FAQs about... Searching VOCEDplus


 

Q: How do I enter search terms in the basic search box?

You can enter one of more search terms in the basic search box. The default  BOOLEAN operator between terms is 'OR'. This means that if you enter more than one search term, the search will look for items that contain at least one of the terms entered. To retrieve only those items that contain ALL search terms, add the word 'AND' between each search term. To exclude a term from your search, add 'NOT' between the search terms. To search for a phrase, enclose the words within double quotation marks.

 

Q: How do I search for multiple terms?

 You can use BOOLEAN operators AND, OR or NOT to combine search terms in the basic search box on the home page.

You can also search for multiple terms in specific fields using the guided or expert search on the 'Advanced Search' page. In the guided search, enter each search term in a separate row.  Select the relevant field for each row from the drop down list of fields and select 'All of these', 'Any of these' or 'As a phrase' from the drop down list on the right. Indicate how you want the search terms to be combined by selecting the BOOLEAN operator AND, OR, or NOT from the drop down list on the left. Click the 'Search' button to run the search.

For example, to search for publications co-authored by Phil Loveder and John Stanwick, select 'Authors' from the drop down list of fields in the first row and enter loveder phil as the search term (no capitalisation or punctuation needed) and select 'As a phrase'. In the next row, select 'Authors' from the drop down list and type in stanwick john as the search term and 'As a phrase' from the drop down list. Leave the BOOLEAN operator as AND. Click the 'Search' button to run the search.

For further information on searching, including how to use the expert search, see the 'User Guide'.

 

Q: What are BOOLEAN operators

BOOLEAN operators are words or symbols used to connect two or more search terms. In VOCEDplus, you can use:

  • AND or + to narrow a search by telling the search engine to only find those items that contain ALL the search terms entered. For example, searching for youth AND unemployment will find all items that contain both youth and unemployment.
  • OR or / to broaden a search by telling the search engine to find those items that contain at least one of the search terms entered. For example, searching for youth OR unemployment will find items that contain either youth or unemployment.
  • NOT or - to exclude terms from a search. For example, searching for youth NOT unemployment will find all items that contain youth but not unemployment.

In VOCEDplus, if no operator is provided, the search will default to OR.

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Q: How do I search in a specific field?

You can search in the following fields using the 'Guided Search' option on the 'Advanced Search' page: Authors, Corporate author, Title, Abstract, Subject/Keyword, Geographic subject, Date, ISBN and ISSN. Select the required field from the drop down list of fields and type your search term in the search box.

Enter the search term in the search box. If your search term contains multiple words, by default, the search will look for items that contain all of these words. To find items that contain at least one of the words in your search term, select any of these from the drop down list on the right. To find items that contain all the words in the order they have been entered, select as a phrase.

You can also combine search terms in different fields.

 

Q: How do I combine searches in different fields?

You can combine searches from multiple fields using either the guided or expert search on the 'Advanced Search' page. The guided search option displays two rows by default and additional rows can be added using the 'Add one more' button. Each row allows you to select and search in one of the following: All fields, Authors, Corporate author, Title, Abstract, Subject/Keyword, Geographic subject, Date, ISBN and ISSN. You can search in multiple fields by combining the rows using AND, OR, NOT.

For example, to search for publications authored by Phil Loveder on pathways, select 'Authors' from the drop down list in the first row and type phil loveder in the first search box. Leave the search term operator to 'all of these'. Then select 'Subject' from the drop down list in the second row and type in the search term pathways, again leaving the search term operator to 'all of these'. Check that the BOOLEAN operator for combining the fields is set to the default AND and click the 'Search' button to run the search.

To combine searches using the expert search option, please refer to the 'User Guide'.

 

Q: What is the difference between subjects and keywords?

Subjects are the 52 broad topics covered in VOCEDplus. Keywords are the 620 narrower terms that sit under the subjects. To search specifically in the 'Subject/Keyword' fields on the 'Advanced Search' page, refer to the 'Guide to subjects and keywords used in VOCEDplus' for the correct search terms to use in these fields. If you enter terms not on the list, your search results will be incorrect. For example, if you enter the search term women in the 'Subject/Keyword' field, the search will not find any items because the preferred term is gender.

You can also browse the full subject and keyword lists under the 'Browse' tab.

 

Q: My search found too many items. How do I refine my search?

VOCEDplus has seven categories of filters for narrowing search results. They are: Authors; Subject; Keyword; Geographic subject; Resource type; Peer reviewed; and Date published. The filters appear on the left of the search results page. The number in brackets against each term in the filters box shows how many items will be retrieved if you apply that filter.

Filters that you have applied will appear under your original search terms in the 'Current search' box on the top right hand side of the search results page. You can apply additional filters to further refine your search. To remove a filter, click on the minus symbol in front of the filter in the 'Current search' box.

You can also refine your search by:

  • adding more terms to your original search query using the BOOLEAN operator AND
  • excluding terms from your search by using the BOOLEAN operator NOT
  • using the 'Advanced search' page to search in specific fields
  • using the 'Advanced search' page to limit your search to items published within a specified date range

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Q: My search found too few items. How do I broaden my search?

You can broaden your search in a number of ways. For example, if your search for "accreditation of prior learning" did not find many items, you can broaden this search by:

  • adding alternative search terms to the original query using the BOOLEAN operator OR. For example, try searching for "accreditation of prior and experiential learning" OR APEL OR "accreditation of prior learning"
  • using the 'Guide to subjects and keywords used in VOCEDplus' to select the most relevant search terms
  • using the basic search box to search across all fields, including the full text of documents

 

Q: I only want scholarly items. How do I limit my search to peer reviewed items?

There are two ways to limit your search to peer reviewed items:

  • use the 'Advanced Search' page and tick the 'Only Peer Reviewed' check box
  • run your search and use the 'Peer reviewed' filter on the search results page (filters appear on the left of the search results page)

 

Q: I only want recently published items. How do I limit my search by date?

You can limit your search to items published within a specified period by using the 'Advanced Search' page to specify date limits in your search:

  • to search for items published in a specific year, select a single year from the drop down list on the 'Advanced Search' page
  • to search for items published within a specific period, use the 'From Year' and 'To Year' field on the 'Advanced Search' page and enter the first and last years in the two boxes
  • to search for items published before a specific year, enter the year in the 'To Year' field on the 'Advanced Search' page; leave the 'From Year' field blank
  • to search for items published after a specific year, enter the year in the 'From Year' field on the 'Advanced Search' page; leave the 'To Year' field blank.

You can also limit your search by date after you have done your search by:

  • using the 'Date published' filter on the search results page
  • using the 'Sort by Publication Date' option on the search results page to view the most recently published items first.

 

Q: How do I search for an item by its ISBN or ISSN?

Use the 'Advanced Search' page and select either ISBN or ISSN from the drop down list.

To search for an ISBN, enter the number without any spaces or hyphens e.g. 9781402052811.

To search for an ISSN, enter the number, including the hyphen e.g. 0141-8211.

You can also search for ISBNs and ISSNs using the basic search box entering the number in the same format as above.

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Q: How do I search for items by specific authors?

There are three ways to search for authors:

  • use the 'Browse Authors' link under the 'Browse' tab on the top menu to view a list of authors (both personal and corporate authors) in VOCEDplus. The number in brackets next to each name indicates the number of items in VOCEDplus by that author. Clicking on a name will run a search to find all items by that author.
  • use the guided search on the 'Advanced Search' page and select 'Authors' from the drop down list of fields. Type in the author's name, either the surname or surname followed by first name.
  • use the basic search box and type in the author's name in double quotes, surname followed by the first name with a comma separating the two names (capitalisation is not needed) e.g. "smith, john".

Tip: Use the 'Browse Authors' option if you are uncertain about the exact form of an author's name.

 

Q: How do I perform a new search from the search results page?

To do a new search from the search results page, use the search box at the top of the page or click on the 'Advanced Search' link under the search box. If you want to modify your existing search, click the 'Retain current filters' checkbox before you click the search button.

To do a new search from the 'Full Item Display' page, click on the 'New Search' button at the top of the page. This will take you to the home page from where you can either do a basic search or click on the 'Advanced Search' link to do an advanced search.