- Getting Started
- Common Words
- Date Sort
- Widening Your Search
- Refining Your Search
- Advanced Search Operators
- Advanced Search Tool
Getting Started with Search
To search for a document, type a few descriptive words in the search box, and press the Enter key or click the search button. A results page appears with a list of results related to your search terms. To broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms. You do not need to include "and" between the terms. For example, to search for promising initiatives pdf documents, type the following:
|promising initiatives file format: pdf|
Searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you enter them, are handled as lower case. For example, searches for "george washington," "George Washington," and "George washington" return the same results.
Because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results, Google Custom Search Engine ignores some terms, including common words and characters, such as "where" and "how" when used in conjunction with other search terms.
If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, use quotation marks. For example, to search for the phrase police who enclose in quotes. Type "police who" into the search box.
By default, results are sorted by relevance, with the most relevant result appearing at the top of the page. If you want to sort by date instead, click the dropdown to the right of Sort by: and select Date. The most recent result appears at the top of the page and the date is returned in the results. Results that do not contain dates are displayed at the end and are sorted by relevance.
When you search for numbers, do not use exponential numbers, such as "1e10," or negative integers, such as "-12."
Numbers that are separated by commas are treated as separate figures, not fractional numbers; that is, the comma is treated as a term separator, not a decimal separator. For example, if you type "3,75", the search query is treated as a search for two separate terms, "3" and "75", not the decimal fraction, "three and three quarters." Commas that separate every three digits are ignored and are not necessary. For example, both "10,000" and "10000" are treated alike.
Widening Your Search
You can expand your search by using the OR operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase OR between terms. For example, to search for cyber crime or hate crime, type the following:
|cyber OR hate crime||Search|
The pipe (|) operator can also be used in place of “OR.”. For example, to search for a publication for either Corrections or Prosecutions, type the following:
|publication corrections | prosecution|
The parenthesis ( ) operator can also be used to Group multiple terms or search operators to control how the search is executed. For example, to search for state law enforcement or local law enforcement, type the following:
|(state OR local) law enforcement|
Refining Your Search
Refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered. The refined query returns a subset of the pages that were returned by your original broad query. If that does not get the results that you want, you can also exclude words.
If your search term has more than one meaning, you can focus your search by adding a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign. You can daisy chain a list of words you want to exclude.
For example, to search for crime but exclude results with property or drugs, type the following query:
|crime -property -drugs|
Advanced Search Operators
Advanced operators are query words that restrict your search to a smaller set of results. When you enter your search query, do not add a space between the search operator and the search terms.