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Using the OJP Search Capability

Examples and help for simple and advanced searches

By entering information and instructions in the box provided, you can search all of the downloadable documents (.pdf, .txt, and .html) and OJP web pages including the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and all Offices and Bureaus. (Other OJP related sites without a .gov URL and the Safe Communities page are not part of the standard search.) The search will result in a list of links to web pages and downloadable documents that contain the information you were searching for.

This instruction is to help you formulate your queries so that you will find the materials you want.

Simple searches

  • Words

    Entries composed of a single word will result in a search that includes that word and related words.

    The entry of the word defense will look for all documents that include the word crime and related words like defenses or defensive.

    Words surrounded by quotation marks trigger a literal search which is helpful in looking for proper names.

    For example, "defense" will only search for the word defense.

    Words with special characters must be in quotation marks.

  • Phrases

    Queries of two or more words separated by spaces will result in a search for phrases containing those words in the same order.

    For example, the entry of public defender will result in a search for all documents with the phrase public defender and not for the individual words of public and defender.

    The entry of phrases enclosed in quotation marks will search for an exact match to the phrase.

    A search for "Public Defender Initiative" will find documents that contain the phrase exactly as typed including capitalization.

    To search for phrases that contain the words AND, OR, or NOT, the phrase or the connecting word must be in quotes. The words AND, OR and NOT invoke search special instructions. (See below for more information)

    The entry of the phrase "crime and justice" or crime "and" justice will result in a search of all documents that contain the complete phrase. The entry of the phrase crime and justice will result in a search for all documents that contain either word.

  • Groups of words or phrases

    More than one word or phrase can be searched for by separating words or phrases with commas. The search will find any document containing at least one matching word or phrase. The comma is interchangable with the Boolean search term <AND>.

    To find documents that contain any of the words crime, police, and victims, enter crime, police, victims.

    The query of criminal justice system, law enforcement will search for all documents that contain either phrase.


Advanced query options

  • Boolean searches

    <AND> -- finds documents containing both words or phrases and is interchangable with a comma.

    To find documents that contain both murder and prison, enter either murder, prison or murder<AND>prison

    <OR> -- finds documents containing at least one of the words or phrases.

    To find any document that has a reference to any type of violent crime, enter violent crime <OR>murder<OR>robbery<OR>assault<OR>rape

    <NOT> -- finds documents that do not contain a specific word or phrase.

    To find documents containing the words "violent," but not the word "property", enter violent<NOT>property

  • Proximity searches

    Using <NEAR> in a query looks for documents containing search terms within close proximity of each other. Document scores are calculated based on the relative number of words between search terms; the closer the search terms, the higher the score. Such searches are particularly effective across collections of long documents where the words may appear in separate sections without any relevancy to each other.

    To find documents that contain the word victim and the word murder within close proximity to each other, enter victim<NEAR>murder

    You can limit your search for words or phrases that occur within a sentence or paragraph by using <SENTENCE>, <PARAGRAPH> . The syntax for using these operators is similar.

    To find documents that contain the word victim and the word murder within the same paragraph, enter victim<PARAGRAPH>murder. The results should include all documents that discussed victim and murder within the same paragraph.

    You can also combine proximity searches with boolean searches to refine your search.

    If you are looking for documents with discussions about violent offenders who were not murderers you would search for variations of the words violent and offender in close proximity to each other, but not the word murder, enter violent<NEAR>offender<AND> <NOT>murder

  • Zone searches

    In Web documents, you can limit your search to the contents of any named Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) tag, such as <TITLE> and <H1> by forming the query with words or phrases to be found <IN> followed by the name of the HTML tag.

    To find Web documents whose titles have variations of the word statistics in them, enter statistics<IN>title

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