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    Advanced Search Syntax

    The Alexander Street Video Platform does not have an advanced search form, but you can use advanced search syntax.

    To understand a bit about how searching on the Video Platform works, consider the following things:

    • if using simple keywords in the search box, you can expect complete matches to rank higher than partial matches; title hits to rank higher than other fields; and discounting of common words that may explode a search
    • advanced search syntax as shown below is applied verbatim (in order, as entered)

    Searching strategies below can be used in combination with each other.

    Double Quotes (restriction of phrase matching):  Using quotes around a search term will limit the results to those words being found directly next to each other in the results. Searching will take place anywhere in the title, description, transcript, and metadata.

    • Hopi Indians (more results since the search executes for both words together then individually) vs. "Hopi Indians" (less results as it is restricting the search to the phrase)

    AND, OR, NEAR, +, - (Boolean operators):  1. operators must be in CAPS; 2. plus and minus signs must have a space before them.

    • Hopi OR Indians (looking for either term in the search will yield many, many results and videos with both words will rank higher in the search relevancy)
    • Hopi AND Indians (looks for both words and can often have the same result as using double quotes)
    • Hopi NEAR Indians (looks for the terms within the same field so more results than double quotes but less than just as the keywords of Hopi Indians) 
      • ​Hopi NEAR/5 Indians (looks for the search terms being 5 words away from each other)
    • American +Indians -Hopi (this is looking for American Indians but not Hopi)
    • "American Indians" -Hopi (an even narrower search looking at "American Indians" as one term)

    Field Qualifications:  the search box can be used to directly narrow a search to a particular field.  There is NO space between the colon and the search term.

    • title:"Hopi Indians" 
    • producer:"Ann Carroll"
    • subject:anthropology
    • publisher:"BBC Worldwide"
    • historical_event:holocaust
    • document_type:documentary
    • release_date:1960
    • series:food

    Truncation and Wild Card:  asterisks and question marks can be used to offer options when you want to expand a search for word ending variability

    • cultur* (results in any video with a word starting with cultur, so culture, cultured, cultural, culturization, etc)
    • cultur? (results in any video with a word cultur and 0 to 1 letter after)

    Range Queries:  you can use a range of dates to narrow down searches prior to waiting for search results to filter

    • release_date:[1960-1970]
    • release_date:>2017 (greater than 2017; less than can be used instead of >)
    • release_date:>=2017 (greater than or equal to 2017; less than can be used instead of >)