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SourceWatch:Searching

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SourceWatch Help

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To search, just type your query into the box at the top left of each page.

Our search engine is not case-sensitive

The searches for "fortran", "Fortran" and "FORTRAN" all return the same results.

All search terms must be present to get a result (watch for plurals)

Only pages that contain all the words exactly as you typed them in will be returned. So if you didn't get any results, leave out one or more terms, or make sure that all search terms were spelled correctly. Watch for plurals: if you search for "horse" articles that contain the word "horses" won't be shown unless the singular word is also in the article.

Boolean searches are possible

You can use the words "and", "or" and "not" and parentheses in order to formulate more complicated requests. If none of those words is specified, "and" is used by default. For instance, "indian not american" will return all pages with the word "indian" which don't contain the word "american". The search "(Adolph or Adolf) and Hitler" will return all pages which contain "Hitler" and either "Adolf" or "Adolph".

However, no "regular expressions" or "wild card" symbols are permitted

You cannot use regular expressions or "wild cards" such as "?" or "*." If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it. To search for articles with the words "boat" or "boats," input the phrase boat or boats.

Avoid short and common words

This is the most likely cause of an unexpected failed search. If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about", "onto"), then your search will fail without any results. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all articles, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.

Words used with quotes

If a word appears in an article with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with quotes. Because this is rarely desirable it is better to use double quotes in articles.

Only actual articles are searched by default

The search only applies to the main "namespace" (those articles without "SourceWatch:" or "talk:" or "user:" in front). The main namespace contains the encyclopedia proper. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.

Redirects can be excluded

Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.

Words with special characters

In a search for a word with a diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ë is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg.

Acknowledgement: the content of many of the help pages in SourceWatch have been adapted from Wikipedia.