Library:Open Collections/Help/Searching

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Searching for documents in Open Collections is straightforward and can be done simply by entering search terms into the search bars on the home page or results page, and pressing enter.. However, users may also use filters and syntax to narrow their search results.

Note that not all filters apply to all objects: while best efforts are made to ensure that robust metadata is provided at the time of an item's digitization, an item may lack metadata for any number of reasons. If an object's metadata is found to be incomplete, users can use the "Feedback / Report Issue" button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Using Filters

Filter Description Sample Subcategories
Collection A larger body of work that an object belongs to. UBC Theses & Dissertations, UBC Publications, BC Sessional Papers, The Chung Collection, etc...
Date Range A range of time within which an object falls.

Note: Date Range searches Date issued, Date Created, and perhaps other fields. If objects do not have an assigned date, the date is default to 0001 AD. The Date Range filter is currently being revised.

[standard date formats with BCE suffix to indicated BCE dates]
Type The nature or form of a source. Distinct from Genre (see examples of both for clarification). Text, Still Image, Moving Image, Sound, Dataset, Interactive Resource, Software, Collection
Genre The format or type of an object. Distinct from Type (see examples of both for clarification). Newspapers, Photographs, Thesis/Disseration, Periodicals, Correspondence, Maps, Books, Postcards, etc...
Creator(s) The entity primarily responsible for making the object (e.g. a person or organization) [an individual or organization name. Individual names are formatted Surname, Given Name]
Subject A topic that the object is concerned with or about. Women, Machinery, Dramatic Productions, Construction, British Columbia -- History, Ocean Travel, Fluid Mechanics, etc...
Affiliation The department, school, or faculty within UBC that the object is affiliated with. Alternately, "Non-UBC."

Note: Primarily used for objects within cIRcle rather than UBC Library objects.

Arts, Faculty of; Physics and Astronomy, Department of; Business, Sauder School of; Oceans and Fisheries, Institute for the; etc...
Campus The UBC campus from which a graduate affiliated with the object completed their degree. UBCV, UBCO
Degree The degree for which a thesis was completed. Doctor of Philosophy - PhD, Master of Science - MSc, Doctor of Education - EdD, Master of Arts in Planning - MAP, etc...
Program The program for which a degree was granted. Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Civil Engineering, Forestry, Geography, Mathematics, etc...

Using Syntax

Operator Function Example Example Description
AND Looks for objects where the conditions on both sides of the AND operator are met, anywhere in an object or its metadata. In queries where no operators are provided but words or terms are separated by spaces, the spaces function as AND. cats AND dogs Searches for any objects that contain both the words "cats" and "dogs" anywhere.
OR Looks for objects where the conditions on either side of the OR operator are met.

This is useful to search for synonyms, if you are not sure what the proper term that will be used is. (e.g. dogs vs canines, cats vs felines, robots vs automata, etc...)

cats OR felines Searches for any objects that contain either the word "cat" or the word "feline" but not necessarily both.
NOT Looks for objects where the condition following the NOT symbol are not present. cats NOT dogs Searches for any objects that contain the word "cat," and then from those items excludes objects that also contain "dog."
"word" / 'word' Looks for objects that contain the words in quotes, in the exact order that they appear. "cats dogs" / 'cats dogs' Searches for objects that contain the words "cats" and "dogs" right next to each other (the exact phrase "cats dogs")
fieldname:word Looks for objects that contain the words following the colon (with no space), only in the field specified before the colon. Any words following the "fieldname:word" operator will will then be used to limit those results further. subject:meteorology "cats and dogs" Searches for objects with the word "meteorology" in the subject, and that also contain the phrase "cats and dogs" somewhere else.
* (wildcard) Used to stand in for one or more letters in a search term.

This is useful for when you aren't sure of the spelling of a word because of regional spelling differences or common misspellings.

col*ration searches for variants of words that fit the term: e.g. coloration, colouration,coluoration, collaboration, etc...