Searching the electronic library:

Name searches:

Name searching

When you enter the following search --

Mike Turner

-- you will retrieve all stories containing "Mike" within two words of "Turner" in that order.

Near adjacency assumed:

The Vutext search engine does not assume strict adjacency of search terms. This allows for the possibility of a middle name, initial or nickname. So a search for "Mike Turner" would also retrieve occurrances of "Mike R. Turner" or "Mike 'Bubba' Turner."

Case insensitive:

The system is not case sensitive, so it does not matter whether you type "Turner" or "turner"

Order of search terms:

-- the search" mike turner" will not retrieve occurances of "Turner, Mike", which is sometimes used in lists (most often in obituary lists.

However if you put a slash between the words, it will search them in any order:

mike / turner

This statement will retrieve stories with "Mike Turner" or "Turner, Mike." And it will pick up any references to "Mike R. Turner." However, it will not find occurances of "Michael Turner" or "Mayor Turner."

Alternative first names:

To allow for variations in first name references, you can "nest" the first name variables in parentheses. Like this:

(mayor or mike or michael) / turner

Allowing for two-word knicknames:

In some name references there are two words between the first and last names, such as Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson. If you use the standard search --

dan wilkinson

-- you will not locate all stories about Wilkinson since in many cases the first reference includes his nickname. In these cases, put a /2 in the search statement. Like this:

dan /2 wilkinson

This says you want to allow up to two words in between, so it will pull up all references to him whether the nickname is used or not.

Using keywords in name searches

When searching for a famous person, such as Michael Jordan, a name search alone will retrieve many irrelevant stories which are not about Jordan at all but merely mention him in passing. You can improve the relevance of your results by searching for the name in the keywords field. Like this:

keywords(michael jordan)

This will produce many fewer stories, but they will be stories which the library has tagged as being about Michael Jordan.

Note: Be aware that keyword terming was not introduced until the summer of 1993, so this search method won't work for stories published before then


What do you put in the keywords field?

"Keywords" actually refers to a group of special library fields. They include:

NA
-- for proper names of people, companies, organizations, etc. A well-known person may be mentioned in many stories, but his name is only entered in this field if the story is really about him.
TYPE
-- this denotes the type of story it is, such as PROFILE or CHRONOOGY. See the Type list for details.
SUBJ
-- this is used for conceptual subject terms such as HOMICIDE or AVIATION ACCIDENTS. See the Keywords list for a complete listing.
GEOG
-- for the geographic area the story refers to. This is often the same as the dateline, but datelines aren't used on local stories.
AT
-- this stands for "Added Terms" which is a librarians' term for "Whatever." This is for any additional terms which don't fit in another field.

What are some examples of searching these fields?

keywords(dayton and homicide)

This search will find the word "homicide" in the subject field and "Dayton" in the geographic field.

keywords(michael jordan and profile)

This locates "Michael Jordan" in the name field and "profile" in the type field.

keywords(OJ Simpson and major)

This search finds "OJ Simpson" in the name field and "major" in the type field.

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