Searching the DNI electronic library:

Field searching

Stories in the electronic library are divided into several fields, including: date, section, headline, byline, lead, page, and memo. There are also several library-created fields which are collectively known as "keywords." Any field in the library system can be searched individually by typing the name of the field followed by parentheses. Put in the parentheses the word or words you want to find in that field.

Searching bylines

If you want to find all stories in the database with Ben Kline's byline, you might simply search for his name, as in:

ben kline

And you would probably get the results you were looking for. However, you would also get a few extra stories in which Ben's name was mentioned in another story, such as a journalism awards story. And if the reporter's name was more common, such as Tim Miller, you would get additional "false hits" on other Tim Millers who happen to be in the newspaper.

That's why it's better to use the byline field, as in:

byline(Tim Miller)

Note that there is no space between the word "byline" and the opening parenthesis.

You can combine a byline field search with some other information. For example, to find all stories Tom Archdeacon has written about the Cincinnati Bengals, you could use the search:

bengals and byline(archdeacon)

Note that in the above example we didn't bother to use Tom's full name. Any portion of his byline is sufficient if there is no one else on the staff with that name.

If you wanted to do a comprehensive byline search, including such credits as "Joe Smith also contributed to this story" at the end of an article mainly written by someone else, you should search both the "byline" and the "memo" fields. For example:

byline,memo(Joe Smith)

This will all of Joe Smith's actual byline stories, plus it will retrieve other stories in which Smith received a "contributed to" credit or some other untradtional byline.

Notice that this shows you how two or more fields can be searched at the same time, simply by listing them separated by commas before opening the parentheses.

Searching headlines and leads:

Headline is another field and can be searched specifically. If you're looking for a story and one of the few things you remember about it was that it had a certain word or phrase in the headline, you can use that fact in your search strategy. For example:

byline(Archdeacon) and headline(boxer)

You can also combine the headline and lead fields -- just as we did above with the byline and memo fields. If you're trying to find an Archdeacon story about a local boxer, but you don't remember the boxer's name, when the story ran, or anything else about it, you might try the search:

byline(archdeacon) and headline,lead(boxer or boxing or fight or fighter)

Notice that we've listed several synonyms for "boxer"and "ORed"them together within a search of the Headline and Lead fields, and we "ORed" that concept with all Archdeacon stories.

Searching by date:

Often you can zero in on what you're looking for by specifying a date or date range -- or even the day of the week. If you know a specific date you can specify it this way:


If you want to set the range of dates to search, you can do so this way:

date(6/1/95 to 9/30/95)

Or you can say you want all stories since a certain date:

date(after 10/1/95)

And it stands to reason that if you can specify "after" you can do the same with "before", --

date(before 10/1/95)

You can even specify "relative" dates. For example, the search,


will provide files with the previous day's date, while the search

date(last week)

will supply the last seven days of material. The same logic applies for "last month" or "last 6 months."

Searching for a series:

If you know the name of the series you can search for it directly in the series field. For example:

series(fixing welfare)

If you don't know the name of the series, but know the writer or the topic you can specify that the story was part of a series by using the type field. For example:

welfare and byline(mccarty) and type("series")

Note that "series" is in quotes while mccarty is not. This is because "series" is also the name of a field. Whenever you are searching for a word that is also the name of a field, put the word in quotes.
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