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Our search engine tries to offer today's typical web searching experience, as gained with popular search engines such as Google. The nature of bibliographic searching differs from that of a web page searching, though. We provide many extensions to enable a complex and precise structured search, including an combined metadata, fulltext and reference search in one go. This page lists several tips and tricks that you may find useful to this effect.

    Simple versus advanced search
    Search guidance
    Special characters and punctuation
    International characters
    Frequently asked questions
     How to wisely choose your search terms (speed-wise)
     How to search for publications by a given author

Simple versus advanced search

The default search mode is simple search that basically provides you with one input box where you can type your query, followed by a possibility to choose one of the common indexes to search within. You would usually simply type the keywords you are interested in and hit return. For example, if you are interested in documents on standard model that are written by (or mention) Ellis, you would type:

and on the search results page you could further add/remove keywords to get more precisely at what you are looking for, as is mentioned below.

The advanced search interface provides you with explicit tools to play with: you can change the matching type from the default word matching to phrase searching or the regular matching; you can use boolean queries in several indexes, etc. For example, to find all the documents written by Ellis, J spelled exactly that way that contain either of the words muon or neutrino in the title and that were published in 2001, you would type:

 

Note that Simple Search can provide you basically the same functionality, if you make use of special syntax that is explained in the text below. The simple-versus-advanced does not refer to the functionality that is being provided but rather to the amount of parametrization you can "tweak". We conform to the common use of the simple/advanced terms as found in other search engines.

Much of what follows will deal with a question on "how a power user would use the simple search interface". Recall that you can always go to the Advanced Search for more query assistance.

Search guidance

After you submit your query, the search engine will analyze it and will try to always guide you in case no exact match could be found. For example, it would print you a list of closest indexed terms in case of spelling troubles:

Alternative choices will be printed in red. The search engine will similarly warn you when your search terms could not be found, or when they could but your boolean query couldn't be met. The search engine will also silently try to search for alternative forms (e.g. remove punctuation), etc.

Thanks to multiple search stages and the guidance provided at each stage, it is usually sufficient to simple type what you are looking for and see what the system says in return. If you aren't satisfied, you would then add/remove words from your query until the satisfactory reply.

Searching for words versus phrases

The default search mode is a search for words. This means that any whitespace you type is not significant, but is rather interpreted to mean "add an automatic boolean OR between words". For example, to find all records that contain both the word ellis and the word muon anywhere in the record, type:

Special characters and punctuation

When indexing words, an attention is paid to index it both with and without punctuation, so that you should be able to search for terms containing special characters, such as C++, verbatim:

International characters

The search engine works with Unicode UTF-8 so you can type your query strings in any language stored in the database. For example, to find the documents written by (or on) Пушкин, type:

Note that you don't have to type accents to find accented results. For example, type Lemaitre to find papers by Lemaître:
IMPORTANT NOTE
Currently, words that include accented characters can only be retrieved by entering accented characters in the query.

Frequently asked questions

How to wisely choose your search terms (speed-wise)

  • Whenever possible, prefer word searches instead of phrase searches. Search rather for black hole than for "black hole".
  • Avoid common terms such as and, of, or CERN.
  • If you are searching for a specific metadata information, such as a report number, choose corresponding index.
  • If you are looking for a specific document collection, such as Theses, choose the Theses collection first, and start your search from there.

How to search for publications by a given author

You can search for an author in many ways, each having its own advantages and disadvantages.

  1. First of all, note that searching for words isn't usually what you would want here. If you choose to search for the words Ellis J within the author index, it means that two queries (for the words Ellis and J) are effected first and a boolean AND is performed next: