Search Tips

Whether your search returns no results or hundreds of results there are always ways to improve your search, whether to find more matches or to filter them.

Here are some important things to remember and techniques you can use to make your search results as useful as possible.

No results

  • Just because you don’t find anything with your first search don’t assume there is nothing to find – try again after reading the tips below

Different spellings

  • Names may be written in lots of different ways across all the different reports, or various spellings may be used even within one report.
  • Searching for “my company”, “my company limited”, “my company ltd”, or even “my company ltd.” can all return different results.
  • Similarly “John Smith”“J.Smith” “Mr John Smith” and “Mr J. Smith” can all return different results.
  • If you know EXACTLY what you are looking for be as precise as possible, but if you want to find all the possible matches a search like “my company”  or “J Smith” are likely to give the best results to start you off
  • Another option is to use OR in your search – “my company” OR “my company limited” OR “my company ltd” OR “my company ltd.” will find mentions of ANY of these terms

Too many results

  • Sometimes our searches can return to many results. Searching for Jack the Ripper might return hundreds of results – even though the famous murderer is NOT mentioned in any of the reports.
  • Putting the name in speech marks will link the words into a phrase “Jack the Ripper” and now the search will try and match the whole term and not just individual words
  • You could also try “Jack + Ripper” for a similar effect
  • You can also filter your search results so you see the most recent reports first, or the most viewed reports or you can filter by source, to just see the reports produced by the institution[s] you select, or even filter by category. You will see all the filter options on your search results page

Here are some more useful tips:

  • use + or AND between words in the search box to join them into a phrase
  • or use speech marks like this “to link words into a phrase”
  • using | between words signifies or – you can also write OR
  • you can use a – instead of a particular letter to negate that letter
  • using * at the end of a term signifies a prefix query
  • use ( and ) to signify precedence
  • using ~N after a word signifies edit distance (fuzziness)
  • using ~N after a phrase signifies slop amount