HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: Using the Quick Search Option

Searching, Tips and Tricks

There are several search options in HeinOnline, including the Field Search, Advanced Search and the Quick Search options. We are going to focus on the Quick Search option this week to explain how it works, what it queries, and how to build a search query. It’s important to note that the syntax that can be used in the quick search box will vary by collection depending upon the meta-data available for each collection. To access the Quick Search option, open a collection from the Welcome page and click on the Search tab in the top left corner of the screen. This will load your search options for that collection in the left navigation menu. The first option you see is the Quick Search.

General Rules:

  • The query will search across the text meta-data field, unless you otherwise specify a field such as “creator”.
  • The query will look across All Titles in that collection, unless a title is otherwise specified.
  • The query will look across All Years available, unless a year is otherwise specified.
  • Use quotes to form a phrase, “Right to Privacy” vs. Right to Privacy.
  • Use Boolean operators to combine search terms, for example “intellectual property” AND “international law”.
  • The search results are sorted by relevancy.

Now that we understand the basic rules applied to a Quick Search, let’s look at some examples. Outlined below are various search examples, from a word to a proximity search. For the first few examples, open the Law Journal Library and click on the Search tab in the top left corner.

Word Search:
To search for a word across the full text of a collection, simply enter the word into the search box.
Example: graffiti

This search returns over 2400 results.

Phrase Search:
To narrow our above query, let’s expand our term to a phrase, Graffiti Artist, and enclose it in quotations.
Example: “graffiti artist”

This search returns only 31 results.

Title Search:
If we want to find articles that contain the term “graffiti” in the title, then we must specify the title field in our query.
Example: title:graffiti

This search returns 11 results.

Author Search:
To search for an author, we must specify the author field in our query.
Example: creator:”White, Rob”

This search returns 10 Law Journal Articles written by Rob White.

Combined Search Terms (Multiple Fields):
We could scroll through the above 10 results to find the article written by Rob White in regards to graffiti. Or, we could add it to our search query.
Example: creator:”White, Rob” AND title:graffiti

This query returns 1 result with a link to the article on graffiti written by Rob White.

Wildcard Searching:
It is also possible to do a wildcard search from the Quick Search option. When submitting a wildcard search, if you are looking for the term across the full text, you must define the text meta-data field in your query in order to view matching text pages in your results.
Example: text:”graffiti art*”

This query will look for the phrase “Graffiti Art” or “Graffiti Artist” or “Graffiti Artists”, or any other characters that may appear after “Art”. Our search returns 26 results.

Proximity Searching:
You can also do a proximity search from within the Quick Search option. To illustrate this, we will use the phrase “Reforming International Law”. The phrase itself, in its entirety, returns 12 results. However, if we search for these terms within 10 words of each other, we will expand the breadth of our results.
Example: “reforming international law”~10

This query returns 172 results.

The Quick Search option can be used in any collection in HeinOnline. To view the fields that you can search across for a given collection, open the Advanced Search option from within that collection and click on Search Tips. The search tips display the fields available as well as examples for each.

Here are a few examples of Quick Search queries from other HeinOnline collections.

Quick Search in the CFR:
We can look for a specific part name in the 2005 edition of the CFR from the quick search box by entering the following query:
part_title:”Fitness for Duty Programs” AND volrefdate:2005

Quick Search in the U.S. Statutes at Large:
We can look for an international treaty from Argentina called “Reciprocal Trade” by entering the following query into the quick search box in the U.S. Statutes at Large Library:
nation:Argentina AND title:”Reciprocal Trade”

The Quick Search option is similar to an Advanced Search in many ways, except that you must specify all fields (including titles and/or dates), or by default the query will search across All Titles and/or All Dates and the text field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *