Help on Searching

Help on Searching

What to Search:
Searching InformeDesign for information can be basic or advanced. Also, you can search the entire database and all its features, or you can identify specific types of information. For instance, you can limit your search to Research Summaries alone, or Research Summaries, EBD-Minutes, and Implications. Other combinations are possible by identifying the source type in the Advanced Search box on the Home Page. If you do not identify a type of source, the entire database will be searched.

How to Search:
To enter a search query, type in a few descriptive words and hit the ‘enter’ key (or click on the GO button). A list of sources, such as Research Summary titles, will appear and you can link directly to each one.  Since the search engine  returns only sources  that contain all the words in your query, refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered. Your new query will return a smaller subset of the pages the search engine found for your original, broader query.

Choosing Keywords:
For best results, it’s important to choose your keywords wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Try the obvious first. If you’re looking for information on compact fluorescent lamps, enter “fluorescent lamp” rather than “lighting.” Also, use the word in the singular form rather than the plural to increase the number of sources identified.
  • Use the most accurate words possible. For instance, “senior housing” will provide better results than “places for old people to live.”
  • Make keywords as specific as possible. For example, “indoor air quality” will provide more relevant results than “problems with the air in buildings.”

Automatic “and” Queries:
By default, the search engine only returns sources that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include “and” between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. For example, to find all Research Summaries about “design” that address satisfaction, simply type: design satisfaction

Phrase Searches:
Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes “like this” will appear together in all results exactly as you have entered them. Phrase searches are especially useful when searching for specific titles.

Searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.

Word Variations (Stemming):
The search engine also supports “stemming” or “wildcard” searches. In other words, searching for “child” or “child*” will yield Research Summaries with the words “children” or “childrens.”

Search by Category:
You can also search for a Research Summary by browsing the categories of the database. Categories may also have subcategories, nested as deeply as the topic warrants. You can narrow your search by continuing to select more specific categories. Click here to view all categories in InformeDesign’s Taxonomy.