The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wananga o Waikato
The Library - Te Whare Pukapuka
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Library Home > British Parliamentary Papers



Tips to help make the most of the search function for this collection.

Search terms

Whatever you type into the query box is interpreted as a list of words or phrases called "search terms." A term is a single word containing only letters and digits, or a phrase consisting of a sequence of words enclosed in double quotes ("..."). Terms are separated by white spaces. If any other characters such as punctuation appear, they serve to separate terms just as though they were spaces. And then they are ignored. You can't search for words that include punctuation.

For example, the query

    Agro-forestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability (1993)

will be treated the same as

    Agro forestry in the Pacific Islands Systems for Sustainability 1993

For the British Parliamentary Papers Collection, there are a few options available when searching:

  • A * at the end of a query term matches all words starting with that word, e.g. comput* matches all words starting with comput.
  • /x can be used to give higher weight to one or more of the query terms, eg computer/10 science gives computer 10 times more weight than science when ranking documents.

Query type

There are three different kinds of query.

  • Queries for all of the words. These look for documents (or chapters, or titles) that contain all the words you have specified. Documents that satisfy the query are displayed, in build order.
  • Queries for some of the words. Just list some terms that are likely to appear in the documents you are looking for. Documents are displayed in order of how closely they match the query. When determining the degree of match,
  • Queries for exact phrase search. This option will only search for documents with all words and in the order specified in the search field. The same effect can also be achieved by selecting all words and placing "quotation marks" around the phrase.
    • the more search term occurrences a document contains, the closer it matches;
    • terms which are rare in the collection as a whole are more important than common ones;
    • short documents match better than long ones.

Use as many search terms as you like--a whole sentence, or even a whole paragraph. If you specify only one term, documents will be ordered by its frequency of occurrence.

Changing your preferences

When you click the Preferences button at the top of the page you will be able to change some features of the interface to suit your own requirements.

Search preferences

A pair of buttons controls whether upper and lower case must match when searching. For example, if "ignore case differences" is selected, snail farming will be treated the same as Snail Farming and SNAIL FARMING.

A pair of buttons controls whether to ignore word endings or not when searching. For example, if "ignore word endings" is selected, snail farming will be treated the same as snails farm and snail farmer. This currently only works properly for English language text. It may be more convenient and precise to use the search term truncation facility described above in "Search terms".

A pair of buttons controls whether accented and unaccented letters must match when searching. For example, if "ignore accents" is selected, fédération will be treated the same as fedération and federation.

You can turn on the search history feature, which shows you your last few queries. This makes it easy to repeat slightly modified versions of previous queries.

Finally, you can control the number of hits returned, and the number presented on each screenful.



Once you have performed a search and you can select a document you would like to view. The document will appear as an image at first, which will not present you with highlighted search terms. However, you can click on the link "view computer-generated text" which will bring up the text version of the document, and highlight your search terms.

Page Generated: Fri Mar 18 14:46:03 2011
This page has been reformatted for printing