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Tips for Searching the Everglades Digital Library

| Setting Up Your Search | Understanding Your Search Results |

SETTING UP YOUR SEARCH

The Everglades Digital Library search tool, based on WebSTAR Search, supports a number of different methods for performing searches.

Description Search

Simply describe the information that you want. For example, "South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Taskforce Annual Report"

Question Search

Ask a question that you want answered. For example, "What is the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Taskforce?"

Keyword Search

List important keywords relevant to your search topic. For example, "Big Cypress basin"

Boolean Keyword Search

Refine a keyword search using boolean operators.

Symbol

Meaning

Action

& AND Finds only documents containing all of the specific words or phrases. For example, "performance & server" finds documents with both the word "performance" and the word "server".
| OR Finds documents containing at least one of the specified words or phrases. For example, "performance | server" finds documents containing either "performance" or "server". The found documents could contain both, but do not have to.
! AND NOT Excludes documents containing the specific word or phrase. For example, "performance ! server" finds documents containing "performance" but not containing "server". As with the & and | operators, ! must appear between two terms.
[ ] Grouping Used to group portions of boolean queries together for more complicated queries. For example, "exotic & [species | plants] " finds documents containing "exotic" and either "pests" or "plants but not "melaleuca".

Similar Document Search

After you perform an initial search, every matching document description will contain a "More like this" link that allows you to automatically search for similar documents.


UNDERSTANDING YOUR SEARCH RESULTS

The WebSTAR Search Tool you are using searches an index of the collections available on the Everglades Digital Library. The search system looks for matches to your search term(s) in any text documents, that is in any HTML, PDF, or plain text file available in any of the EDL' s collections. The search tool ignores common 'stop words' in your search string, such as 'the', 'a', 'and' and others.

If your search is successful, you will retrieve a list of documents that contain one or more of your search terms. The Search Tool ranks them (according to a proprietary algorithm) and displays them in order of relevance. On the results page, you will see the file names with a window of text from the source document. Please note that PDF files display with a '.wp' extension (not .PDF) We do not know why this is so, but it appears to be a bug for which the search tool vendor has no fix yet!

The index of collections is updated automatically on a daily basis. If you are having trouble retrieving a document that you are certain is in the EDL, it may be that it was only uploaed within the previous 24 hours and hasn't been 'seen' by the Search Indexer yet. If you are having trouble retrieving an older file, please contact the System Administrator at once.


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Last updated: June 22, 1998