To provide a more advanced way of searching databases, PublicData.com has created Advanced Search. The goal of Advanced Search is to allow searching similar to search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc) on PublicData.com. All searchable fields for each database listed on a query screen will be displayed at the bottom of the page.
Below are some of the advanced searching techniques that are available.
A Single Term is a single word such as test or hello. Multiple single terms can be can be given for a specific query separated by a space. This will match all records that match ANY of the given terms. Records that match the most terms will be sorted higher in the search results.
A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "New York". When using a Phrase, only records that match the phrase exactly as it is given will be returned. With the power of advanced searching, this will allow for more specific searches.
Minor words (e.g."of", "the" ...) are considered insignificant when matching phrases. For example the search term "assault and battery" will match that exact phrase as well as "assault with battery".
A selection box to specify whether to match all terms or any terms in the search. In both cases the operators below can be used on any given search term to control the function.
The + operator (the plus sign) can be used to require that a search term be present. This is redundant in the 'Match All' scenario, but can be helpful if using 'Match Any'.
+smith john forces all matching records to contain Smith and might also contain John. Records that match both terms will be ranked higher than those that only match Smith.
The - operator (the minus sign) can be used in either a 'Match Any' or 'Match All' scenario to only select records that do not contain that search term.
smith -john will match all records with Smith that DO NOT contain John. This can be used to filter a result set.
Single and Multiple character wildcard searches are allowed within Single Terms. This can NOT be used within Phrases.
To perform a single character wildcard search, use the ? (question mark) symbol.
The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match with the single character replaced.
Krist?n would match Kristin and Kristen.
To perform a multiple character wildcard search, use the * (asterisk) symbol.
Multiple character wildcard searches look for 0 or more characters.
John* would match John and Johny and Johnny.
You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.
Jo*n would match John and Jon.