search query as 3 individual terms to look for.

A Step by Step Demonstration

A brief step by step intro to the technical library (pdf 1.25MB , pptx 2.25MB)