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CISER Data Archive

Data Sources for Social Scientists: Search Hints and Examples

This page provides some  methods for performing keyword, phrase, and Boolean OR / AND functions. 

Searching for a single word or term

Keyword searching for a single term automatically truncates words you enter.  Therefore, searching on the word code also finds codes, codebook, and geocode.  However, there are times when you may not want the terms truncated.  To eliminate unwanted truncation, append \b to the term. (Conversely, append \B to the term to retrieve only truncated words.)

Your search term:  These terms are retrieved:  To disable truncation, enter: 
roper Roper, property roper\b

Phrase searching

Searching for a phrase is assumed when you enter words that are adjacent to each other. Note that the last term (but only the last term) in a phrase will be automatically truncated.   For example, searching for social science retrieves social science or social sciences.

You enter:  These results are retrieved: 
survey method General Social Survey, Computer-Assisted Survey Methods (CSM), [tables only], University of California, Berkeley
county business pattern County Business Patterns

Boolean searching (OR)

To search for one term OR another term OR both, place a  "pipe" symbol between each term.  Remember that single terms and the last word of each phrase you enter will be automatically truncated.

You enter:  These results are retrieved: 
county|counties County and City Data Books Social Sciences Data Center, University of Virginia

County Business Patterns U.S. Census Bureau

Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Intercensal Estimates for States, Counties, and School Districts, U.S. Census Bureau

USA Counties, homepage, U.S. Census Bureau

FIPS codes for counties OSEDA, University of Missouri

department of energy|department of transportation Department of Energy, homepage
      Energy Information Administration

Department of Transportation, homepage
      Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Boolean searching (AND)

To search for one term AND the other in the same field, place a period and asterisk (.*) between terms with no spaces.  However, the two terms must be in the order in which they're listed.  For example, study.*income  will retrieve the phrase "Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)" but not the phrase "Luxembourg Income Study (LIS)."   The differences are illustrated in the search examples below.

You enter: These results are retrieved: 
consumer survey (no results)
consumer.*survey   Consumer Expenditure Survey, homepage (CES), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
survey.*consumer Survey of Consumer Finances Federal Reserve Board