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Documentation About American

User Documentation


There are three basic kinds of searching in the database. 1) Full-text searching, which allows one to search for words and/or combinations of words in one or more texts of the database; 2) Biographic searching, which allows one to find information on authors; 3) Bibliographic searching, which allows one to retrieve citations or actual texts to read online. In addition, one can browse the contents of the database, by clicking on the Browse pull-downs or by clicking on the Search buttons of the various search-forms.

Full-Text Searching Using PhiloLogic

The term(s) to be searched in selected documents are entered into the Search in Texts for: box on the Basic or Advanced search-form. Word searches in PhiloLogic are by default case insensitive, so that a search finds both lower and upper case representations of words. The user must, however, take into account diacritics when searching databases that have accented characters. PhiloLogic's wildcard characters may also be employed to match many forms. The simplest search in PhiloLogic is a single term search without wildcards. If searching for a term such as "freedom" in the database, simply type the word freedom into the Search in Texts for: box and press the SEARCH button.

Wildcard Characters
Wildcard characters allow the user to enter a single search entry that may find many forms. This is in contrast to a simple word search which requires an exact match in order to find a word. Wildcard characters can be useful, for example, in identifying cognates made obscure by affixes and vowel weakening, inconsistencies due to irregular orthography, and variations on account of word inflection as well as for discovering potential emendations for uncertain readings. The most commonly used wildcards are listed below.

. (period):
matches any single character (e.g., gentlem.n will retrieve gentleman and gentlemen).
* (asterisk):
matches any string of characters, anchoring the match at the beginning of a word (e.g., cigar* will match cigar, cigars, cigarette, etc.), anchoring the match at the end of a word (e.g., *habit will retrieve habit, cohabit, and inhabit), or in the middle (e.g., c*eers matches compeers, cheers, and careers).
.? (period question mark):
matches the characters entered or the characters entered plus one more character in place of the question mark (e.g., hono.?r matches both honor and honour and cat.? matches cat and cats, but not cathedral, Catherine, etc.).
[a-z] (square brackets):
matches a single character found in the specified range (e.g., [c-f]at will match cat, dat, eat, and fat) or any letters within the brackets (e.g., civili[zs]e will match both civilize and civilise).
# (hash mark):
matches capitalized words only (e.g., #bacon will retrieve Bacon, but not bacon). Otherwise word searches are case insensitive. Please note that this operator does not work properly in conjunction with the vertical bar (e.g., searching #hamlet|#bacon will not retrieve accurate results).

Tip: If you are using wildcard characters and would like to see a full list of the words matching your search-term, then run your search as a "Frequency by Author" search. The results page of a "Frequency by Author" search lists all the terms found in a database that match your search-term.

Accents and Special Characters
PhiloLogic requires that one take into account diacritics when searching documents with accented characters in both bibliographic and full-text searching. The system provides three ways to search for accented characters: 1) simply type the required accented character from the keyboard; 2) use a capital letter to match all accented and non-accented forms of a letter; or 3) enter the two character representations listed below.

Tip: If you do not want to have to think about accents, turn on "Caps Lock" and type in all uppercase. This is recommended since accentuation varies: one finds, for example, perche, perchè, and perché in the database.

capital letter = any form of the letter
(e. g., E matches é ê è ë and e (no accent) and É Ê È Ë and E (no accent).
grave = (\) back slash
(e.g., a\ matches à).
acute = (/) forward slash
(e.g., e/ matches é).
circumflex = (^) caret
(e.g., e^ matches ê).
cedilla = (,) comma
(e.g., c, matches ç).
ümlaut/dieresis = (") double quote
(e.g., u" matches ü).
tilde = (~) tilde
(e.g., n~ matches ñ).
ae-ligature (æ) = ae
the ligature is resolved into two letters. (e.g., to search æther type in aether).
oe-ligature (œ) = oe
the ligature is resolved into two letters. (e.g., to search œconomy type in oeconomy).

Punctuation and Full-Text Searching
All punctuation should be stripped from word searches except for apostrophes. Apostrophes must be entered as characters.

apostrophe (') = '.
(e.g., to search don't type in don't).
hyphen (-) = a space
the hyphen is not a searchable character. (e.g., to search Rhode-Island type in Rhode Island).
ampersand (&) = should be stripped
is not a searchable character. Avoid Phrase Searches where an ampersand could be used as a conjunction.
period, question mark, exclamation point, and comma = should be stripped
are not searchable characters.
parentheses, various brackets, and double quotes = should be stripped
are not searchable characters and are word-breaking (e.g., to search vor[r]ia enter vor r ia).
common mathematical symbols
the equal sign (=) and minus sign (-) will produce a "Nothing found" message. The plus sign (+) is not a searchable character, but, if entered, will be ignored.

Text Formatting
Formatting (e.g., font shifts, superscript, subscript, italics, bold, underline, etc.) should be ignored when entering a search. Realize that there are no word breaks after such tags, unless a space or punctuation appears in the text (e.g., search 1st simply as 1st).

Selecting a Search Option: One may use upper or lower case letters; searches are case insensitive. Wildcards can be used in all search options. Be sure to review sections on accentuation and punctuation in full-text searching.

Selecting a Results Format: At the head of any results format one finds the bibliographic criteria limiting one's search, the number of texts searched, the search term(s) entered, and the total number of occurrences of the search term(s) in the database. The number of occurrences displays at the bottom of the report if PhiloLogic has not detected the number before generating the first 25 occurrences on the screen.

Fields and their Descriptions: The following fields can be used to find documents or to limit the documetns in a full-text search. Fields can be used in conjunction with each other. To see what options are available for any given field, click on the "Terms" button next to the field. If you want to see what options are remaining in another field after entering search criteria in another you can do that by clicking on the "terms" button next to it after entering search criteria in the field. These are string searches so that by entering "Proceedings" in the type field, one will also be searching for Proceedings: address, Proceedings: report, and so on.

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