Provet Information Search

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Welcome to the Provet search facility. Below you can find some tip & tricks for searching - these can help you to return more accurate results. The tips are in four sections:
  1. Simple searches - If you're new to searching these instructions will get you started.
  2. Choose keywords carefully - You can narrow results by choosing distinctive keywords.
  3. Using "operators" to return better results - Some words such as AND, OR, NOT are "operators". You can use them to make more accurate searches.
  4. Wildcards and Fuzzy Searching - You can introduce a random element to searches which can help if you are unsure of a precise spelling. You can also return words which have similar meanings to the keyword you entered.

Simple Searches

If you're new to searching here are the basic instructions:

Choose keywords carefully

The Provet search engine ignores common english words like 'the', 'but', 'which', 'that', etc. Remember - the more distinctive the keyword you choose, the more likely you are to return satisfactory results.

Using "operators" to return better results

The searching routine recognises "boolean operators". Don't be put off by the programming terms - it simply means you can use the operators AND, OR, AND NOT, and NEAR to assemble searches which are more likely to return the information you're looking for. The following table shows how the searching routine will interpret the operators:

Operator Meaning
Apples AND Pears Both must exist in document.
Apples OR Pears Either must exist in the document.
Apples AND NOT Pears The first word must exist in the document, but the second word must not be mentioned.
Apples NEAR Pears Both must exist in document, and appear within 50 words of each other.

Wildcards and Fuzzy Searches

There are two special characters you can use which can act as "stand-ins" to represent other characters. They are the asterisk ( * ) and exclamation mark ( ! ). We call these characters "wildcards". The asterisk represents multiple characters, while the exclamation mark represents a single character. For example, if you enter "wild*" your results will include documents containting wildly, wilderness, wilder. If you enter "wild!", documents containing wilde (i.e. the name Oscar Wilde) or Wildd might be returned. This table might help you:

Entry Results
euro* and not "euro" Documents containing europe or european are returned, but ONLY if 'euro' (e.g. the Euro currency) is NOT present.
nic! Documents containing nick, nice, nico (etc.) are returned.

A fuzzy search will attempt to match words which, grammatically, are closely related. It is denoted by two asterisks, for example:

will include catching and caught.

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