Finding data: advanced search operators

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  • MED7126 Data and Multimedia Journalism Paul Bradshaw

    Getting the data Advanced search tips

  • Dont ask for what you want: describe what you expect to find

    Search operators

  • What text will it contain? Where will that text be? What text will it not contain?

    Imagine the data: text

  • Specific references, not general:

    Specify a constituency a school

    an institution code an invoice number a piece of jargon

  • quotes: disclosure log asterisk between * and 2014

    minus hate crime -religion -"publication scheme"

    Number ranges: 2000..2014

  • life expectancy Birmingham

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr"

  • inurl:

  • inurl:foi inurl:ccg

    inurl:intranet inurl:search.asp inurl:search.php

  • intitle: allintitle:

  • intitle:foi allintitle:disclosure log

    intitle:bank fines

  • intext: allintext:

  • intext:miserable failure allintext:miserable failure

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr"

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr" filetype:xls

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr" filetype:xls

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr" filetype:xls 2009..2014

  • "life expectancy" "perry barr" filetype:xls 2009..2014 -winter

  • Where is it likely to be What format? When was it not published?

    Imagine the data: meta data

  • site:




  • filetype:

  • filetype:xls filetype:xlsx filetype:pdf filetype:csv filetype:ppt filetype:doc

    filetype:docx filetype:xml

  • search tools

  • disclosure log allintitle:hate crime report filetype:pdf art inurl:search.asp -library

    Combine operators:



  • Some sites use the robots.txt protocol to tell search engines not to index Use DownThemAll to download the site and search it locally

    Sites that arent indexed

  • Do it now: Search for a piece of jargon in your field, on a particular type of site Search for spreadsheets or PDFs mentioning an individual in your field

  • Links: