Simplified Search

Some researchers prefer to use a search syntax that is similar to the syntax they use with popular web search engines.  To accommodate those users, we have added the ability to switch to Simplified Search syntax.  There are benefits of each syntax, and experienced researchers will quickly learn which syntax works best for the particular search they are conducting.

Basic Simplified Search syntax rules are presented below, and a side-by-side comparison of the two different syntaxes can be found here.

Simplified Search Syntax

To find documents containing the exact word, enter the word only (for instance, the word Holiday) then press Search.  The Microsearch search engine will return on the Results page a list of all documents containing the word. (All search queries are case insensitive).

To find documents containing two words, enter the words separated by a space. In Simplified Search, spaces between words are interpreted as the word OR.

Entering the phrase Holiday pay will find every document containing either the word Holiday, or the word pay. (Documents containing both words will score higher in the Search Results page.)

To find documents that contain the exact phrase, enter the desired phrase within quotation marks (for instance,  “Holiday pay”).  The Microsearch search engine will return a list of all documents containing the exact phrase Holiday pay.

Simplified Search Special operators include the plus+ and the minus – signs:

document +region (Finds documents that must contain both words)

document  -region (Finds documents containing the first word but not the second word)

-region (Finds all documents that do not include the word.)


ProximitySearches are not supported in Simplified Search syntax.  To do a Proximity Search, go to Precise Search by unchecking the Simplified Search button on the Search page.

For more information, see the site Help Files