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MPR Search Help

  • Search strategies
  • The basic search uses an implicit "and"
  • Phrase searching is not currently available
  • Do not use "stopwords"
  • Be aware that this search engine does do "auto-suffixes"
  • I can see only 100 results.


    Search Strategies

  • Remember, searching is a process and often requires multiple tries.
  • Know what you are looking for!
  • Make a short list of words to search for; consider synonyms.
  • Select one or two unique (and important) words and try them.
  • If too many results are returned, use additional search terms or different terms.
  • Check your spelling.
  • If no results are returned and you used more than one search term, remove one.
  • Try different terms (synonyms).

    The basic search uses an implicit "and"
    This means that several words can be typed in for a search at once. This is considered an "exclusive" search and is equivalent to 'match all words'. Matches/number of "hits" will be smaller than if you ran several searches with only one term (word) each. So, the advantage of using several keywords/terms means that you may be able to target the document you want much easier.

    However, the search engine only returns pages in which all terms appear. if you are too specific or "exclusive" in your search (i.e. using too many terms), you may not find the page you are seeking because one of the words is missing - perhaps because a synonym was used.

    Phrase searching is not currently available
    The difference between phrase-search capability and searching for several words is that phrase searching tries to find those words immediately adjacent to each other. An example might be "women's studies." A search engine with phrase capability would only return pages on which "women's studies" would be together. Currently, our search engine will return pages that contain both words, but not necessarily together. This means that sometimes more results are returned than are necessary. We will offer phrase searching as soon as it becomes available for this search engine.

    Do not use "stop words"
    Stop words are common words such as articles: "the," "a," "an." Strictly speaking, a true stop word would not even be searched for. Our search engine seems to actually seem to look for them (you will see them on the results page as "Words searched for"), but it does not. A search for "economics and" will bring back the same number of hits as entering only "economics." So although you should not use stop words, it doesn't usually have any effect with this search engine. (However, results may vary with other search engines on the Internet.) The current list of specified stopwords includes:

    • all
    • an
    • and
    • are
    • can
    • for
    • from
    • have
    • it
    • may
    • not
    • of
    • that
    • the
    • this
    • was
    • will
    • with
    • you
    • your

    Be aware that this search engine does do "auto-suffixes"
    This search engine tries to help you by trying to build a more complete query by guessing common plurals. It does not get them all, just a few; enter multiple forms if you notice that it did not get as many as you anticipated.
    sample query: "book"
    results: "(book or booked or booking or bookings or booker or books or bookers)"

    I can see only 100 results.
    Although the search engine may report that it found more than 100 matches, you are effectively limited to viewing only 100 matches. If a page/match is not in the first 100 matches, then it relationship to what you want is probably quite small. Revise your search to be more specific or see the search strategies section above.



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